ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- Some vacations are scheduled for many months or even years ahead of time and require painstaking planning. But with the continued spread of coronavirus, it may be difficult for travelers to decide whether or not to change travel plans.
For die-hard vacationers, there’s no debate about canceling or rescheduling a planned vacation. However, there are actions travelers can and should take to minimize their risk of contracting the coronavirus and other illnesses.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has not put any travel bans in effect as of Friday but they do have recommendations for a handful of countries widely affected by the coronavirus on their website.
They suggest refraining from non-essential travel to China, Iran, South Korea, and Italy. Those who do travel to these locations will be asked to adhere to home quarantine for 14 days. They are recommending older adults or people with chronic health conditions refrain from travel to Japan and Hong Kong. Travel recommendations also apply to layovers in these countries.
For travel within the United States or international travel to a country without a CDC advisory, there are many actions travelers can take to protect themselves.
Before you travel
- Make an appointment with your healthcare provider and know your health status including any conditions that could compromise your immune system.
- Check for health alerts for vacation destinations on the CDC’s website.
- Plan ahead by knowing your health insurance travel policies, especially when traveling out of the country.
- Obtain trip cancellation or medical evaluation insurance.
- Enroll in the CDC’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.
Risk of infection by mode of transportation
The CDC says the risk of infection on an airplane is low but travelers should avoid contact with other passengers who are sick, wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer containing 60-95% alcohol.
Because cruise ships can put travelers from different parts across the globe in a confined area, the CDC says this can promote the spread of viruses. Their hygiene recommendations include avoiding contact with sick people, avoiding touching the face area with unwashed hands, washing hands often/after using the bathroom/coughing/sneezing/nose blowing for at least 20 seconds. If no soap/water is available, the CDC says to use a hand sanitizer containing 60-95% alcohol.
The CDC has an extensive travel website that provides further information and advice about travel.
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