Traveling this period requires a bit of guts, no thanks to the spread of the Coronavirus. So here’s us answering a few travel questions:
Can I cancel a trip I’ve booked because I’m afraid of the coronavirus?
Depends on whether you bought a refundable ticket or have the right kind of travel insurance. Regular travel insurance won’t cover a cancellation because of fears about the coronavirus outbreak. For that, you need to buy a “Cancel for Any Reason” (CFAR) policy.
“They’ve become quite popular in the last few weeks,” says Jonathan Breeze, CEO of AardvarkCompare, a travel insurance comparison website. “We’re seeing about a 50% increase in the amount of policies being sold.”
A few things to note: A CFAR policy typically needs to be purchased within a couple of weeks from the time you booked your trip, it will usually only cover about 75% of your costs, and New York state does not allow residents to buy CFAR policies.
Is international travel riskier to my health than domestic travel?
It depends. Shira Doron, a hospital epidemiologist and infectious disease specialist at Tufts Medical Center, says she would not recommend traveling to countries that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has put on its “warning” list to avoid nonessential travel, such as China, Iran, Italy and South Korea.
But that doesn’t mean domestic travel is risk-free. To put things in perspective, the virus is here, with case numbers on the rise.
“We already have community transmission within the United States,” says Doron. “So, at some point, it’s not going to be any riskier to go to another country than it is to stay right here.”