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With the recent official announcement of the coronavirus being labeled a pandemic, schools have been closed, conferences cancelled and a long list of sporting events have either been called off or postponed.While the world seems to be spinning into chaos, essentially every industry has been impacted in some way. Even a cursory glance at the news indicates that some areas of the globe have been more deeply impacted by the coronavirus than others, which begs the question. Should I travel while the coronavirus is still running rampant?

The Basics

According to the CDC, any non-essential travel to Italy, South Korea, Iran and China should be postponed or cancelled. Each of those countries have been issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice. The agency has also advised older adults and any citizens suffering from chronic health conditions to avoid traveling to Japan until further notice. In the event that you can’t postpone or cancel these trips, you should probably plan on being the subject of a mandatory quarantine upon your return. While there are exceptions to the full isolation order, those returning from China but showing no symptoms may still be subject to some restrictions.

How to Cancel

If you’re allowed or able to cancel the trip, you should contact your hotel, airline or travel company. Many companies have already established looser cancellation and refund policies so you may be able to recoup any money or points that you have used to reserve your trip. Do your homework on what the companies that you’ve booked with are doing during the pandemic and contact them as soon as you can.

If You Can’t Cancel

There may be circumstances that lead you being unable to cancel your trip. If you’re traveling due to an emergency or because of work-related obligations, there are still precautions you can take to protect your safety during these very troublesome times. First of all, the World Health Organization doesn’t advise cancelling any trips to areas that haven’t been affected. Being even more strict about your personal hygiene and being extra cautious when sneezing or coughing are the most basic ways to both protect yourself and those around you.

Ultimately, your travel plans come down to your own personal feelings and limitations. Your best bet is to be well informed about where you’re going and the means which you will be using to get there.