FoxNews.com | by Michael Bartiromo | March 13, 2020
Many people are rescheduling spring break plans as coronavirus spreads – but should you?
The short answer? It depends on where you are traveling and how you are getting there.
Popular domestic spring break destinations such as Miami and South Padre Island are in states that are currently experiencing increased positive cases of coronavirus. As of March 13, Florida had 42 positive cases, and 2 deaths, while Texas had 28 confirmed. On Friday, Texas declared a state of disaster for all counties.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which typically does not issue advisories for U.S. travel, advise those considering travel to be aware of the community spread of the disease in certain areas and the elevated risk it could potentially pose to those traveling through airports or communal areas in those states.
Ensure where you are going is still open as many popular tourist destinations both internationally and domestically have closed. Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California, for instance, will close starting Saturday until end the end of March.
Method of travel is just as important to consider, as several cruise liners have canceled voyages after the Diamond Princess and Grand Princess both experienced outbreaks that left 700 and 21 passengers testing positive for coronavirus, respectively.
Planes are still in operation – however, some domestic airlines have canceled flights or altered schedules amid the decrease in demand. The CDC currently puts the risk of infection at “low” when flying between areas that are not experiencing “sustained community transmission,” but urges travelers to always maintain best practices when it comes to safety and hygiene on flights.
For vulnerable populations – meaning those above 60 or people who have underlying health issues – travel to areas experiencing outbreaks is strongly advised against by the CDC.
Several students spoke to Fox 11 about their concerns over the virus. While many were concerned about COVID-19, and vowed to stay home, others felt the deals were too good to pass up.
“So long as we take proper measures, we should be fine,” said Kadin Barr of Green Bay, who was flying out Tampa Bay with his family, Fox 11 reported.
“I’m staying at home spring break, I’m not going out,” said Wisconsin student Anthony Balao. “I don’t wanna get that!”
If you are concerned about coronavirus and need to reschedule your travel plans, most flights and lodging services, — including Airbnb — are offering fee waivers and refunds for eligible travelers wishing to change plans.
Check with your airline or accommodations to see what their policy is regarding rescheduling or canceling vacation plans.
If you do plan to stick to your spring break plan, make sure you take the necessary safety precautions – keep your hands washed, avoid touching your face, nose and mouth, and practice social distancing. If traveling by plane, carry alcohol-based wipes and sanitize all high-volume touch areas such as armrests, tray tables, seatbelts and call buttons.
Be prepared for the possibility that someone on the plane tests positive – which potentially could interrupt your vacation plans either at your destination or on the return flight. To prepare, pack extra clothing and medications in case of emergency or quarantine.