DENVER (CBS4)– With coronavirus sweeping the globe, many people are pulling back their travel plans. Yet for most destinations, that’s likely not necessary, according to travel experts.
“By and large, you are safe right now,” Skylar McKinley, spokesperson for AAA Colorado, said. “There are some destinations you should avoid – parts of China, South Korea, and Iran – but broadly, experts are saying it’s safe to travel.”
The decision to travel is always a personal decision, McKinley explained, but added the travel industry is “better equipped than any other” to deal with outbreaks like coronavirus.
“This happens pretty often,” he told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann. “It happened with Ebola, it happened with SARS, it happened with MERS. The travel industry has experience dealing with these concerns and they know how to keep travelers safe.”
McKinley pointed out that public health experts say it is absolutely safe to get on a plane and head out of town, especially within the United States. Even popular spring break destinations for families with worldwide appeal – like Disney theme parks – are safe to visit.
“If it gets to the point where Disneyland is affected, we’re going to have much bigger problems that we’re already going to be noticing at that community level,” McKinley said.
However, as coronavirus continues to spread and evolve almost daily, McKinley advises all travelers to stay informed so they can make the best decision for their trips.
“That’s why you want to check the CDC website every day, you want to follow the news, but you don’t want to freak yourself out because, really, the travel industry is equipped to handle this,” he said. “For now.”
And, he added, travel insurance is usually highly recommended, but it may not come in handy during the coronavirus outbreak.
“Most of the major insurers are now saying this is what’s called a documented event,” McKinley explained. “If you’re traveling during the coronavirus outbreak, you know you’re traveling during that outbreak, so insurance may not cover you. There is ‘cancel for any reason’ insurance, but it tends to come at a premium. If you’re spending a lot on travel and you have concerns about your health, it’s worth looking into… and always read the fine print.”