Left and right travel bans have popped up everywhere, and millions of Americans are told to stay home. The world’s travel shut down amidst the crisis, and many left Americans stranded overseas according to news outlet ABC News. The State Department urged U.S. travelers that are abroad to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program or STEP at the state government website so they could receive the most up to date information on flights. With many stranded flights were canceled to help prevent the ever-spreading virus.
In the last few months organization, World Health Organization (WHO) has labeled the spreading virus as a pandemic and doesn’t show signs of slowing anytime soon. And with new data being released, summer vacation plans may be put on hold. The CDC has strongly advised those who are planning to travel that they should closely monitor the CDC website. Countries like China, Italy, Iran, and South Korea are known right now as hotspots, and they are urging people not to travel to those countries.
Some are wondering what to do about trips that they have already planned; however, there have been no rules laid out for cancelation of flights. Kyle Valenta, the Executive Editor at the travel review expert website Oyster.com, says, that some airlines are offering to re-route passengers without any charge if they have connecting flights in areas where there are virus hotspots. Other airlines are offering refunds if the final destination is set to be China, Hong Kong, or Macao. However, places that are not considered hotspots or high-level alerts are not subject to refunds.
For those on cruises or planning to take a journey, ship operators are giving vouchers to travelers who may want to change their plans; this is according to the president and co-founder Charles Leocha of Travelers United. The coupons will depend on your home countries. As of right now, the main concern is just making sure that the virus is contained and under control.