Should we cancel plans for May in France?
No. May is 2 months away.
I wouldn't cancel but I'm not as concerned about my ability to fight a flu.
Are you, or someone you're traveling with, in a high risk category (smoker, chronic lung disease, heart disease, diabetic, elderly)? It seems this flu goes to the lungs and inflames them. Your body then fights the flu and further inflames the area. You can end up with quite a bit of fluid in your lungs. If your body has underlying issues getting oxygen to your organs, that can be dangerous and require hospitalization - to get your body adequate oxygen and fight the inflammation in your lungs.
For a healthy person, symptoms will be fever, dry cough and chest congestion for a few days but will go away by itself. Not great for travel but not serious.
Will there be flu in France in May? It could go either way. I'd err on the safe side. Assume there will be some people with the flu that will expose you to the virus. Decide based on whether you believe it might be serious enough to require hospitalization for you or a travel partner. If I thought I might end up in the hospital, I'd watch it closely and make a decision as close to my travel day as possible. There is a chance the epidemic will be going away by them.
I agree with Brad and Alexander. There is no benefit, as far as I can see, to cancelling now. So wait until it is closer to your departure date. We are in the same boat. We are scheduled to fly to France on April 10. We are waiting to see what the situation will be like closer to our departure date.
I don't think the person is concerned about the flu, but rather the Covid-19.
I am also going to France in May and I am not cancelling my plans unless the CDC restricts travel as they did with Italy. Or unless Rick Steves cancels on us first.
I still plan to go April 16th. Unless the airline completely cancels (We are set to attend ECCMID conference in Paris that time, and they may cancel since more than 5,000 people attend) i'm going (32 years old, no conditions).
After that we are training to Barcelona and Madrid.
We are supposed to fly April 1 for 6 weeks and with our grandchild the first 10 days -- we are waiting till late in March to decide as we will forfeit thousands if we cancel.
The problem is: is it worth forfeiting $1000 now or going on a trip and being on edge for $8000. If major museums are going to be closed, and ransacking of grocery stores continue, is it worth travelling in this atmosphere? When the hospital in Nice has just been raided of masks, is this the time to travel? And yet, will the situation be resolved by May? I have until March 21 to pay for my Rick Steves tour. It would help if the 60 day cancellation fee was amended. Ah.....decisions
If the cancellation fee is the same today as on March 21, I'd wait two weeks for making the call. Everything is moving so fast...
Damn... People have been ransacking grocery stores and the French media weren't even considerate enough to let me know so I could join in???
Where did you hear about the hospital in Nice and the ransacking of grocery stores?
I agree with Balso. I would wait until the deadline date and then decide.
We aren’t going on a tour so admittedly I don’t have to worry about paying a huge balance. Maybe you could contact Rick Steves office and ask them about changing the deadline date because of Covid-19?
We are flying on American Airlines, operated by British Airlines, and I read today that BA is cancelling flights to France, Italy and a few other European countries from March 16 to 28. So we are watching and waiting ... It is frustrating and disappointing. A year ago this month I had to cancel a trip to Croatia because of hip replacement surgery. Now, here we go again. But of course my heart goes out to the people who have died and their families.
My friend in Nice sent me photos of the empty shelves and told me about the hospital. I realize that cool heads prevail but I also want to enjoy my travels. My friend started to cough on the tram in Nice and got so many dirty looks that he got off and went on a different tram. People are nervous and act accordingly.
Hey Simon, (Damn ... People have been ransacking grocery stores and the French media weren't even considerate enough to let me know.....) We were in Paris in April 2008(or around there). We went to the Effiel Tower early in the morning and there was a big sign saying DELAYED OPENING TODAY. So we waited until one hour after opening time. About a thousand people were also waiting. I said to my wife Let's come back later. We came back At about 1800 still a huge line and the sign still said DELAYED OPENING TODAY.This time we did not hang around. We asked the man behind the counter at our hotel about this and he only smiled. Later that night as we watched the British news, the story came on EFFIEL TOWER WORKERS ON STRIKE TODAY!! And that gave us a good laugh!!
I’d like to see proof of this supposed ransacking of a hospital. I looked through various international news sites and could find absolutely nothing about a hospital raid for masks.
Yeah, empty grocery store shelves are a thing in various places but to my knowledge, it’s a shortage on hand sanitizer and masks, not various other goods.
I am confused as to what information you’re getting OP and would ask your friend for a bit more information and do your own research before pulling the plug. The coughing on the tram thing seems like an exaggeration. Either your leg is being pulled or I suspect that you might be trolling a little.
You have to do right by you if you’re being serious but using anecdotal evidence is nothing anyone should make decisions with.
I looked through various international news sites and could find absolutely nothing about a hospital raid for masks.
Here is what I found (I was also curious)
On the other hand, I have heard about stores here running out of masks, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, paper towels ... no need to get on a plane to run into shortages and panic.
Looks like thieves wanted to deal masks and make oodles of €s.
2,000 masks were stolen from the Marseille Hôpital de la Conception, according to reliable French press reporting. It’s a small news item that you have to go looking for to find.
Masks have not been available in pharmacies here for over a month and are pretty much sold out on line as well.
I believe the OP about dirty looks on the tram when her friend was coughing. Did a cruise from He** a few years ago where most became ill with a respiratory infection. Dirty looks where everywhere.
"I read today that BA is canceling flights to France, Italy and a few other Wuropean destinations from March 16 to March 28".
That statement is lacking an important word. BA is canceling SOME flights between London and France, Italy, and a few other countries, mainly due to lack of demand. But other flights are still scheduled.
We had a flight from Venice to London on March 20 that I had to cancel myself (and lose most of the money paid) because it is still scheduled to go.
Lufthansa and united are canceling flights. I have no other info other than a chryon popping up on a cable news show.
And to the person who thought empty shelves are limited to face masks and hand sanitizer, and that the report of dirty looks for caughimg on a tram are exaggerated, I will point out that we have experienced both effects here in Seattle.
On Friday, after news of an increase in # of deaths from CoVid19, our local grocery in the suburbs was emptied of toilet paper, bottled water (curious), most ground beef, and potatoes that we noticed, and the baking shelf was almost bare of flour, with only a few packages of the most expensive brands and bread flour available. News reports said the downtown Costco was absolutely jammed on Sunday. That wasn't from people stocking up on hand sanitizer.
And my husband has a chronic cough that is easily triggered by dust, fumes, or even swallowing wrong. He has gotten more than his share of dirty looks lately, especially in the airport. Fortunately he did not have to cough on the plane.
I was in the Paris metro this evening and heard a few little coughs here and there. Unlike Lola’s Seattle experience, no one came after them with pitchforks, gave dirty looks, or even moved away.
Choyons popping up on news shows are there to get our blood pumping, glue us to the screen and eventually buy the advertised products.