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Please Do Not Be Mean!

Can anyone elaborate on cancelling their travel plans in light of the Coronavirus? We are traveling the first week of May from Tampa to JFK to Edinburgh. I work in healthcare and so far 3/3 providers are telling me to cancel and reschedule for fall. I am so torn and stressed! We travel on a budget and save all year for our yearly trip....

Again please do not be negative or mean. I am really feeling stressed!

Posted by
654 posts

The chances of you becoming infected with Corona virus is less than being hit by a meteorite or being hurt in a car wreck. As a Physician I tell my patients that your chances of dying from influenza is 5,000 times greater than from dying from Corona virus. My wife and I are signed up for the RS Scandinavia tour in May 2020 and I have no intentions of backing out. If you want to improve your odds use a hand sanitizer.

On the other hand I would not travel to the endemic areas in China but you should be fine in Scotland. You may consider purchasing travel insurance so if you were sick you would be covered, I usually purchase insurance on most of my trips.

Don’t let fear keep you from enjoying a great trip to Scotland!

Posted by
1840 posts

May I be provider #4 and say that I am taking a trip to Berlin in April and a trip to Bavaria/Austria in May? Go for it. 😉

Posted by
590 posts

Just curious, wouldn’t you have as much chance of being exposed at home as you would in Europe? I might feel differently if I was immunocompromised or if I were traveling to the Wuhan or the corresponding area. I personally wouldn’t be worried about any trip to Europe. My coworker is actually traveling to Japan next month with his wife and young kids and is not canceling his trip, FWIW.

I always buy trip insurance. This will help cushion your losses and help pay for medical care should the worst happen. It’s good to have regardless, IMO.

Posted by
6036 posts

I suspect everyone's crystal ball is pretty foggy on this one.

Hard to know if it can be confined to China or if too many not yet evident persons have spread the virus to other areas.

I am not in the medical field, but I am a bit puzzled about the advice to 'cancel May, travel in September'. If May is bad, why is Sept. OK?

I too have plans to travel to Europe in May and am keeping a close eye on developments.

Good Health to All!

Posted by
1840 posts

Donald beat me to the punch... looks like I'm provider #5.

Posted by
848 posts

I'm traveling to Europe in late April and it seems way too early to decide. I doubt it will be a problem by then, but the next month or 2 should clarify the possible risk to travel.

Posted by
685 posts

OK, now it is tied. No need to cancel your trip.

I don't know what kind of providers you have talked to, but not likely any with the appropriate knowledge base. Consult your local infectious disease physician for a more accurate recommendation.

Posted by
6536 posts

Some of our best travel has been in times of strife--including wars. We were in the Hofbrauhaus one Saturday night in the first Iraq war without an American in sight.
And the Coronavius is not even in the hemisphere where you're going. Continue your original itinerary and just avoid people and large crowds. You'll be okay. And by the way, there are many more dangerous virus' out there--including the common flu.

Posted by
203 posts

Thank you! We have not yet cancelled and watching over the next 60 days. I actually purchased travel insurance for the first time a month or so ago for this trip. I went with GeoBlue more because I am familiar wit Blue Cross/Blue Shield and always had decent outcomes. The thought process of going in Sept instead of May as the virus would have ran its course by then. As well, the thought process of being safer here is the number of cases compared to being closer to China. I agree about asking some of the ID providers about their thoughts as well. We are a pretty healthy couple. We eat decent, take our vitamins and work out 4-5 days a week. The hubby did 22 years in the military and had every vaccine under the moon and Playing in the ER for the last 12, I’ve had my share of the cooties! I appreciate your kind options! I have been watching the forum and it was quiet so I thought I would be the first goober to pop a question about Coronavirus.

Posted by
1375 posts

I just checked my insurance for my next 2 trips... it covers quarantine as a defined "hazard" for trip interruption and trip cancellation. I sure don't want to see that provision triggered.

Posted by
141 posts

I have not read through my travel insurance but we are still planning to go to Australia in April. Headed closer to the disease but I honestly think I am more scared of the deadly snakes at this point, there are also crocs and deadly jellyfish at this time of year. This is the first trip we have purchased the travel insurance for and am very glad we did. More concerned about all the people who have flown back to the states from China and were not forced to go into quarantine for 2 weeks.

Posted by
897 posts

Cancelling a holiday because of a minute possibility of contracting a contagion is likely not covered by trip cancellation (I stand to be corrected). There would have to be a travel ban in effect.

"going in Sept instead of May as the virus would have ran its course by then" - nobody knows that yet.

"the thought process of being safer here is the number of cases compared to being closer to China" - Scotland is nowhere near China, and Florida has far more people with Chinese ancestry.

Posted by
5235 posts

NurseCyn, if you do end up cancelling because the virus threat makes you nervous (not anybody else) then it's the right thing. As the strikes in France developed last fall, I decided that the potential transportation problems were not worth it for me, and switched my December plans to Germany.

Posted by
5817 posts

If it cheers you up your comment that Scotland is closer to China made me laugh out loud ( a bit embarrassing on the tube!)

Whilst I understand why the global reaction has been so extreme I think the media has gone slightly over the top.
Coronavirus is no where near as contagious as measles and I would be a lot more worried about that ( thank you anti-vaxxers). It also seems to be most severe in the groups that usually struggle with flu, elderly and immuno-suppressed, not younger fitter groups who were affected by previous flu types.

If this is the kind of medical event that you really have to worry about I'm not sure going in Sept will make that much difference than going in May.

Also you live in Florida, think how many people fly in on holiday from around the world bringing their bugs with them! Scotland sounds positively safe!

If the worry is going to ruin your trip cancel, but I really don't think its necessary.

Posted by
2414 posts

I work for the University Medical School attached to the main hospital in Edinburgh (Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh).
We have had a few messages about the Corona virus regarding anyone that has travelled in China or been in contact with anyone from the Wuhan region, basically self monitoring of any potential risks .We do have a significant number of staff and students that have been in China in recent months ,either over the Holiday period or recently for Chinese new year .The opinion at the moment is that risk is very low but that may change. over the next week or so.
I certainly would not cancel any plans at the moment as you are coming from a very low risk area to another very low risk area.I would certainly keep an eye on how the virus develops over the next few weeks and follow any advice from goverment sources.
If your insurance provider says don't travel then you have little choice but at the moment hold fire and wait and see what happens

Posted by
4062 posts

I'm in Europe. I'm more worried about a tree falling on me (it is a very windy day here), then getting the coronavirus.

Posted by
3768 posts

Julie - for me at least - I am way more exposed to germs when I travel because I'm out in crowds, using public transport (so touching lots of germy surfaces) and my immune system must take a hit because EVERY holiday I take, I end up with a cold at some point - usually near the end, but sometimes it decides to come in the middle and linger. At home, I only work at few months at Xmas, so I'm not out in the public every day.

That being said - I have Scotland planned for May as well (bought the plane tix yesterday) and it hasn't even crossed my mind to postpone. Maybe our paths will cross NursCyn! We start out in Glasgow but will be in Edin after that!

Posted by
2297 posts

I wouldn't cancel a trip to Europe this soon. The only increased danger there compared to US is the plane trip-assuming you aren't doing any flying in the US. At our house we have a different fight-my husband is scheduled to attend a meeting in Beijing in June. We are going to England at end of March and haven't even thought of cancelling that trip.

Posted by
3904 posts

The thought process of going in Sept instead of May as the virus would have ran its course by then.

Says who? The experts know very little about this virus, it's new and unknown. No-one is able to predict its life cycle, for all we know it could be a full on worldwide pandemic by September.

However, as things stand I wouldn't even consider cancelling your plans if I were you.

Posted by
2626 posts

I’d go on the trip. I doubt you insurance would cover it unless you were actually sick, but you may want to check your policy to see what exactly is and isn’t covered.

Posted by
590 posts

Nicole, I’ve heard a theory that when we go on vacation our bodies finally know it’s down time (from things like stress at work) and everything relaxes - and that’s why some of us get sick when we go on vacation. Or maybe that’s a load of baloney? My husband has gotten sick a few times on vacation. Maybe it’s just being exposed to stuff on an airplane. I just don’t know! Regardless, I hope you don’t get sick in Scotland and have a wonderful time. It’s an amazing country!

Posted by
8490 posts

I will be in Europe for an extended trip in the Spring that includes Finland and that is even closer to China than Scotland. I will also be in France and I'm more concerned about strikes.

In the meantime. to help prevent getting the virus. (These are tips I got on the internet):

1) No chinese food.
2) No Corona beer
3) if you see someone Chinese, run in the other direction.

Of course I'm kidding.

No one can tell what will happen in three months. Until then, look forward to your trip.

Posted by
3768 posts

Julie - a lot of times I am getting close to the end of vacation and I think - aha! not this time - and it never fails - it's usually runny nose/coughing. At least I didn't get food poisoning last year like hubs did, tho I did have something when we were in Amsterdam that came on me really fast, gave me the cold sweats, made me vomit and I had the worst sore throat and could barely swallow for 3 days - eating was fun.

Frank - this whole Chinese thing is really bringing out the rotten side of people. I've seen reports of Asian people being hollered at from cars. A Chinese restaurant here in my province was REFUSING(!) to serve Chinese students and after the backlash has decided to close for the month. Not a great look...https://www.capebretonpost.com/news/local/chinese-woman-says-sydney-ns-restaurant-discriminating-against-her-406361/

Posted by
1868 posts

@Nicole,
Thank you for sharing the link. To your point, the current situation is affecting businesses as well. Our local news highlighted our Chinese community. They interviewed a long time restaurant owner. Since this is the time of the Chinese New Year when businesses are usually thriving, they have taken a big financial hit. The community representative said “This is not a racist virus.”

I recall the SARS virus had similar reactions in 2003.

Posted by
6689 posts

The restaurant-owner’s only mistake was singling out the Chinese students. That doesn’t fly in the West. It should have been delivery service for everyone.

I see there have been no posts here in several weeks. So, now that the virus is in the Lombardy region of Italy, we are considering canceling our early May trip there. Any others considering this????

Posted by
203 posts

Hey there!

We are 90% sure we are canceling Scotland for May 1st 2020. Our final decision will need to be make April 20th. We are 40 and 54 and health but concerned with a quarantine. As well if we get sick our travel insurance is going to be limited.

Heartbroken and Frustrated!

Posted by
645 posts

I will be in the Czech Republic and both my husband and I will be Hungary this coming April. So far anyway, I see no reason not to travel. And I doubt that will change as we get closer. I'm pretty sure that in the unlikely event the decease becomes dangerous in either nation, Delta will cancel our flights thus making the decision for us.

Added to that, like influenza at home, the virus is not usually deadly and we are not in the risk group.

However, being quarantined would be unpleasant. So we watch the news.

Posted by
10 posts

We are headed to London then Scotland in early-mid May and have no plans to cancel. We are in "wait and see" mode, I suppose. If it is bad enough, I imagine the State Department will issue a Do Not Travel advisory, and airlines will cancel flights, etc. I don't see any reason to cancel now, more than two months in advance.

Posted by
8490 posts

You have to do what is right for you. Just remember there have been no cases of the coronavirus in Scotland or near it yet there are a few cases in the USA. (I'm betting Florida will get cases before Scotland.)

I am in the middle of planning my spring trip. It will last 2.5 months. I was scheduled to spend the first week in May in the Emilia Romagna area of Italy. This area has confirmed cases of the virus. I have decided not to go to that area in May but in the fall instead. It's not because I am worried about getting the virus but am unsure what the situation will be like at that point. Will there be mass closures? Will trains operate? So, I am rescheduling to other parts of Europe--mostly north--and will probably include a return to Scotland in lieu of Italy. I am still going to Europe.

Listening to the media you would think this is a worldwide epidemic. Not yet. And hopefully never. But if you stay away from known infected areas and take precautions, you should be fine. That being said that if you went on your trip and worried every second you might get the virus, then you are probably making the right decision to cancel. It would not be a fun trip.

Posted by
4062 posts

I really do not understand at all why you would cancel your trip which is more than two months away to a location which has no cases. I just returned from a long weekend in Italy and plan to take two more trips between now and May. I'm not worried about anything.

Posted by
29 posts

If you are not comfortable, don't go. You won't enjoy yourself if you're worried all the time.
That being said, I may see some of you in Scotland in May. I'll be there for 3 weeks!
Happy travels!

Posted by
4 posts

I just booked a trip to Croatia for late April/early May. Probably a crazy idea to do so and now I see Croatia has one case. However, I will be buying insurance and the main reason I would want to cancel would likely to avoid being quarantined somewhere far from home. It doesn't sound fun.

In response to Emily, for those of us in the U.S., we have a far greater distance to travel than you do to European destinations. There is too much at stake and much more hassle when coming from a long distance.

Posted by
609 posts

Aw, NursCyn, that makes me sad. I don’t know what factors you are having to consider. I am headed to northern England, Scotland, and Wales in June/July and don’t plan to cancel unless something major changes. And it could. But my reservations are all in place already, so canceling later makes more sense Than canceling now. I also have time flexibility in case of quarantine - as well as some financial stability to cover some extra expenses, should the unlikely happen, and you may not.

But my daughter teaches in Thailand and each day the Ministry of Education adds another country to the list of those where if teachers travel over their long spring break, they will have to enforce a 2 week home quarantine upon return.

Who knows exactly what is coming, but I won’t cancel till someone (most likely the airline or CDC) says I need to.

Posted by
4062 posts

Tumbleweed - I never said my trips were in Europe. They are outside of Europe, actually. All of this is being so overblown by the media.

Posted by
631 posts

"I just booked a trip to Croatia for late April/early May... I will be buying insurance"

Please be aware that travel insurance companies are not covering Coronavirus-related issues, particularly if you bought your trip insurance after January 24th (this date may vary per company) when the risk of spread of the virus became globally known. Be sure you read any travel insurance details very very carefully.

Posted by
73 posts

Thank you Webmaster for offering that factual information on trip insurance regarding Covid 19.

Posted by
1868 posts

Webmaster Team,
Thank you for continuing to update the rapidly evolving news of the Coronavirus. As the saying goes, "knowledge is power."

Posted by
1878 posts

I think people are right to be concerned about this, more so that other things that might create havoc on a trip (like the demonstrations and strikes in Greece back in 2011). I don’t think fear of catching it is the main concern, it’s trip disruption from whatever protective measures might be in place. We don’t know how contagious it is. I would not be surprised for transit and even airports to be shut down from this. If people are told to stay at home, sights and restaurants will be closed. Maybe not likely but certainly possible. I think it’s wise to wait a few weeks and see how it plays out. Only it will probably take months to play out.

I do think chance of infection is higher when you go places with lots of people from all over like major airports and tourists sights. Scotland is better than most probably, other things being equal, because it’s less highly touristed than some countries and you’ll probably spend less time in crowded museums than you might in France or Italy.

I was going to make Scotland plans for May but now I’m holding off.

Posted by
4 posts

I am aware that there is no such thing as travel insurance that would cover COVID-19. There are however policies that offer "cancel for any reason," which is what I was referring to but did not explicitly state in my post. And before someone else points it out, I am also aware that they usually only cover 50 to 75 percent of the cost. It is an optional coverage that may significantly add to the total cost of coverage, but most I've seen are fairly reasonable. For someone who is nervous for whatever reason, this would be a reasonable consideration after weighing the person's unique situation.

Some policies also cover you if you or your travel companions become quarantined.

Feelings are not right or wrong, and if someone has a concern about travelling then it is perfectly valid. Let's support each other here.

Posted by
3077 posts

NursCyn, definitely do what’s right for you, even if it’s a difficult decision. I’m not in the healthcare field, but we’re heading for London for a week-and-a-half in 8 days - no plans to cancel, and then at this point, still plan a 2-month trip to Scotland and Scandinavia this summer. Then Rome in the fall. We’re older than you two, maybe not wiser, but are sticking with our plans to travel.

A friend who flew home from California last week, and isn’t sick, said she wore a medical mask on the plane at her mother’s insistence, and people all moved away from her. She wound up with unexpected extra elbow and leg room, with a perimeter of empty seats around her!

Whatever your decision, be happy with it, don’t look back, don’t second-guess yourselves. You have reasons for the decision, and that’s why you made it. Be well, and enjoy your next trip, whenever that is.

Posted by
77 posts

I have a trip to Scotland all booked and planned for mid April and there is little that is going to stop me! (stubborn Taurus) .. life does go on and having said that common sense prevails.
Wash wash wash your hands and keep your fingers crossed that in the coming weeks things will get better nor worse!

Squishy hugs from Canada
Joanne

Posted by
6 posts

We have a trip planned April 20 - May 5 for the whole country of Scotland 2 overseas planes 2 trains and 2 one day bus tours as well as 6 bnb’s hotels etc. We are in our mid 60’s and healthy and fit. We are watching things over the next 6 weeks before deciding but so far we will be going and make plans for “what if” and contacting our insurance providing medical and interruption. Worst case and most unlikely, we need to plan for illness while there and quarantine for about a month if one of us gets this then the other. Having said all that, we will wait to see the spread in Scotland by April 10 and decide then.