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Travel changes happening amid coronavirus

3 months 3 weeks 4 days ago Thursday, March 12 2020 Mar 12, 2020 March 12, 2020 7:00 PM March 12, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - The country is approaching a busy travel season and now many travelers are wondering what to do because of the coronavirus.

Normal travel insurance will not cover travelers for things like fear of the coronavirus, but companies and vendors are working with people and offering flexibility.

People who have booked trips to China and Italy through Pearson's Travel World are calling to cancel or rebook. Others are asking for advice or changing their plans entirely.

"They're not really calling like saying absolutely no I'm not going, they're calling to see what their options are," said Ruth Bass. "Mostly we're busy with unwinding travel."

Lately, Bass has a tough job sifting through conflicting information but says there are options for travelers and they're changing every day.
"All of these cancelation policies are evolving so they change maybe three times a week," she said.

Some cruise lines are allowing travelers credit to use a future date or rebook. It's what Gulf South Travel owner Melanie Williams is working through.

"We're getting a lot of questions," she said.

Princess Cruise lines says it's canceling it's voyages for the next two months.

The CDC does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to destinations with level 1 travel notices, but travelers should avoid contact with sick people, don't touch their faces, and wash their hands. They're recommendations that should happen with or without news of the coronavirus.

Each vendor Williams works with establishes its own refund policy and many of her travelers have insurance.

"Insurance covers medical reasons or a death in the family, it does not cover you because you are fearful of the coronavirus," said Williams.

Travel anytime insurance offers a portion of a refund.

Many airlines are changing their policies and waiving travel change fees. Williams says cancelation policies for most Disney trips are 30 days. Disneyland announced Thursday it's closing.

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