Coronavirus Questions Answered: Should I Cancel My Trip?

Each trip is different, and decisions should be made after consulting the CDC travel guidelines and determining if a traveler's medical history allows them to safely travel. [Iryna Rasko / Shutterstock]
Each trip is different, and decisions should be made after consulting the CDC travel guidelines and determining if a traveler's medical history allows them to safely travel. [Iryna Rasko / Shutterstock]
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What are your questions about the coronavirus?

ideastream is answering as many questions as possible, with help from local experts in a range of fields. You can send us your questions with our online form, through our social media pages and group or call us at 216-916-6476. We'll keep the answers coming on our website and on the air.

People have a lot of questions about whether they should cancel trips or avoid traveling. 

Sunnie from Brecksville asks: “I am 78 years old, in good health, and planning a trip to Peru at the end of the month with my three daughters. Should I be concerned because of my age?”

“For patients 60 and older, particularly those who have underlying chronic medical issues, international travel is probably not a wise idea at this point,” says Dr. Amy Ray, an infectious disease doctor from MetroHealth.

She encourages people to check the CDC website to see where there are travel advisories. According to the map listing where COVID-19 has spread, Peru has seen minimal spread.

“There’s a chance that if you travel internationally and you become ill, you may be receiving medical care abroad, and even if you don’t develop symptoms of infection, you may require quarantine upon arrival into the United States,” she said.

Traveling domestically and internationally means you may be away from your primary care provider if you get sick. And Ray says if travelers are on medication and quarantined either inside or outside the country, they should be prepared with an adequate supply of medication.

Joe from Willoughby asks: “How far into the future should people be limiting travel? I have a trip scheduled in June and I am concerned whether I need to cancel.”

Without specifics on where Joe is thinking about traveling, the easiest answer is to check the CDC website for travel advisories to his destination.

“At this time, there are no domestic travel restrictions in the United States,” Dr. Ray said. “Certainly this is an evolving situation, and so he should really seek guidance from CDC.gov."

Terry asks via email about travel to Mexico for a 40th anniversary trip. “We are going to an all-inclusive resort and expect limited contact with other people. So glad we did not choose a cruise — that’s something we have never been interested in.”

The same advice from Dr. Ray applies to Terry, and the CDC definitely agrees with their decision to not go on a cruise. According to the CDC website, all travelers should defer cruise ship travel at this time.

“Cruises put large numbers of people, often from countries around the world, in frequent and close contact with each other,” The CDC website states. “This can promote the spread of respiratory viruses, such as the virus that causes COVID-19. You may get sick from close contact with an infected person or by touching contaminated surfaces.”

And of course, the same hygiene rules apply to prevent the spread of viruses while traveling. Wash hands frequently and avoid touching your face.

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