Coronavirus: Your guide to travel warnings, flights, cruises, hotels


The world has been scrambling to contain the new coronavirus, which has infected tens of thousands of people and killed nearly 3,000.

The travel industry in turn faces an unprecedented situation. What is the U.S. government recommending? How can airlines, cruise lines and hotels accommodate travelers?

While the coronavirus situation is fluid, the government and the industry are taking and recommending precautionary measures to both assist travelers and stem the outbreak.

Here's a look at what the U.S. State Department, airlines, cruise lines and hotels are telling passengers amid the coronavirus outbreak. We will be updating this story as we learn more information.

Coronavirus travel warnings from CDC, State Department

The State Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are increasingly warning travelers about coronavirus. Here's a look at the most recent warnings from the CDC and State Department.

China. In January the State Department issued a level 4 travel advisory ("do not travel") - its most severe warning - for all of China. The CDC recommends travelers avoid nonessential travel to China, a level 3 warning, also its most severe warning. This excludes Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.

South Korea. The CDC is warning against travel to South Korea because of the large number of cases there. On Monday, the CDC issued a level 3 advisory, which warns to "avoid nonessential travel" to the East Asian country.

On Saturday, the State Department updated its advisory for the country to a level 2, "exercise increased caution," also citing the coronavirus spread.

Italy. The CDC has Italy at a level 2 alert, updated Sunday, meaning "practice enhanced precautions." This means older adults and people with chronic medical conditions may want to postpone nonessential travel. The agency recommends proper hand-washing procedures and staying away from sick people.

The State Department's travel advisory for Italy, last updated Jan. 15, remains at a level 2 out of 4, meaning "exercise increased caution," citing "terrorism."

Japan. Japan, like Italy, also has a level 2 alert: "practice enhanced precautions." Like South Korea, the State Department updated its advisory for the country to a level 2 on Saturday.

Singapore. There is no CDC nor State Department advisory at this time for Singapore despite nearly 100recorded coronavirus cases.

Hong Kong. The CDC advisory for Hong Kong is only a level 1, a "watch," meaning travelers should exercise "usual precautions." The CDC specifically mentions it "does not recommend canceling or postponing travel."

Hong Kong, like South Korea and Japan, has a level 2 warning from the State Department due to coronavirus.

Iran. Iran has a level 2 CDC warning: "practice enhanced precautions." Iran's State Department advisory was last updated Dec. 26, 2019, with a "level 4" warning of "do not travel" on account of kidnapping, arrest, detention risk.

Cruise ships. The State Department is warning travelers to reconsider going on a cruise to or within Asia. The warning says cruisers will be faced with strict screening procedures, and travel restrictions could affect itineraries, ability to disembark and lead to quarantine procedures.

"While the U.S. government has successfully evacuated hundreds of our citizens in the previous weeks, repatriation flights should not be relied upon as an option for U.S. citizens under the potential risk of quarantine by local authorities," the statement also reads.

Coronavirus: Flights and waivers

United, American and Delta have suspended flights to China and Hong Kong into late April. Here's how the airlines are handling travel waivers.

United. United has travel waivers in place for China and South Korea on account of the coronavirus, with specific waivers in place for Hong Kong and Wuhan. The waivers vary by date and refund particulars.

American. American has similar waivers in place for the aforementioned locations.

Delta. Delta has waivers in place for Beijing and Shanghai in China and Seoul, South Korea. Tickets need to be reissued on or before May 31, and travel has to begin no later than May 31.

Airport screening. U.S. citizens who have traveled in China within the last 14 days will be re-routed to one of 11 designated airports, where they will undergo enhanced health screening procedures.

The airports are: John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York; Chicago O'Hare International Airport; San Francisco International Airport; Seattle-Tacoma International Airport; Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu; Los Angeles International Airport in California; Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; Washington-Dulles International Airport in Virginia; Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey; Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport; and Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

Coronavirus: Cruise travel updates

Norwegian and Royal Caribbean International cruise lines both announced they would bar passengers holding passports from China, Hong Kong or Macao. These measures are in addition to screening and other preventative protocols adopted by trade association Cruise Lines International Association, which represents about 90% of the ocean-going cruise ships in the world.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings announced last week it would cancel all voyages in Asia across its three cruise brands through the summer months due to the coronavirus outbreak ,and that it will temporarily remove the company's ships from the region.

Cruise Critic has a comprehensive look at itinerary changes, cruise cancellations and what each cruise line is doing.

How hotels are handling coronavirus

Marriott is waiving fees through March 15 for guests with reservations at mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and Taiwan hotels, as well as guests from those locations headed to other Marriott properties around the world.

IHG is also issuing waivers, and Airbnb has a coronavirus guide on its website.

Hilton had said it closed about 150 of its hotels in China.

Contributing: Cydney Henderson, Hannah Yasharoff, Dawn Gilbertson and Julia Thompson, USA TODAY; Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus travel: Advisory, flights, cruises, hotels info


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