Published Feb 25, 2020 12:00AM

The fast-moving coronavirus outbreak likely has some travelers looking to cancel or alter upcoming trips. Here’s what you should know before you do.


Travelers who have had their plans thwarted due to coronavirus-related itinerary changes (such as the sweeping travel restrictions throughout China, the cancellation of the Venice Carnival, and the numerous events and gatherings throughout the world that have been called off or postponed) need to know what avenues they can take. And those who are nervous about upcoming trips due to the coronavirus outbreak have a few things to consider before canceling or changing their plans. Depending on where you are traveling to, how you are traveling, and what kind of travel insurance you did (or didn’t) get, the options will be different.

The destination matters 

Whether you’re looking to change or cancel an upcoming trip to China or Italy (where there’s been a more recent but smaller outbreak reported) or to other destinations, the options will vary—and here’s why. There’s a big difference between your trip being canceled and you deciding to cancel your trip.

In the case of China, where Wuhan in the Hubei province has been identified as the epicenter of the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak (officially known as COVID-19), quarantines and travel bans have severely limited travel into and out of the province and the country. As officials work to contain the spread of the virus, numerous airlines have canceled their flights to and from China altogether, including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines.

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