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Tampa, FL – As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to make headlines, many Americans are wondering what to do about their travel plans.
Although the decision to travel is a personal one, AAA is providing information on travel safety and insurance to help travelers make informed decisions.
“This remains a very fluid situation, with things changing every day,” said Megan Cooper, spokesperson, AAA – The Auto Club Group.
“Travel providers are adjusting everything from services, to policies and pricing, many of which could benefit travelers. That’s why it’s important to stay in contact with a trusted travel advisor, to see what your options are before rushing to make any potentially costly changes on your own,” stated Cooper.
Updated March 14th, 2020
Updated March 12th, 2020
AAA Roadside Assistance Policy
Out of an abundance of caution, AAA is taking preventative healthcare measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. AAA service providers may be limiting contact with members during service calls. In addition, if you are sick or have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, please notify AAA at the time of placing your service request.
There are currently no official travel restrictions within the U.S., but officials recommend that travelers, particularly older adults and those with underlying health issues, avoid situations that put them at increased risk for more severe disease.
The Department of State issued a global health advisory March 11, recommending U.S. citizens reconsider travel abroad due to the global impact of COVID-19. Many areas throughout the world are now experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and taking action that may limit traveler mobility, including quarantines and border restrictions. Even countries, jurisdictions, or areas where cases have not been reported may restrict travel without notice.
President Donald Trump announced the suspension of entry of most foreign nationals who have been in certain European countries* in the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival to the United States. The order excludes travelers arriving from the United Kingdom. U.S. Citizens and legal permanent residents will be permitted to return from the Schengen* area. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be issuing instructions requiring U.S. passengers that have been in the Schengen area to travel through select airports where the U.S. Government has implemented enhanced screening procedures. See the DHS website for further details.
*Affected countries include: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
In response to government announcements, travel providers have been reassessing policies and operations. Changes continue to be announced and include additional adjustments to airline change fees, and temporary suspension of certain cruise and tour itineraries. For the latest information, check with specific travel providers’ websites.
Updated March 9th, 2020
Travel – Is it still safe?
AAA encourages travelers to make informed decisions about their travel plans.
“The personal decision to travel is made more challenging by the evolving situation surrounding COVID-19,” said Debbie Haas, Vice President of Travel for AAA-The Auto Club Group. “AAA travel advisors stand ready to assist travelers in navigating the many options that are evolving daily. Also, by letting our advisors know of your interests, our team can watch for extraordinary values that match your future travel desires and be by your side as you plan your vacations.”
Packing Tips for Peace of Mind
Travel Insurance – Does it cover the coronavirus?
“Unfortunately, there is no ‘one size fits all’ for this subject,” Cooper continued. “Coverage options can vary based on the type of policy you purchased, when you bought it, and your trip’s departure date and destination. However, there are some travel insurance providers that are expanding their policies to include aspects of coverage for claims related to the coronavirus, such as for emergency medical care or transportation, should a person become ill with COVID-19 while traveling . Contact your travel advisor or insurance provider directly to review your policy and understand what is covered.”
Travel insurance generally excludes epidemics. If you have a trip already booked, check with your travel providers (cruise line, airline, hotel, etc.) to see what waivers they have put in place. If you are planning a trip, connect with a travel agent to understand options. Depending on your situation, there could be some travel insurance options for your needs.
No matter where you travel, make sure you are taking everyday preventive measures to help stop the spread of respiratory diseases.
About AAA – The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, banking, financial services, and travel offerings to over 13.5 million members across 13 U.S. states, the province of Quebec and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana.
ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 60 million members in the United States and Canada whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android.
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