Concerns grow over travel amid coronavirus outbreak

Health

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Travel agent Carissa Gulyas is still busy booking trips to Europe in the midst of the coronavirus.

She said some travelers have concerns about their health.

“It’s not my decision,” said Gulyas, the owner of Your Wish Travel Co. “I’m just giving them the facts to make the best decisions for themselves.”

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She is in contact with hotels and tours in Italy to give her clients the latest information. The number of cases outside Asia have shot up over the past week, with Italy currently experiencing the largest outbreak in Europe.

The head of the country’s civil protection agency confirmed the death toll has risen to 11 and at least 322 people have been infected with coronavirus in Italy.

“They are closing the churches, the Duomo,” said Gulyas. “Anything that is historical and where people would most likely want to go.”

Gulyas advised her clients to get travel insurance.

“If you decide not to go [and] you don’t have any travel insurance, you are basically on your own, especially if you are traveling in the future in April or May. We don’t know what’s going to happen at those points.”

She added standard travel insurance policies will not cover trip cancellation due to fear of contracting the coronavirus.

More information on the travel advisory can be found online.

Some insurance companies may have a policy that includes a “cancel for any reason.” Italy is the second most popular destination for American students studying abroad.

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Dozens of students at the University of New Haven are coming back from studying at the university’s campus in Prato, Italy.

“The University made the recommendation to the students that they come home,” said Doug Whiting, the AVP Marketing and Public Relations at the University of New Haven. “The virus has not been confirmed in the Tuscany region yet but the are cases in Florence which is nearby and north of the country.”

Students will be able to complete their classes online.

“The students who choose to come home, the 60 who will be arriving home in the states on Friday will be asked to go directly to their homes and not come to campus for a period of 14 days,” Whiting added.

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