MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The World Health Organization announced today that the coronavirus has reached it’s “highest level of alert.”

Eight more countries have reported their first cases of the virus. That includes Mexico, which now has two reported cases.

Airlines are getting ready for another busy season at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. But despite coronavirus concerns, it’s travel as usual for vacationers.

Some say they need to see more before re-thinking their plans, like traveler Eric Bartle.

“There probably have to be a lot more cases and more widespread I guess. It’s not too much of a concern, no,” Bartle said.

Manager of Acendas Vacations Justine Sjurseth, says the Eden Prairie travel agency hasn’t seen many cancellations for spring breakers or people looking to go to warm weather destinations. But cancellations for European travel are up.

“We do a lot of travel to Italy so we have a lot of people concerned with travel there,” Sjurseth said.

The State Department has advised practicing quote “enhanced precautions” if you’re heading to Italy, Iran or Japan, and no non-essential travel to China or South Korea.

“We’ve had several bookings cancelled out-right because they are afraid of the coronavirus,” Sjurseth said.

But Sjurseth said unless you have a compromised immune system or pre-existing condition, she’s not necessarily recommending you cancel.

“If you have the flexibility to wait a bit to see how it plays out, do that,” Sjurseth said.

Instead of booking trips six to nine months in advance, Sjurseth is advising her clients to book closer to their travel dates. She also said buying travel insurance is a good idea.

“We’ve just seen every body pause for a minute and that’s what we are recommending. Don’t make any dramatic decisions until you have to,” Sjurseth said.

John Lauritsen

Comments