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Coronavirus And Travel: What Should You Do?

Coronavirus And Travel: What Should You Do?

With widespread panic about the coronavirus, I thought a timely look at the facts was in order. There is disinformation, but there are also more than 102,471 COVID-19 cases worldwide, with at least 3,491 deaths. On the flip side, 57,463 people have recovered. Here are some immediate questions answered.
Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay 

What's my risk of coronavirus exposure if I travel now?

That depends on where you are headed. First, since the risk level can change daily, you'll want to consult the government's travel advisories.

• In Canada, you can check here for Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Travel advice
• In the USA, you can check the CDC website

As I write this, there is an elevated risk associated with traveling to, and travelers from, these locations:

• China
• Italy (Northern Italy)
• South Korea
• Iran
• Singapore (Canada only)
• Hong Kong
• Japan

In some cases, your flight may already be cancelled. Air Canada, British Airways, and others have already axed all flights to the Chinese mainland for the time being.

In some areas, you may be subject to specific entry and exit restrictions because of the risk of contagion. Check with the foreign diplomatic mission of your destination online to be sure.

Can I cancel my trip without paying a huge penalty?

That again will depend on what type of ticket you purchased (i.e. a refundable ticket) and whether or not you added that kind of coverage to your travel insurance package.

TIP: Standard travel insurance, even with trip cancellation, does not cover the case where you are afraid of an outbreak at your destination. For that, you will have to add CFAR - or Cancel For Any Reason - coverage. That type of coverage usually has to be purchased when you buy the trip, and at least a couple of weeks before the trip. (Note: CFAR policies are illegal in the state of New York.)

NOTE: In Canada, two of the major carries - Manulife and TuGo - have stopped selling new coverage for trip cancellation due to fears of the coronavirus. In usual cases, trip cancellation is covered in the event of a travel advisory, but now that it is a known issue, other than existing cases so far, the companies say it is no longer covered by their policies. Again, that does not apply if CFAR insurance is purchased.

The same rule applies if you are already on your vacation, and an outbreak occurs nearby - you want to come home early. A regular policy will leave you out-of-pocket. A CFAR policy will at least reimburse the additional charges you incur when you book your new flight home.
Image by jodeng from Pixabay 

Can I change my flight/booking?

Some airlines, notably American, Delta, Frontier, Alaska Airlines, JetBlue, Hawaiian, Spirit, and United Airlines in the US, along with Lufthansa, Air France, and KLM, will let you reschedule your booking with no or minimal fees. In Canada, Air Canada and WestJet are following suit.

• Some restrictions may apply.

Is domestic travel safer?

It may be...for now. However, with domestic cases on the rise in North America, it may not present any less of a risk.

What basic measures can I take?

First, educate yourself on the virus. It is not airborne, and can only be transferred via direct contact with bodily fluid (such as bits of mucus that may fly into the air when someone coughs).

• Wash your hands well and frequently;
• Cough into your elbow;
• Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.

Whether you head out on the road, or stay at home, stay safe!


What Else Is Hot This Week?

Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company Spring 2013 Toronto Performances

From a media release:

The new season brings
Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company
to new heights and new audiences

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
April 25-28, 2013 - Annual Toronto Season - World Premiere of Portales

TORONTO : Following on the heels of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's (EESDC) 30th anniversary year where its production Aguas/Waters was named one of the top five dance shows of 2012 by NOW Magazine, the early months of 2013 are full of excitement and possibility for Esmeralda and the company, which brings the finest flamenco and Spanish Classical Dance to Toronto stages.

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
Company dancers Esmeralda Enrique and Paloma Cortés perform Spanish Classical dance with the celebrated Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir for A Night in Madrid featuring the Iberian flavoured music of composer Luigi Boccherini who made his home in Spain. His work is infused with the sounds of Spanish and gypsy folk music.

March 20-24 …

Polina Semionova to Appear as Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre

From a media release:


New York - Polina Semionova, a principal dancer with Berlin State Opera Ballet, will debut as a Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre for the 2011 Metropolitan Opera House season, it was announced January 14, 2011 by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. With ABT, Semionova will perform Kitri in Don Quixote at the matinee on Saturday, May 21, opposite David Hallberg as Basilio, and the dual role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake on Saturday evening, July 2, opposite Hallberg as Prince Siegfried.

Born in Moscow, Semionova studied at the Bolshoi Ballet School before joining the Berlin State Opera Ballet as the company’s youngest principal dancer. Her repertoire with Berlin State Opera Ballet includes Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, Nikiya in La Bayadère, Marie in The Nutcracker, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Swanilda in Coppélia, Kitri in Don Quixo…

So You Can't Go: Six Ways To Travel Virtually

So You Can't Go:
Six Ways To Travel VirtuallyTravel is limited for most of us in the world these days. For Canadians, it depends on the province you live in, but with the border to the US still closed, and other options limited at best, virtual travel from the couch can provide at least a view with a difference at a time when you may well need it most. Google Cardboard – VR On A BudgetYou don't need a lot of cash to get into travel via virtual reality. Google Cardboard is a line of VR viewers that are, well, made of cardboard, and are priced starting at $12CAD.If you check out this link, you'll find out how to download the software to your smartphone.At this link, you can get yourself an actual Google Cardboard for a hands-free VR experience. Google Cardboard apps offer a variety of ways to experience our beautiful planet, including Google Earth itself, which can take you anywhere, along with apps to view museums and cultural artifacts, and more.Ascape VRAscape has a huge l…

Harlem Stage Digital Event: A Drop Of Midnight October 13 & 15 2020

From a release:Harlem Stage Digital Event:
A Drop Of Midnight
October 13 & 15 2020A two-part conversation with Jason ‘Timbuktu’ Diakité and his creative team around the developmental process of creating his autobiographical theater project, A Drop of Midnight. In this conversation Jason will take us on his journey to becoming one of Sweden’s chart-topping hip-hop artists and a best-selling author. He’ll also share the story of how a mixtape from Brooklyn traveled across the waters to the tiny village of Lund, Sweden and altered the course of his life forever. We will examine the impact of hip hop music and culture on the globe. How has hip-hop united communities of color globally?  How do you translate a personal story into a universal truth? How do you build a creative team? How has the current climate of social justice informed your artistic practice? Jason will read excerpts from the play and share some of the music. October 13—Part IIn this conversation A Drop of Midnight author…

Blues/Rock: The Cole Patenaude Band - Are You Happy Now? (Independent / 24 July 2020)

The Cole Patenaude Band - Are You Happy Now?
(Independent / 24 July 2020) Buy the CD Big vocals and infectious grooves make up this release from The Cole Patenaude Band. It's modern blues with a classic sensibility, anchored by solid musicianship and upbeat songwriting. 
Keyboard player Dean Thiessen and Patenaude on guitar trade off solos and melodic lines to keep it interesting through a range of bluesy style, incorporating rock and country, with a pop song sheen on songs like For the Money. Would You Be Mine is more Elvis-esque rockabilly, while How To Love is an acoustic song with folky storytelling lyrics and feel. 
Compromise is a standout track, with a snarly guitar line and a churchy organ swelling underneath a nice bluesy beat. Horns aren't credited in the notes, but I swear I heard some on this and a couple of the other tracks. 
As a husband, father, and full-time mechanic based in Langley, British Columbia, finding the time to make his music was a challenge…