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Coronavirus travel and cruise ship quarantine questions answered

As Diamond Princess cruise ship passengers begin to disembark after a 14-day coronavirus quarantine in Japan, and MS Westerdam passengers have been cleared to depart Cambodia after a passenger who had been on the ship tested positive for the virus, questions remain about travel, especially cruising, during the coronavirus outbreak.  

The number of confirmed cases in the coronavirus outbreak racing across China and seeping around the globe rolled past 75,000 on Wednesday, and more than 2,000 people have died

As of Tuesday, 542 cases of the virus had been identified among the 3,711 quarantined passengers and crew of Princess Cruises’ Diamond Princess, making the ship the site of the most infections outside of China.

USA TODAY reporters covering coronavirus, including travel reporters Morgan Hines and Curtis Tate, took to Reddit Tuesday to answer some questions. Questions and answers have been edited for clarity. 

What are some precautions we can take while traveling to Asian countries? Are people overreacting by canceling preplanned trips?

One thing to remember is that you may not be covered by travel insurance if you decide to cancel because of the outbreak. You’ll have to pay extra for cancel-for-any-reason coverage. That costs 40-50% more, and it will cover about 75% of your expenses.

I’ve spoken with frequent cruisers and cruise planners and it all seems to be up in the air in terms of the future. Some are on the fence about taking future cruises and some are saying you can’t let the fear of something like this to stop you from keeping your plans.


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