COVID-19 and Travel: Answers to Travelers’ Questions

Those protocols don’t seem to have been followed on the Diamond Princess, the cruise boat that was quarantined in Yokohama, Japan, for two weeks. The quarantine has been criticized by experts for failing to keep Covid-19 from spreading between passengers and crew members, and two passengers on the ship have died. “But that doesn’t mean the ship can’t be sanitized before taking on new passengers,” Mr. Klein said. “It is no more difficult than a land-based hotel.”

W.H.O. says that if you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of someone with a suspected coronavirus infection. The organization also suggests wearing the mask if you are the person sneezing or coughing.

“Masks are only effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water,” the organization says in its guide about how to best choose a mask, use it and dispose of it.

The type of mask also makes a difference. An N95 mask reduces a wearer’s exposure to airborne particles, from small particle aerosols to large droplets, according to the C.D.C., which has a guide for understanding the differences between a regular surgical mask and an N95 respirator.

Bizarre as it may sound, standard travel insurance doesn’t cover losses caused by a global health crisis — even one that’s been declared “a public health emergency of international concern” by W.H.O. and for which the C.D.C. has issued a Level 3 travel notice recommending that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China.

When it comes to travel insurance, so-called Cancel For Any Reason upgrades are the best course here. But they’re also very expensive and tend to cover only 50 to 75 percent of your trip, said Stan Sandberg, an industry expert and co-founder of, a site that allows travelers to compare and buy travel insurance online.

“It’s important to note that with Cancel For Any Reason coverage, the insurance policy must be purchased within a set amount of days — usually 21 days or fewer, depending on the plan — after making the first payment for the trip, and the entire prepaid and nonrefundable cost of the trip must be insured. The trip must also be canceled more than 48 hours before the departure date,” Mr. Sandberg said.

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