The month of March means families around Dallas-Fort Worth are getting ready for spring break, as the outbreak of coronavirus grows in the U.S. and in countries such as China, South Korea, Italy and Iran.
James Hill said he and his teenage daughter are going to spend spring break in Milan.
“We’re leaving Saturday and we’re ready to go,” said Hill. “I’m not that concerned about it, it seems like it’s a bad flu.”
The U.S. State Department has issued a Level 3 warning for people traveling to Italy, which according to its website means to reconsider the trip.
There are some places in Italy that have a Level 4 warning, which urges people not to travel to Lombardy and Veneto.
Hill said they have hand sanitizer and bought some N95 masks. He said his biggest concern is having to be quarantined and his daughter missing school.
“She’s actually excited about the possibility of being stuck in Milan, so if we got quarantined in Milan she would be pretty happy,” Hill said.
Travel agencies are noticing an influx of phone calls from concerned customers.
“Definitely a lot of people with questions we have had some cancellations and certainly there’s been a slow down in bookings as well because people are just afraid, I think needlessly so, but yeah people are afraid,” said Catherine Banks, co-owner of Legacy Travel in Plano.
Banks said they have some customers who are traveling to Italy who are a little nervous. She said they have one customer who upgraded their cabin on a cruise to one with a balcony just in case they’re quarantined.
“If you look on the State Department website and they’re saying that the area you’re going to is affected, you need to consider that. If you’re going somewhere that doesn’t even have a big influx of it and you’re going, even a month from now, I would say, stay steady,” Banks said. “I just think, part take a deep breath and remember what all the experts are saying, it’s important to wash your hands.”
She said it’s also important to consult with a physician if people are extremely concerned about an area that they’re traveling to.
American Airlines announced it would waive change fees for customers with travel plans to Italy, China or South Korea.