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Tips on traveling with coronavirus outbreak

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DULUTH, MN. -- Right now, many of you have spring break on the mind. But with coronavirus concerns growing, so are hesitations over booking vacations abroad and here in the United States.

The recent coronavirus outbreak is causing concerns for those all over the world, and forcing many to rethink their travel plans. But at Divine Destinations, a Duluth travel agency, they say their clients have yet to cancel their plans.

"We really don't have a lot of people actually traveling to China. In Duluth we don't get a lot of requests for that. We definitely planned it for people in the past, we sell the world, we can put you wherever you want to go. But for the most part people that are calling in are going to the Caribbean and Europe and it hasn't really spread that much there", said Natasha Perkerwicz, a travel agent for Divine Destinations.

While buying travel insurance can cover lost, stolen, or damaged items, or trip cancellations, travel agent Natasha Perkerwicz says it doesn't cover a refund if you decide not to go because you're worried about the virus.

"As long as the airlines are flying there, you can't cancel because you simply don't want to go on your trip anymore", said Perkerwicz.

But, she says there are other options for backing out of your planned trip.

We can certainly advised on people that if they start saying we aren't really sure because of the coronavirus then we just say if you want to be protected, we will get you a cancel for any reason policy", said Perkerwicz.

At this point, federal agencies report travel to China and South Korea is highly discouraged, and precautions should be taken for those hoping to visit Italy, Japan, Iran, and Hong Kong.

Perkerwicz says researching your destination and paying close attention to restrictions or other public policies at your destination will also help inform decision-making.

While there have been no cases of the virus confirmed in Minnesota and one in Wisconsin, the state Health Department says it's likely that the virus will cause a global outbreak.

DHS is updating their website regularly with the latest information, including how to prepare and protect yourself and others.

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Ryan Compeau

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