Latest News on the Zika Virus and Travel to Latin America

 

The Zika Virus is spreading rapidly through Latin America and South America

The Zika Virus is spreading rapidly through Latin America and South America

Information about the Zika virus changes daily. In January, the CDC issued a Travel Alert Level 2 for pregnant women traveling to many Latin American Countries recommending they consider postponing their trips to affected areas. February 1st, WHO (World Health Organization) declared the Zika virus and its potential link to birth defects to be an international health emergency. February 2nd, the first reported the CDC confirmed the first case of sexually transmitted Zika virus. New advisories are expected to come later this week, suggesting men who are traveling in effected areas use condoms.

If you are considering travel to one of the affected areas, consult with your doctor about the health risks and make sure you take precautions against mosquitos. Protect your travel investment and purchase travel insurance with a cancel for any reason provision. Currently, you would not be covered for a medical reason if you chose not to travel because of concern that you might contract the Zika virus. Fear of catching a disease is not a covered reason for cancellation on any travel insurance policy sold in the industry. Be aware that to get cancel for any reason coverage, you must purchase this type of policy within 14 days of your initial trip deposit.

If you have already made travel plans, but want to cancel your trip because of the Zika virus, your travel provider may be willing to either let you postpone or cancel your trip. Delta Airlines states “customers may qualify for a change to alternate destinations, travel dates or a refund. Customers may make fee-waived changes to future reservations/tickets. However, changes need to be made by February 29, 2016.

American Airlines policy states, “If you’re pregnant and traveling to a destination in Latin America that’s affected by the Zika virus, you and your travel companions can request a refund. Just provide a doctor’s note confirming your pregnancy when you request a refund.”

United Airlines, JetBlue, and Virgin America have all stated that they will waive change fees or offer refunds to pregnant women and those who plan to become pregnant and their traveling companions.

If you’ve already booked a cruise, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian are allowing passengers to reschedule.