Concerns over COVID-19 may impact spring break travel

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CHICAGO — As concerns over COVID-19 continue to grow, so does the uncertainty of whether or not to go on spring break trips.

There are currently no travel restrictions within the United States, but the state department’s issued numerous advisories for international travel, which is impacting plans for many.

Millions of Americans plan trips around this time of year because of spring break. Lora Andrews and her fiancé are reconsidering their group trip at the end of the month to Vegas for a pre-wedding party, in part because of pre-existing health issues. 

“I have some auto immune issues, and members of my bridal party either are in close contact or take care of people who have high risk of complications of the virus,” Andrews said. 

Concerns over the virus spreading is a concern for many, and most major air carriers are loosening cancellation restrictions and fees in the last week. 

For many, the money already paid will play a role in how they view their choice.

“There’s some financial loss. There are plane tickets, so we’ll probably get our points refunded,” Andrews said. “If we cancel, we’ll be out maybe 300 and some odd dollars. But I’d rather be out $300 then know that I was the cause of someone else getting this and having adverse complications.”

Northwestern University is among a number of schools, within the past few days, canceled all non-essential school sponsored trips abroad for now. 

“Our students must be even more disappointed than we are about this, and we are now working with them to resolve any difficulties they may face as a result of the late cancellation,” the school said.

For Andrews and others, it’s wait and see on how officials deal with the outbreaks and where they are

“I’m still holding out hope. Still trying to be optimistic I told my bridal party that we would make the call by March 15 whether we are going to go or not,” she said.

On Monday, Gov. JB Pritzker issued a disaster proclamation after four additional cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Chicago. The total in Illinois is now at 11.

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