Coronavirus is a global concern. The total number of cases has now reached 80,980 and nearly 3,000 have died across the world. Flights bring holidaymakers into contact with great numbers of other people, possibly upping the risk of contracting the virus. A travel expert has now warned that airports are “biohazard cauldrons.”
“What happens if we get locked down” is more of a concern for holidaymakers rather than actually contracting the virus, said Calder, “and that’s a real worry.”
The problem, at the moment, is that no one quite knows what’s next as the world is in unchartered waters when it comes to coronavirus.
Calder explained that this morning ABTA had released a statement saying “wait and see.”
As for the Italian family who was diagnosed with coronavirus in Tenerife, Calder said: “They would of course been out to lots of restaurants, they would have gone through the airports…”
“And if I may just reinforce – airports are the biohazard cauldrons of the world.”
Calder later appeared on Sky News to offer his advice to holidaymakers passing through airports.
“It’s a microbiological party,” he said, “everybody from around the world converges with their own personal germs and they all get mixed up, particularly at the security area.”
So what can you do to limit your potential contact with the virus?
“At airports be really careful in terms of not getting too close to people,” recommended Calder.
After security – especially if you’ve been handling the security trays that you put your liquids and phone in – “go and have a good old wash with proper soap and water because that’s probably the biggest danger you’re going to encounter in your entire, wonderful holiday,” he cautioned.
Calder also warned against using cash while at the airport.
“Keep a distance from anyone who looks ill and if you can pay for food and drink with contactless rather than handling cash,” he advised.
Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, also shared his travel advice today.
“People are understandably concerned about how their travel plans will be impacted by coronavirus, and a lack of clear and timely information has left many travellers confused about their options,” he said.
“While the government has now updated its advice to cover the Italian locations that have experienced an outbreak, those travelling to nearby cities like Milan or Verona still won’t be able to cancel and claim on their travel insurance, nor will those travelling to Tenerife. However, if you have a pre-existing medical condition, you may be able to cancel and claim on your travel insurance based on advice from your doctor.
“With thousands of holidaymakers already worrying about whether to cancel upcoming holidays, the government must ensure it is reacting quickly to developments in the spread of the virus to avoid any further confusion for travellers.”