HOUSTON - More Houstonians and area colleges are changing travel plans to avoid exposure to the Coronavirus.
The University of Houston says it has six students in its Learning Abroad program now on their way back from countries recently elevated to the CDC's Level 3 travel warning. UH is also restricting travel to those countries, which are China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran.
Texas Southern University sent us a statement saying they have one program modifying its summer plans to avoid traveling to East Asia. The school is still deciding whether they'll cancel the trip or go somewhere else, and deciding the fate of two other programs slated for travel to East Asia.
Rice University announced it is canceling all school-sponsored international spring break and other official international student travel until the CDC lifts the travel warnings.
Houston, Katy, Alief, Fort Bend, and Spring Branch Independent School Districts tell us they are not canceling or changing any field trips or planned travel for students or staff and are following the CDC recommendations.
Travel agents at AAA Texas say while some people are canceling trips, most others with concerns are simply changing their spring break or summer travel destinations.
"We're finding a lot of folks are choosing to travel elsewhere, changing their itineraries. AAA travel agents are working on that," said AAA Texas's Joshua Zuber.
Carnival Cruise Lines announced it is changing a cruise itinerary leaving from Galveston to sail to Key West, Florida instead of Jamaica and Grand Cayman.
Many airlines are waiving change and cancellation fees for a few weeks.
Buying travel insurance can offer travelers some protection, but it depends on the policy. Some will not cover canceling a trip simply over the fear of the virus.
"That's a case by case basis. Really make sure you understand your travel insurance policy and what the exclusions and inclusions are," explained Zuber.
There are three types of travel insurance: trip cancellation, health insurance, and medical evacuation. Experts recommend looking into all three. An emergency medical evacuation from a foreign country can cost upwards of $100,000.