Louisville family adjusting ‘trip of a lifetime’ plans overseas due to coronavirus concerns

Louisville family adjusting ‘trip of a lifetime’ plans overseas due to coronavirus concerns

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – As new cases of the coronavirus continue to break out in different countries, one Louisville family who had plans to travel abroad are thinking twice about their trip.

Shelly Briones was looking forward to taking her daughter to Greece for spring break in a month; she booked the trip a year ago.

"It was going to be a trip of a lifetime," Briones told WAVE 3 News.

She's thinking twice about her trip now.

“Just all the news on the coronavirus,” Briones said. “We started kind of paying attention two to three weeks ago. We don’t know if it is safe to travel internationally.”

University of Louisville Professor of Infectious Diseases Dr. Ruth Carrico says Briones’ concern is valid.

“Every country is going to have the opportunity to be impacted,” Dr. Carrico said.

The CDC reports people should avoid nonessential travel to China and South Korea right now. They are also advising that people practice enhanced precautions if they are traveling to Japan, Iran and Italy.

With Italy being so close to Greece, Briones is worried.

"People hop back and forth from Italy to Greece all the time,” she said. “We've been kind of like, ‘Oh, now what?’"

Briones’s fear is not only about being infected with the coronavirus. She but said the potential for travel restrictions that could affect itineraries and being quarantined would prevent her and her daughter from getting home to her other children.

She is grateful she paid for travel insurance when she booked her trip through Expedia, and she can get her money back when she cancels.

Briones was looking forward to making memories with her daughter in Greece and said she knows breaking the news will be disappointing for her.

However, the mother knows memories can always be made elsewhere.

"We may do something that neither of the kids have done before and go do that," Briones said.

The CDC suggests people pay for travel insurance when booking flights and hotels.

People traveling abroad can enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. It is free and allows U.S. citizens traveling or living abroad to receive the latest security updates from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. For more information click here.

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