PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The threat of sickness has some thinking twice, especially when it comes to traveling. The Pennsylvania State Health Department says there are currently no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Philadelphia. Still, that didn’t stop international travelers landing in Philly from being on high alert.
The spread of the coronavirus is impacting worldwide travel and it’s not just China.
“It’s a little concerning,” said Dan DiStephano, who traveled from London.
“We did bring facemasks,” said Mandy Sauler, who also traveled from London.
Sauler and her boyfriend traveled across Europe. They returned on the same flight as a group of passengers traveling for work in Manchester, United Kingdom.
“We came from a sales conference in the U.K. and half of our international travelers couldn’t make it because of virus alerts and they were stuck in Milan and stuck elsewhere,” Bret Hatt said.
Hatt’s colleagues were screened at airports in Singapore and Dubai.
“So when you walk through you have to — if you stick out as a red thermal image, then you get pulled aside,” Hatt said.
AAA says there are now more health-related factors to consider before going abroad.
“They should see their health provider before they travel and certainly have all their health insurance documents with them when they’re traveling,” said Robert Sinclair, with AAA Northeast.
Many travel insurance companies are no longer providing coverage for coronavirus-related losses.
The CDC has since issued three warning levels: Warning Level 3, issued in China, is to avoid nonessential travel. Watch Level 1, issued in places like the United States, is to practice usual precautions.
If you register your plans with the State Department, it will alert you if circumstances change while you’re overseas.
“You have to wash your hands as much as possible. We had hand sanitizer with us the whole time,” Sauler said.
The novel coronavirus has killed at least 2,800 people worldwide, mostly in mainland China.
Although there are 62 confirmed cases in the United States, travelers within this country are not as phased.
“What are we supposed to do? It’s just like the flu. It’s just like anything else,” said Leandria Johnson, who flew from Atlanta.
American Airlines, which is the largest commercial flight carrier at the airport, released a statement that reads in part: “The safety of our customers and team members remains our top priority. We are in close contact with the U.S. Customs & Border Protection, CDC and public health officials, and will continue to coordinate with them on any required health and safety-related measures.”
American Airlines has implemented travel waivers to provide additional flexibility to customers with travel plans to China, Italy and South Korea.