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Travelers can expect ‘enhanced’ health screenings

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Travel from Europe to the United States will be suspended for 30 days starting Friday, and while it won’t apply to Americans or United Kingdom citizens trying to return to the states, they will be subject to “enhanced” health screenings.

Before traveling within the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants travelers to ask themselves before flying if they have a plan in place to take time off work or school in case they are exposed or become sick from COVID-19.

“We have a lot of concerns. We have a trip planned that has been canceled,” said Mark Fenimore, who was flying to to Ohio from Jacksonville International Airport.

“We were more concerned about being quarantined for up to two weeks or three weeks then we were catching a virus," said Gene Briscoe, who was flying home to Chicago. “Our small businesses -- we need to be home to run them.”

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No matter if they’re flying or taking a cruise, the coronavirus is a growing concern for travelers. Those flying through JAX told News4Jax, they are following CDC recommendations and staying aware.

While the CDC hasn’t issued advisories when traveling within the U.S., it said your exposure to COVID-19 can increase in crowded settings. The CDC said if someone had close contact with someone with the coronavirus, that person may be asked to stay home and avoid contact with others for up to 14 days after travel.

TSA said people heading to the airport can bring hand sanitizer through security. They can also bring individually wrapped and containers. Travelers can ask TSA agents to change their gloves as they’re walking through security.

Shirley Simmons lives in Jacksonville and was on vacation with her family on the Oasis of the Seas.

“They had to reroute due to Jamaica not letting us port, so we are in our back up destination which is Costa Maya,” Simmons said.

As Simmons and her family prepared to board the Royal Caribbean ship, employees conducted a health screening prior to getting on the ship and took a temperature reading of every guest.

“They’ve been doing so many precautions on the boat as far as making sure people are giving out hand sanitizer,” Simmons said. “Everybody’s having a fabulous time. I really think it’s about self accountability, making sure that you’re using the sanitizer, washing your hands.”

Several Princess Cruise ships were impacted by the virus. Princess is now suspending its 18 ships from operating for 60-days. Viking also suspending operations for river and ocean cruises through April 30.

If you have a flight or cruise planned that you now do not want to take because of the Coronavirus, every airline and cruise line has it own set of refund policies.


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