Is It Safe To Visit Houston Due To The Coronavirus?
Updated March 5, 2020 at 7:58p
I wanted to write this post to answer questions I’ve been asked and you may have about the Coronavirus in Houston during the worldwide Coronavirus outbreak. If your question is not covered, please leave a comment below and I’ll address it. But first some facts from the expert organizations:
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- City of Houston Department of Health
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- International Air Transportation Association (IATA)
Is it safe to travel to Houston?
Yes. All services are open and its business as usual. People are going about their daily activities as normal. I would recommend though that you up your personal hygiene quotient. Cover your mouth when you cough and/or sneeze, use hand wipes and keep your work surfaces clean. I always wash my hands after I’ve used public transit, I recommend that for you as well.
Also, its pollen season and Houston is the pollen central! In just a day, there are blossoms everywhere and the cars have a green coating from the pollen. So you will see people sneezing and coughing as they are allergic to the pollen.
Are there anyone reported illnesses in the Houston area?
Yes, there are two persons confirmed in Houston and one person in the Fort Bend area that is under observation. More details.
Are there any flight cancellations to/from/through Houston?
Houston has two major airports, Houston-Intercontinental in the north and Houston-Hobby in the south, at the time of this writing, they are both open and operational. The bus services that serve Houston are also still operational.
A number of flights have been cancelled or schedules have been reduced, so its imperative you check with your airlines before you travel. If your flight is cancelled, you will be contacted by the airline for rebooking and you are eligible for a refund.
Also, some U.S. airlines have waived change fees for tickets bought in the month of March regardless of where you are flying. Ensure that you download the App for each airline as well as ensure that your contact information in the App is up-to-date.
You can see the airlines that serve each airport here.
Is My Cruise Operating Out of Houston/Galveston?
I recommend that you contact your cruise line. Some have issued waivers while others have not said anything.
Check the schedules here for the Port of Galveston.
Are local transportation operational?
Yes all local transportation is operational as well as shared ride services.
Are the museums, parks, tourists attractions open?
Yes. Business as usual. You can check out the museums and attractions here.
Are there any events that are cancelled?
So far, one major conference is cancelled, but no other events. The Rodeo is still on.
Are the schools/colleges/universities closed?
Not at the moment. However, some will be having Spring Break over the next weeks.
If I feel ill what should I do?
If it’s an emergency, call 911. If not, contact your doctor or the nearest Urgent Care or Hospital. You can also get in touch with the Houston Police.
Do I need Travel Insurance?
This is a personal thing, but I have an annual plan as I travel a lot. You should always get travel insurance when you travel regardless of how short the trip is or where you are going. It’s just standard travel practice.
The insurance companies have different statements on what’s covered, etc. I recommend checking the information out before you buy the insurance. Also, your credit card may have coverage, but again, this varies and you have to ensure that you’ve bought the vacation with the card in question.
There are also “cover for any reason” policies that will reimburse anywhere from 50%-75% of your cost. More details at TripInsurance.com.
Basically, unless you contract the Coronavirus before or during your trip, you won’t be covered, but you the companies you are using for your trip may have waivers that will cover you.