Coronavirus Travel Resources

Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), many airlines have suspended flights and offered free changes or refunds for travel to impacted areas. We’ve collected some resources to help our members make sense of it all. While all info is accurate at the time of publishing—and we’ll do our best to keep it up to date—you should always verify facts with the airline, insurance provider, or a reputable source like the World Health Organization.
Last Updated: March 23, 2020
Introduction to COVID-19

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global health emergency over a new coronavirus officially known as COVID-19. First identified in China in December 2019, the virus can cause fever, difficulty breathing, severe cough, and pneumonia. As the virus has spread around the world, there’s been news of cruise ship passengers quarantined, museums closed and public gatherings canceled, travel restrictions and airport screenings implemented, flights cancelled, and other measures taken to slow the spread of the virus. 

Read more about the virus on the World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 resource page.

For travelers, this has led to a lot of uncertainty. Is it safe to travel to certain areas—or at all? What happens if your trip is canceled, or you don’t feel comfortable traveling and want to change your flight? 

We’ve collected some resources to help our members make some sense of it all. While all info is accurate at the time of publishing—and we’ll do our best to keep it up to date—you should always verify facts with the airline, insurance provider, or a source like the World Health Organization. 

What areas are impacted by COVID-19?

At the time of writing, COVID-19 has been reported in more than 140 countries, including the United States. The situation is rapidly changing, however, especially as testing becomes more widely available.

As the virus has spread, many countries, including areas of the US, have begun instituting lockdowns. Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands, Ireland, and many other countries have current lockdowns in place that: 

  • Require all museums, bars, restaurants, and other non-essential businesses to close
  • Restrict movement around the country, with some exceptions for necessary travel
  • Require people to stay inside during certain hours
  • Ban large gatherings and public events. 

Many countries, including the US, have also implemented restrictions on who can enter the country, and the US State Department has issued a Level 4 advisory for global travel, and recommend that all American abroad return home ASAP or be prepared to stay abroad without US support.

Here’s a list of those restrictions for Americans. We’ll keep this as up-to-date as possible but this is an ever-changing situation, so verify rules for your destination(s). Also note that these are the rules in place for travelers entering right now. In some cases the policies have an end date while in others they are in place until further notice as the countries monitor the situation to see when it's safe to lift these requirements.

Entry restrictions and quarantine requirements for foreign visitors

Anguilla

Anguilla is imposing a mandatory 14-day quarantine for those from affected areas (including the US).

Argentina

Argentina is halting all flights from Europe and the United States for at least 30 days and closing its borders to all incoming foreigners through at least April 17.

Australia

Australia has banned the entry of all foreigners. See more here. 

Austria

Austria has placed a ban on all arrivals from Italy, China's Hubei Province, Iran, and South Korea, except for visitors with a medical certificate no more than four days old that confirms they are not affected by coronavirus. Any traveler arriving from Italy, Switzerland, or Liechtenstein will need to provide a certificate confirming a negative test result. See more here. 

Barbados

Barbados is requiring all visitors to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Bolivia

Bolivia has closed its borders to non-residents through March 31.

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Bosnia & Herzegovina is requiring all visitors to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Brazil

Brazil’s government is asking all travelers to self-isolate for seven days upon arrival. See more here. 

British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands has closed its borders to those from affected regions including the US.

Cambodia

Cambodia is imposing a ban on foreign nationals arriving from the United States, Italy, Germany, Spain, and France until at least April 16. See more here. 

Canada

Canada has closed its borders to all non-citizens. Americans are allowed to enter but have been asked to suspend any non-essential travel to Canada. See more here. 

Chile

Chile has closed its borders to all foreigners. See more here.

Colombia

Beginning March 16, non-Colombian citizens and non-Colombian residents will be prohibited from arriving in Colombia until at least May 30. See more here.

Costa Rica

Effective March 18, Costa Rica is shutting down its borders to non-citizens and non-residents. The restrictions are expected to continue at least through April 12. See more here. 

Croatia

Foreign visitors who have been in China's Hubei Province, Germany's Heinsberg County, Iran, Italy, or South Korea's Daegu City and Cheongdo province in the past 14 days will be placed in government quarantine for 14 days at their own expense. Travelers from the US, Spain, and Sweden should self-isolate for two weeks. See more here. 

Czechia

Czechia has barred entry to non-residents from China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, Spain, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, UK, Norway, Denmark and France. See more here.

Denmark

Denmark has closed its border to foreigners from March 14 until April 13. See more here. 

Ecuador

As of March 16 Ecuador is banned entry of all travelers (citizens and residents included) for the next 21 days. See more here. 

El Salvador

El Salvador has banned entry to all foreigners, except legal permanent residents. See more here. 

Faroe Islands

Foreigners are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. 

Fiji

Fiji has closed its borders to those from affected regions including the US.

Germany

Germany will close its borders with Austria, Denmark, France, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

Ghana

Ghana is banning all foreigners  who have visited a country with at least 200 recorded cases of COVID-19 in the last 14 days. There will also be mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for anyone entering the country. See more here. 

Greece

All foreigners must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Greece closed its borders with Albania and North Macedonia, suspended flights from Italy and Spain are suspended, suspended ferries from Italy, and banned cruise ships. See more here.

Greenland

Greenland has banned the entry of all foreigners at least through April 3.

Guatemala

Guatemala announced on March 16 it was closing its borders to all foreigners for 15 days.

Hawaii

Hawaii's governor has asked that all non-resident visitors postpone their trips to Hawaii for 30 days; all visitors arriving to the islands are required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. See more here.

Hong Kong

Foreigners who have been in or through South Korea or China's Hubei Province in the past 14 days are not allowed to enter Hong Kong. All foreigners are required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

India

India is suspending all tourist visas. It is also enforcing a 14-day quarantine on all travelers who have been in China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, South Korea and Spain. See more here. 

Indonesia

Foreigners who have been in China, Italy, South Korea, and Iran in the past 14 days are not allowed to enter or transit through Indonesia.

Israel

Israel has denied foreign nationals entry into the country as of March 12. Permission to enter may be granted to those who can prove they can go into a 14-day isolation upon arrival, though this exception does not apply to foreign nationals coming from China, South Korea, Thailand, Italy, Macau, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, or Egypt. See more here. 

Italy

Passengers arriving as tourists are not allowed to enter via airports: Alessandria, Asti, Lombardy, Modena, Novara, Padova, Parma, Pesaro and Urbino, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, Rimini, Treviso-Venice, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, and Vercelli. Passengers with a temperature higher than 99.5 degrees are not allowed to board flights to the United States, and all travelers flying into Italy are subject to temperature screening in Italy’s major airports. See more here. 

Japan

Japan is banning entry on foreigners who have been in affected regions of China, South Kore, Switzerland, four states in Spain, Iceland, or Italy within the last 14 days. Starting March 21, travelers from the US as well as 38 countries in Europe will need to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. See more here. 

Jordan

Jordan has suspended all passenger air travel in and out of the kingdom starting March 17 until further notice. See more here. 

Kenya

The Kenyan has government announced the suspension of all travelers from countries that have reported COVID-19 cases through at least April 15. See more here. 

Latvia

At midnight on March 17, Latvia will close its borders to anyone who is not a citizen or legal resident. See more here. 

Lebanon

Lebanon has closed its borders until at least March 29.

Lithuania

Lithuania has closed the country’s borders to all foreign nationals, as part of a two-week nationwide quarantine beginning on March 14. See more here. 

Macau

Foreigners who have visited South Korea, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Japan, or Iran in the 14 days prior to their arrival are required to undertake a 14-day medical observation at a designated venue. 

Malaysia

Malaysia has banned all foreigners from entering or transiting through Malaysia until March 31. See more here.

Mexico

On March 20, it was announced that the United States was closing its border with Mexico to any nonessential travel.

Mongolia

Mongolia has closed its borders until at least April 30.

Morocco

Morocco has suspended all international flights and passenger ferry services coming in or out of the country. See more here.  

Namibia

The Namibian government is suspending flights to and from Qatar, Ethiopia, and Germany for 30 days.

Nepal

All foreigners who arrive in Nepal must self-quarantine for 14 days. See more here. 

Netherlands

The Dutch government has suspended flights from mainland China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy and South Korea. See more here. 

New Zealand

As of March 20, only New Zealand citizens, permanent residents, and their immediate families are allowed to enter the country. All people entering the country will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. See more here. 

Norway

Anyone traveling to Norway from outside the Nordic region must self-isolate for two weeks. Reuters also reports that foreigners arriving at Oslo airport will be banned from entry. See more here. 

Peru

Peru announced on March 16 it was closing its borders for 15 days. See more here. 

Philippines

The Philippines has shut down all travel into and out of the capital of Manila until April 14. See more here. 

Poland

Poland has banned all foreigners and suspended international air and rail services. See more here. 

Russia

Russia has banned the entry of all foreigners through May 1. See more here. 

Saudi Arabia

All international flights have been suspended for two weeks starting March 15. Foreigners who have transited through or have been in Bahrain, China, Taiwan, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Kenya, South Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Macau, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Turkey or the United Arab Emirates in the past 14 days are not allowed to enter. See more here. 

Serbia 

Serbia has declared a state of emergency which bans all foreign nationals from entering the country. Some airports and land border crossings are closed and anyone entering the country will need to quarantine for 14 days. Travelers from Switzerland, Iran, Romania, Spain, Germany, France, Austria, Slovenia, and Greece will be quarantined for 28 days. See more here. 

Slovakia

The Slovak Republic closed all three international airports and is requiring all travelers to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. See more here. 

South Africa

South Africa has closed its borders to US citizens.

Singapore

Singapore has banned the entry of short-term visitors and transit passengers. Singaporeans and permanent residents are required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival. See more here. 

Spain

Spain is closing its land borders (citizens and residents excluded) and direct flights from Italy to Spain are banned until March 25. See more here. 

Sri Lanka

Visas on arrival have been suspended and Jaffna International Airport has ceased international operations through March 30. The country has banned travelers coming  from Italy, Iran, South Korea, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Netherlands, Austria, United Kingdom, Belgium and Norway. See more here.

South Africa

Foreigners who have visited high-risk countries in the past 20 days will be denied a visa. 

South Korea

Foreigners who have been in China's Hubei Province in the past 14 days are banned,  Korean visas issued by the Wuhan Consulate in the Hubei Province and visas issued to nationals of Japan are invalidated. All travelers from Europe will be required to go through temperature checks, a medical survey, and download an app so their temperature can be monitored daily.

Switzerland

Foreigners will not be permitted to enter Switzerland from the border with Italy. See more here. 

Taiwan

Travelers from European countries in the Schengen Area and the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Dubai are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. See more here. 

Thailand

Travelers who have been in the United States within the prior 14 days are subject to self-monitoring and reporting requirements. Thailand has suspended its visa exemption policies for travelers from Hong Kong, South Korea and Italy, while visa on arrival has been stopped for 18 countries: Bulgaria, Bhutan, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu and China. Under the new measures, travelers must apply for visas in advance and present a medical certificate proving they are free of coronavirus. See more here. 

Turkey

Turkey has halted travel to and from nine European countries: Germany, Spain, France, Austria, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands. Foreigners who have transited through or been in Austria, Belgium, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, South Korea or Sweden in the past 14 days are not allowed to enter or transit through Turkey. See more here. 

Ukraine

Ukraine has suspended all commercial passenger travel, including flights, trains, and buses, to and from Ukraine. All foreigners are barred from entering the country. See more here. 

United Arab Emirates

All passenger flights in the UAE will be suspended for two weeks as of March 25.

Uruguay

All passengers arriving from China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Iran, Spain, Italy, France and Germany must go into mandatory quarantine for 14 days. See more here. 

Venezuela

Venezuela will suspend all flights from Colombia and European countries for at least a month. See more here. 

Vietnam

Travelers who have been in the 26 European countries in the Schengen Area, plus the UK, within the past 14 days will not be permitted to enter or transit through Vietnam.Visas upon arrival will also no longer be issued for all foreign nationals. See more here. 

More information

In addition to the above, European Union leaders have recommend closing the 26 countries of the EU to foreign visitors for 30 days. The countries are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden. However, it's up to each country to decide how to enforce the measure.

Will insurance or travel credit card travel protections cover COVID-19 cancellations?

Travel insurance generally doesn’t cover “known events” and COVID-19 has been deemed a known event as of January 21, 2020. That means that travel insurance purchased before that date may cover disruptions resulting from the virus, but coverage purchased after January 21 likely will not. 

There is an exception to this though. Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) travel insurance allows you to do just that: cancel for any reason you want. The catch is that it’s only valid if you purchase it within a certain amount of time after booking your trip (this varies by policy but is typically 7-21 days). Additionally, it’s pricey—usually 5-10% of the total trip cost, or $250-$500 on a $5,000 trip—and if you do end up canceling you’ll only get back about 75% of the total trip cost. 

Additionally, at least one travel insurance provider is extending coverage in some circumstances. Allianz is including coverage for: emergency medical care and emergency medical transportation for a customer who becomes ill with COVID-19 while on their trip; trip cancellation and trip interruption if a customer becomes ill with COVID-19 either before or during their trip; and non-refundable, non-transferrable trip cancellation expenses for customers who purchased their plan prior to January 22, 2020 for trips that include stops in Mainland China, South Korea or the Lombardy or Veneto regions of Italy, who are departing prior to April 1, 2020.

Credit card travel protection policies vary as well, and a lot depends on whether your trip is canceled by the airline or whether you are choosing to cancel. If it’s the latter, you won’t be covered. For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® specifically states that “your disinclination to travel due to an epidemic or pandemic” is not covered by its trip cancellation and interruption policy. Some cards also don’t cover hazards that were public or known to the cardholder before departure. Your best bet is to call cardholder services for your particular card and find out what would apply for your specific situation. 

Can I change a flight I already have booked?

Many flights have canceled, and airlines are offering full refunds, refunds in the form of future travel credit, or waived changed fees.

For example, American, United, and Delta are all offering fee changes for any flights through May 31, regardless of the destination or date they were booked. Note that for the waived change fees, in most cases while you won’t pay a change fee you will still pay the fare difference if your new date costs more, though there are some exceptions.

Some airlines are better than others about proactively notifying travelers of their options, so if you don't see your airline below or aren't clear on the rules for your trip, check the airline's website or reach out to the airline directly via phone, email, or social media.

Here’s a roundup of some of the airlines offering free changes on previously booked tickets. 

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand will hold your fare in credit for flights booked for travel through May 31. The credit will be good for 12 months. Read the complete rules here.

Alitalia

Travelers with tickets for a destination in Italy, who booked before April 3 with travel dates before May 31, can change their flight for free, so long as the new flight departs by December 31, 2020. Read the complete rules here. 

Alaska Airlines

Alaska is offering free cancellation (you’ll get a credit for future travel) for flights booked for travel through May 31. New travel must be completed by February 28, 2021. Read the complete rules here. 

Allegiant

Allegiant’s website states that “customers with reservations may make a one-time change to their travel plans without incurring change or cancel fees.” Read the complete rules here. 

American Airlines

American airlines is offering free changes for any ticket purchased prior to March 1 for travel through May 31, so long as the new ticket is reissued on/before December 31 or 12 months from the original ticket date (whichever is earlier) and the new flight departs on/before December 31, 2020 or one year from original issue date—whichever is sooner.. 

The airline is also offering free changes for flights booked prior to March 15 to countries in Europe’s Schengen Area for travel through May 31. In cases where flights have been canceled entirely, you’ll get a refund. Read the complete rules here.

ANA

Travelers headed to Japan who booked by February 28 for travel through April 30 can get a refund or change their flight with no fee so long as they travel by June 30, 2020 Travelers headed to South Korea who booked by March for travel through April 30 can get a refund or change their flight with no fee so long as they travel by June 30, 2020.  Read the complete rules here. 

British Airways

Travelers booked to fly through May 31 can rebook with no change fee. They'll receive a voucher for the fare, which can be used to book travel for departure within one year of the issue date. Read the complete rules here. 

Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific is issuing refunds for travelers booked to select destinations where the airline has suspended flights. The airline is also offering free changes for all flights through May 31. Read the complete rules here.

Delta Air Lines

Travelers flying to any international or domestic destination through May 31 can change their flight with no fees. Read the complete rules here. 

Frontier

For tickets issued prior to March 10, 2020 with original travel dates though April 30, 2020 customers may make a one-time change to their itinerary without a change/cancel fee. For tickets issued prior to March 10, 2020 with original travel dates though May 31, 2020 customers may make a one-time change to their itinerary without a change/cancel fee through March 31 only. If cancel your booking for travel between though June 17 by March 25, you will be eligible to receive a $50 per person voucher for future travel (in addition to the original fare as a credit). Travelers may also make a one-time change to any tickets booked March 10 through March 31, 2020. Read the complete rules here. 

Hawaiian

Hawaiian Airlines is allowing free changes on all flights booked between March and May 2020. It's also offering free changes for all previously booked tickets for travel dates between March and May 2020. Read the complete rules here. 

Iberia

Travelers booked to fly from the US to Europe between March 1 and April 30 (with a few blackout dates) can rebook with no change fee for travel up to November 30, 2020. Read the complete rules here. 

Icelandair

Travelers flying between now and May 1 can rebook with no change fees so long as travel departs before January 1, 2021. Read the complete rules here.

JAL

Travelers flying to Japan through April 30 can cancel or change their flight with no fee. For changes, flights must be rebooked to depart within one year. Read the complete rules here. 

JetBlue

JetBlue is waiving all change/cancel fees for customers traveling through April 30, 2020. New travel will need to commence by October 24, 2020. Read the complete rules here. 

Lufthansa

Travelers flying Lufthansa can rebook for a new date with no change fees, so long as travel departs by December 31, 2020. Read the complete rules here.

Qatar Airways

Travelers who have booked flights for travel up to June 30 can change their dates with no change fee or exchange their ticket for a travel voucher valid for one year so long as they make the request at least three days prior to departure. Read the complete rules here. 

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines is waiving all rebooking fees for tickets issued on or before March 15 for travel up to May 31. Travelers going to South Korea who booked by February 25 for travel through April 30 can rebook with no change fee, so long as the new trip starts on or before August 31, 2020. Read the complete rules here. 

Southwest Airlines

Southwest never charges a fee to change or cancel a flight, so long as you do it at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure. Read the complete rules here. 

Spirit

Travelers who need to cancel or postpone a trip will receive a credit for the full value of their reservation, which can be used for up to six months to book any flight currently available (including beyond the six-month timeframe). Read the complete rules here. 

Sun Country

Sun Country is waiving change fees for guests traveling through May 31, 2020. Read the complete rules here. 

United Airlines

United is waiving change fees for all tickets—domestic or international—with original travel dates through May 31. Read the complete rules here. 

If your airline is not currently offering free cancellations or changes for your trip, it can be wise to wait it out. If you wait until closer to your departure date, the situation could change and the airline may change its policies accordingly. You can also read our article on how to cancel your flight and get some money back. 

How can I book a new flight with peace of mind?

To help travelers feel a bit more secure about booking now for future trips, many airlines are waiving change fees for new bookings made in the next few weeks. Note that in most cases, if you do end up changing your flight under this policy, while there is no change fee you’ll still have to pay the fare difference if your new flight is more expensive. 

This isn’t an exhaustive list, and of course, things are changing frequently so always verify rules and requirements directly with the airline. 

AeroMexico

No change fee for tickets purchased: through March 31, 2020
Applicable travel dates:
any
New travel must commence by:
February 28, 2021
Read the complete rules here. 

Air Canada

No change fee for tickets purchased: through March 31, 2020
Applicable travel dates:
any
New travel must commence by:
December 31, 2020
Read the complete rules here. 

Air New Zealand

No change fee for tickets purchased: through March 31, 2020
Applicable travel dates:
any
Read the complete rules here. 

Alaska Airlines

No change fee for tickets purchased: through March 31, 2020
Applicable travel dates:
through February 28, 2021
New travel must commence by: February 28, 2021
Read the complete rules here. 

American Airlines

No change fee for tickets purchased: through April 15, 2020
Applicable travel dates:
through January 30, 2021
New travel must commence: within 1 year of original ticket issue date
Read the complete rules here.

British Airways

No change fee for tickets purchased: through May 31, 2020
Applicable travel dates:
through December 31, 2020
New travel must commence: within 12 months of your original date of departure
Read the complete rules here. 

Copa Airlines

No change fee for tickets purchased: through March 31, 2020
Applicable travel dates:
through June 15, 2020
New travel must commence: by December 31, 2020
Read the complete rules here

Delta Air Lines

No change fee for tickets purchased: through April 15, 2020
Applicable travel dates:
varies by destination but generally through May 31, 2020
New travel must commence: by December 31, 2020
Read the complete rules here. 

Icelandair

No change fee for tickets purchased: through April 1, 2020
Applicable travel dates:
through December 31, 2020
New travel must commence: by December 31, 2020
Read the complete rules here. 

JetBlue

No change or cancellation fee for tickets purchased: through March 31, 2020
Applicable travel dates:
through September 8, 2020
New travel must commence: passengers will be credited the amount in the form of a travel credit that’s valid for one year
Read the complete rules here

KLM

No change fee for tickets purchased: through March 31, 2020
Applicable travel dates:
through May 31, 2020
New travel must commence: by May 31, 2020
Read the complete rules here. 

Lufthansa

No change fee for tickets purchased: through April 30, 2020
Applicable travel dates:
any
New travel must commence: by December 31, 2020
Read the complete rules here. 

Qatar Airways

No change fee for tickets purchased: through June 30, 2020
Applicable travel dates:
any
New travel must commence: passengers will be issued a voucher valid for one year from its issuance date
Read the complete rules here. 

SAS

No change fee for tickets purchased: through March 19, 2020
Applicable travel dates:
through November 30, 2020
New travel must commence: by November 30, 2020
Read the complete rules here. 

Southwest Airlines

Southwest never charges a fee to change or cancel a flight, so long as you do it at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure. Read the complete rules here. 

SWISS

No change fee for tickets purchased: through March 31, 2020
Applicable travel dates:
through April 30, 2020
New travel must commence: by December 31, 2020
Read the complete rules here. 

United

No change fee for tickets purchased: through March 31, 2020
Applicable travel dates:
any
New travel must commence: within 12 months from the original ticket issue date
Read the complete rules here. 

Virgin Atlantic

No change fee for tickets purchased: through March 30, 2020
Applicable travel dates:
any
New travel must commence: by December 31, 2020.
Read the complete rules here. 

WestJet

No change fee for tickets purchased: through March 31, 2020
Applicable travel dates:
June 24, 2020
Read the complete rules here.

Is Scott’s Cheap Flights still sending deals to places especially impacted by COVID-19?

We consider a number of factors when deciding what deals to send and what not to send. We look at recommendations from organizations including the World Health Organization, US State Department, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

We generally do not send deals to locations listed as a Level 4 (Do Not Travel) or Level 3 (Reconsider Travel) by the US State Department. However, given the ever-changing situation, the increase in cases around the world, and the 30-day ban on European foreign nationals entering the United States, we’ve made some additional temporary changes to our approach to deals. 

First, while we’ve never sent deals that are only last minute, given the circumstances, we’re going to prioritize deals for travel in July and beyond.

Second, we'll put a heavy emphasis on deals that waive change/cancellation fees so you can be flexible. As noted above, many airlines (United, American, Delta, etc.) are waiving change fees for new bookings, so we’ll prioritize deals with flexibility and pass along the fine print so you can decide if a deal is right for you.

You can read more about why we made this decision here.

Will flight prices drop as a result of COVID-19?

Airfare is generally lower as a result of COVID-19, though there’s a lot of variance across routes and dates. Flights aren’t just cheap for travel in the short-term, but as far out as next winter in many cases. There’s likely a limit to how far they’ll go, though.

Many airlines are reducing their flight schedules drastically in tandem with the reduction in demand. Fewer flights means fewer seats to fill, which will limit how far fares drop even as fewer people are flying. 

What should I do to stay safe?

According to the World Health Organization, the virus is spread by droplets from an infected person. When that person coughs or sneezes, the droplets land on people or surfaces nearby. If you then touch one of those surfaces and then touch your face and get a droplet in your eyes, nose, or mouth, you could get sick. 

Their recommendations are to wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face, sanitize surfaces around you, and keep a distance of at least 6 feet from anyone. The CDC recommends similar precautions while flying: “Because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes, most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on airplanes. Although the risk of infection on an airplane is low, travelers should try to avoid contact with sick passengers and wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer that contain 60%–95% alcohol.”

For more tips, check out this WHO video with prevention recommendations, read the WHO's guidelines on preparedness and response, or read how to properly disinfect your airplane seat and how to ward off coronavirus in your hotel room.

For updates while you travel, enroll in STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program) which sends automated health and safety alerts for the country you’re visiting. 

Should I cancel my travel plans?

Everyone’s personal circumstances are different and there are a lot of factors that go into making this decision. Here are some things to consider: 

  • Does your destination have any restrictions on foreigners entering the country? Are foreigners entering the country required to self-quarantine for 14 days? 
  • Is there a State Department travel warning or advisory or a CDC travel warning in place for this destination due to COVID-19?
  • Are you relatively healthy or do you or your travel partner(s) have underlying health issues? 
  • Are you and your travel partner(s) able to self-quarantine for two weeks upon return from your trip if needed or would this be a hardship? 
  • Do you have concerns about spreading the virus in your community or household? 
  • If your plans are affected (e.g. the airline cancels your flight), could you recoup money already spent? 
  • Will you be able to enjoy yourself on your trip or will you be stressed? 

The CDC says, “Because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes, most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on airplanes." However, it has recommended that older and at-risk people avoid plane travel and recommends that "travelers, particularly those with underlying health issues, defer all cruise ship travel worldwide."

On March 19 the State Department issued a global Level 4 advisory recommending US citizens avoid all international travel, stating that, "In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.  U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel."

Even if you personally are low-risk, we should all be taking steps to minimize risk of transmission. For many countries right now, that means restrictions on who can enter the country; many countries are banning foreigners or asking new arrivals to self-quarantine for two weeks. Several areas have also instituted lockdowns that restrict opening hours for businesses, ban public events, and limit intra-country travel. 

See the list of countries restricting entry of foreigners, including Americans, in the section on “What areas are affected by COVID-19?”

What should I do if I am planning to visit Europe during the 30-day “travel ban?”

First, some clarification. While the new policy was announced as a ban on travel from Europe to the US, it’s more nuanced than that.

The policy prohibits foreign nationals from entering the US if they have been in one of the 26 countries in the Schengen Area (Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland) as well as Ireland or the UK in the previous 14 days. 

The policy does not prohibit US citizens, legal residents, and some of their family members from traveling freely between the US and those countries, with some caveats. The policy mentions that those US citizens and legal residents who do travel to Europe will only be able to return to the US via 13 selected ports of entry which have medical screenings in place. 

Those ports of entry are: 

  • Atlanta: Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • Boston: Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • Dallas-Fort Worth: Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
  • Detroit: Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
  • Newark, New Jersey: Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • Honolulu: Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL)
  • New York City: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • Los Angeles: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Miami: Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • Chicago: Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Seattle: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
  • San Francisco: San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • Washington, D.C.: Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD)

Upon return to the US, those with possible coronavirus symptoms will need to get medical attention and all other travelers will need to self-quarantine at home for 14 days after their return. 

  • If you are trying to determine whether or not to cancel, read our section above on “Should I cancel my travel plans?” for resources to help you decide. 
  • If you have a flight already booked and want to cancel or reschedule, see our list of airlines offering fee waivers in the section on "Can I change a flight I already have booked?"
What should I do if I’m traveling now and need to get home?

As noted above, the “Europe travel ban” prohibits foreigners who have been in certain European countries from entering the US. It does not apply to US citizens and legal residents, which means if you are currently in one of the restricted countries (or have been in one of them in the last 14 days) you can still return home. 

The countries on the list are the 26 countries in the Schengen Area (Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland) as well as Ireland and the UK, which were added after the original announcement. 

On March 19 the State Department also issued a global Level 4 advisory recommending US citizens "should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.  U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel."

Where it gets tricky is that beginning March 14, US citizens and legal residents coming from the affected countries in Europe will need to enter the US through one of 13 approved points of entry, which have medical screenings in place. 

Those ports of entry are: 

  • Atlanta: Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • Boston: Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • Dallas-Fort Worth: Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
  • Detroit: Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
  • Newark, New Jersey: Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • Honolulu: Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL)
  • New York City: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • Los Angeles: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Miami: Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • Chicago: Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Seattle: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
  • San Francisco: San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • Washington, D.C.: Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD)

If you are a US citizen or legal resident currently in one of the countries that is part of the ban, and you were scheduled to fly back home through an airport that is not one of the approved ports of entry, you’ll need to contact your airline to find out your options.

Delta, United, and American airlines have all announced they are waiving change fees for previously booked tickets (see above for links to individual policies, which vary), and many airlines have already indicated they’ll help travelers get rerouted home as needed. American Airlines, for example, states on its website that, “American will help reroute the customer to one of the approved airports,” and Lufthansa’s site says, “Passengers will still be able to reach all destinations within the USA via the U.S. hubs and connecting flights served by our partner airline, United Airlines.”

Changing your flight may be easier said than done, though. Many airlines’ customer service representatives are overwhelmed and travelers have reported hours-long waits. The Points Guy has a good guide to getting in touch with an agent more quickly, which includes using alternate means such as social media.

At least one airline promises to make changes and offer refunds even if you can't get through to an agent. On its website, Delta states, "If you are traveling soon and cannot get through on one of our service channels, rest assured, we will ensure all changes will be processed and applicable credits will be issued if you don't take your flight."

For those who didn’t already have a return flight booked and are now trying to purchase one, United, Delta, and American have all said they will be capping fares to the United States from countries affected by this new policy. For tips on finding a cheap return flight, read our guide to cheap one-way flights, or read what to do if an airline cancels your flight