This article was last updated on March 17, and is no longer being updated. This is a fast-moving situation, so some information may be outdated. For the latest updates, read The New York Times’s live coronavirus coverage here.
With summer fast approaching, many families are wondering just how long coronavirus will remain at the center of our lives. The outbreak has sickened people worldwide and killed thousands, adding a new layer of anxiety when thinking about potential travel plans.
The disease, which was first identified in China, is now spreading widely in other areas of the world, and scores of people have become infected in the United States. In March, officials at the World Health Organization said the spread of coronavirus is now a pandemic.
[Track the spread of the disease.]
Here’s the bottom line: Right now, traveling presents a risk, even in the United States. We know that some U.S. communities are spreading the disease rapidly, but the full extent of its prevalence here is unknown because testing has been limited.
One of the most important things to think about is the well-being of your fellow passengers and family members. Even if you don’t fit the profile of someone who is at risk of developing severe symptoms, you might infect someone who is. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have posted several factors to take into consideration if you are still considering travel.
Is it safe to travel to tourist spots in the United States?
As we see transmission in communities within the United States, “any dense area of people will increase risk of exposure,” said Dr. Aaron M. Milstone, M.D., a professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “What we’re really trying to do right now is to slow the spread of the virus to give people time to prepare. One of the key ways to achieve that is social distancing.”
In March, the Walt Disney Company announced that it would close every Disney theme park worldwide, including Disney World in Florida and the Disneyland Resort in California, because of the coronavirus pandemic. Disney Cruise Line will also close. Other theme park operators, like Six Flags and Universal Parks and Resorts have also announced closures.
Some states and counties have already banned large gatherings, temporarily shuttering Broadway shows, museums and other tourist attractions because of the coronavirus. Nearly every major sporting event in the United States has been suspended or canceled. And the National Park Service recently announced that it will allow park superintendents to close park facilities and programs as they see fit.
The new coronavirus, which causes a respiratory illness known as Covid-19, appears to be more severe among older adults and those with underlying health conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease. Cases in children have so far been rare, and children with Covid-19 have generally exhibited mild symptoms.
Experts advised that everyone should be cautious about nonessential travel right now, and that’s especially the case for