If you are planning on visiting China, then you are probably worried about the coronavirus and what it might mean for your trip. Is it still a good idea to visit? How likely are you to contract the disease?
First: should you visit China? The official answer is “no,” and right now government officials are recommending that citizens avoid visiting the country for “non-essential” travel. If you have an important business trip, then you might consider going. If you are just planning a nice holiday? Choose somewhere else!
Of course, some parts of China are more at risk than others. There have only been around 18 cases of the virus in Hong Kong, while the most at-risk area is Wuhan where the disease is believed to have originated. Many governments are now in the process of evacuating their residents from Wuhan, and so you definitely should not visit that region.
If you do decide to visit China, you should know that you are still not putting yourself in huge danger. While the outbreak is frightening and has potential global implications, the reality is that the condition is believed to be no more contagious than the common flu. There are 24,324 confirmed cases around the world, but this is a tiny percentage of the 1.386 billion population of China!
There are things you can do to protect yourself. Advice includes wearing a face mask potentially, doing what you can to strengthen your immunity, and avoiding crowded spaces where possible – especially those that are enclosed and don’t have fresh air circulating.
The bottom line: only travel if you have to. But if you do, don’t panic.