State Department has set Level 2 for travel to Japan, South Korea

Local News

In the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, the U.S. State Department has set a level 2 travel advisory for Japan and South Korea. That means they want travelers to “exercise increased caution” especially if you’re at a higher risk of contracting the virus. Cases continue to rise in South Korea and are now at more than 700.

This news does not mean there are travel restrictions and H.I.S. Hawaii says, as of right now, it does not know of any airline companies providing waivers on trips to Japan and South Korea.

Still, officials recommend that for certain high-risk groups, such as older adults or those with medical conditions, postponing non-essential travel should be discussed with their doctor.

“We are closely monitoring the government advisories because it is a serious situation. We understand all of our customers are concerned about it,” said Daniel Allen of H.I.S. Hawaii.

Allen says they’ve received many calls from customers who want to either cancel trips or are considering the idea, especially with spring break around the corner.
While there may be refunds on scheduled trips made to China, no waivers are being provided for those going to Japan or South Korea at this time.

“Most of what we encourage people to do is wait and really closely watch the situation because if it gets worse, that is when most airlines would probably issue waivers,” said Allen, “but as of right now those are not out so if you wanted to cancel at this time, you have to prepare to pay cancellation or change fees.”

Allen says for people who have decided to keep their itineraries, this is probably a good time to go because some of the tourist attractions are less crowded. As for the Summer Olympics held in Tokyo, Allen says they’ve been getting inquiries about what the impacts of the virus may have but says it may be too soon to tell at this point.

“We are doing our best to encourage people to definitely evaluate the situation and keep a close watch on it, but again, it is our perspective that right now it’s not a situation that would require cancellation. It’s certainly up to the customer how they feel about it.

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