Much is still unknown of the novel coronavirus and health officials around the world are urging vigilance.
When it comes to global outbreaks, air travel is usually how viruses spread quickly from country to another.
Daily statistics from the World Health Organization indicate growing concerns of the outbreak with increasing numbers of new cases everyday including Singapore and Malaysia.
Because of this, I decided to cancel or reschedule my forthcoming trips to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to avoid risking being infected.
Most airlines have already cancelled direct flights to and from China.
However, flights within the region are not impacted as most airlines recommend only safety precautions. When I inquired on refunds or rescheduling my forthcoming flights with an airline, they responded that since the booking class made were ‘Super-Savers’ no refunds or rescheduling could be offered.
I can understand that it is reasonable to apply such conditions during normal circumstances.
However, the airline should make an exception during this period when travellers are concerned on the potential spread of a serious disease into Brunei.
Airlines should be flexible and allow a one-off rescheduling of flights to affected countries instead of a firm ‘no refund’ policy. I hope airlines can look into the matter as many travellers are stuck between losing their flight tickets or take the risk of contracting the virus.
Meanwhile, with regard to the article ‘Zhejiang, Jiangsu visitors also barred from entering Brunei’ published in the Borneo Bulletin on February 12, I applaud the authorities for taking the precautions to deter the fast-spreading novel coronavirus.
However, I wonder if Brunei will follow suit with other countries such as Singapore in banning entry to all Chinese visitors and foreigners with a recent history of travel to China?
I believe this can help further deter the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Loyal and frequent traveler