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Travel industry urges people to make 'fact-based decisions' after government warnings on planes, cruises

A coalition of 150 travel and hospitality organizations is calling on Americans to take precaution about traveling while remaining rational on Tuesday.

The coalition said it’s in “daily” contact with public health authorities for the latest information.

“Health and government officials have continually assured the public that healthy Americans can ‘confidently travel in this country,’” the organizations said in a joint statement. “While it’s critically important to remain vigilant and take useful precautions in times like these, it’s equally important to make calm, rational and fact-based decisions.”

The coalition stressed that the coronavirus risk in the U.S. is low but older people and people with pre-existing health conditions should be more cautious.

“The latest expert guidance indicates that for the overwhelming majority, it’s OK to live, work, play and travel in the U.S. By seeking and heeding the latest expert guidance — which includes vigorous use of good health practices, similar to the preventive steps recommended for the seasonal flu — America’s communities will stay strong and continue to thrive,” the group said. 

It indicated that decisions to cancel travel and events, like the various conferences that have been canceled, are harmful to the U.S. economy.

The statement included the U.S. Travel Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Airlines for America, the American Hotel and Lodging Association, the National Restaurant Association and the National Air Carrier Association, among others.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended travelers avoid cruises and elderly people avoid long plane rides, among other forms of travel.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Travel Association, Airlines for America, the National Retail Federation and the American Hotel and Lodging Association held a press conference last week to discuss their respective industries’ response to the virus, stressing that Americans shouldn’t overreact.

There are at least 804 confirmed cases in the U.S. and 28 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

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