Concerns over the new Coronavirus are sweeping the globe – with cases reaching European shores people are beginning to wonder if it is still safe to travel across Europe, particularly the UK. The answer is a yes. Although the UK count is rising, the number remains relatively low (319 at the time of writing).
There are many reasons not to be too concerned about the coronavirus, as long as you are considerate of the symptoms and the badly effected areas. Currently, the most deeply effected countries are China (which has the vast majority of the cases), South Korea and Iran. Italy, especially northern Italy, has the most cases in Europe. So firstly, one way to ensure safe travel to the UK for everyone is to be considerate if you have travelled to any badly effected area. If you have been to these places and are experiencing flu like symptoms, quarantine yourself and even if not, it is probably best not to travel until you are certain. This is sensible practice when dealing with infectious diseases globally and will help continue to keep places like the UK safe to travel for others. Some flights from northern Italy have been cancelled which is sure to ease the spread of the virus.
If you have not been anywhere near badly effected areas, then you are good to go! If you are still concerned however, there are a few things that could ease your mind. Less than 1% of those tested so far in the UK have tested positive for the virus (and these are people coming back from badly effected areas). The government have released statements saying the risk to individuals is low and that they are ‘well prepared’ to deal with the virus. They have been given special powers to quarantine anyone suspected of having the virus so the risk if spread is still low. Some statistics might ease your mind further. The disease has currently affected 0.0005% of the UK population (most of which have been to a dangerous area. The four deaths the UK has seen as a result of the virus affected the elderly with underlying health issues. The mortality rate of the virus is immensely low and so is the rate of infection. You are far more likely to be hit by a car then ever getting Corona virus, one hundred times more likely in fact!
There are further precautions you can take as a tourist if coronavirus fears are still troubling you. Why not avoid the crowds by booking a private guided tour? Away from crowded coaches and try travelling more rurally, away from the cities. There are hundreds of sequestered yet historically significant sites around the UK, with many an expert willing to take small groups around – avoiding the masses! (With Brexit weakening the pound and coronavirus fears thinning crowds, it’s probably the best time to visit anyway)
As things stand there is very little reason to be concerned about Coronavirus – pack a facemask if it gives you peace of mind but at the moment there is no need. Just wash your hands regularly and dispose of your used tissues…. and enjoy your trip to the UK!
The Small Group Touring Company