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Coronavirus causes UNF to suspend spring, summer programs to China

Administrators at UNF said they have suspended spring and summer study abroad programs to China.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The coronavirus (COVID-19) has now affected travel plans for some college students on the First Coast. According to a spokesperson at the University of North Florida administrators suspended the spring and summer programs to China.

The spokesperson said the administrators are working to get students refunds. A spokesperson for Jacksonville University said its study abroad office is meeting this week about whether or not to suspend its summer program in Italy. They'll make the decision later this week. 

At Flagler College, a spokesperson said they're moving ahead with summer study abroad programs, but are creating a committee to monitor the situation. Florida State College at Jacksonville doesn't have any study abroad programs. 

One travel agent in Jacksonville said the CO-VID-19 hasn't taken too much of a toll on business. 

“We’ve been getting a lot of calls," Rosemary Reifsneider at Avondale Travel said. "People are still booking travel so we’re not seeing a huge impact at this point."

She said a handful of people have called and canceled trips out of the country, mainly to Europe. Others, she said, are concerned about the logistics of their trips, like getting home. Reifschneider said her advice to travelers is what it always is, get travel insurance.

“If you decide you don’t want to go because you’re nervous or afraid, they’re not covering a cancellation just because, but they’re very good," she said. "They’ve said if you get sick if you have travel plans and you get sick, they’ll cover that. It’s always good to have it [travel insurance] if you leave the country."

Before making any big decisions, she said talk with your travel agent, or airline and hotel.

“Think about where you’re going to go think about what you want to do weigh the pros and cons, but I have to tell you, I’d travel tomorrow if I had the opportunity," she said.