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Travelers adjust to sudden European travel cancelations amid coronavirus concerns

Posted at 6:32 PM, Mar 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-12 21:32:41-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Beginning Friday at midnight, travel restrictions from 26 European countries to the United States will be in place for 30 days.

President Trump made the announcement Wednesday, with officials later clarifying the terms of the restrictions.

"My sister, my dad and I had scheduled a trip to Italy," said Rachael Lopez, who lives in Arizona but is currently visiting family in Vista. "We were going to fly into Milan, then go to Venice, Florence, and another smaller city."

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Her dream vacation came to a halt Wednesday evening after listening to Trump's announcement on the travel restrictions.

"We had this trip planned basically because I'm going to be a lawyer and so I'm studying for the bar exam and that's a very lengthy process and I'm very fortunate my firm gave me several weeks off before starting work," she explained.

Italy is one of the 26 European countries that will have travel restrictions in place Friday.

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"Our trip falls just outside that 30-day mark, but I mean the odds of us going are severely decreased after that," she said after listening to Trump's address. "In the next week or so we're just gonna be canceling all of our flights, hotels and transportation."

The travel ban only applies to foreign nationals, U.S. citizens, and permanent residents are exempt.

Lopez and her family decided not to take any chances.

"My dad's in his seventies, so he's more of a high risk individual," she said.

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Now they're looking at the next plan to still make the most of her time off.

"Another more local vacation maybe? We have hopes for that and we're hoping the virus may be under better control in the next few weeks," she said.

10News spoke with several travel agencies over the phone who said they were busy Thursday canceling previously scheduled trips for clients.