As Coronavirus Spreads, International Travel Among Top Concerns

Many said their travel experience was more worrisome than normal because of the coronavirus

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National leaders are teaming up for solutions as the coronavirus spreads from China to many other countries. One concern on the radar of many North Texans is international travel.

We caught up with travelers on Friday, moments after a flight landed at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport from South Korea. Many said their travel experience was more worrisome than normal because of the coronavirus.

Devyn Gonzalez says he’d planned to stay in South Korea a few more weeks since his teaching contract ended. But he changed his mind. He’s lived there for four years and says he loves it. Recently, though, it hasn’t been the same.

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“I didn’t want to be around the virus and get sick,” Gonzalez said. “Everything is shutting down. Schools are closing. Graduation has stopped.”

So, he booked a flight and left as soon as he could.

“I’m about to get an apartment here in the next few days and just live in Dallas,” he said.

Several thousand people have been quarantined in South Korea, with some 500 new cases were reported on Thursday alone. Gonzalez says alerts are sent daily from the government.

Shelly Choi and a friend walked off the 12-hour flight still wearing their masks. Now she says she can relax a little.

“I’m feeling a lot safer to be in America than to be in Korea definitely. But to be in Korea that was a little bit scary for sure,” Choi said.

Choi says there was no screening in South Korea prior to boarding the flight. And they weren’t screened once they landed at DFW. So, she took matters into her own hands.

“I’m being extra careful. Like using sanitizers a lot and the mask all the time,” she said.

DFW Airport was selected as one of 11 airports in the U.S. to screen passengers who have traveled to China for coronavirus. Passengers who are re-entering the U.S. and have traveled to China in the last 14 days will be screened.

We asked if the airport has any plans to screen passengers from South Korea. We were told that's up to the CDC.

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