The head of the World Travel and Tourism Council cautioned governments against overreacting to the spreading Covid-19 coronavirus, saying drastic measures against travel are ineffective.

“Governments and those in authority must not seek to choke travel and trade at this time,” CEO Gloria Guevara said in a statement.  “Closing borders, imposing blanket travel bans and implementing extreme policies are not the answer to stopping the spread of coronavirus.”

Guevara has first-hand experience of containing a major, viral incident after dealing with the H1N1 influenza virus in Mexico in 2009 as Mexico’s tourism secretary.

“Past experience shows that taking such extreme action has been ineffective at best. We urge governments to explore fact-based measures which don’t affect the vast majority of people and businesses for whom travel is essential.”

Guevara said now is not the time to panic. 

“It’s important to remember that fatality rates remain very low and the chances of contracting the virus, for the vast majority of people, are very remote if they travel responsibly and observe simple hygiene measures,” Guevara said.

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