Zika Global Emergency: TICO On Agent Responsibility
World Health Organization has declared the Zika virus a global public health
emergency requiring a united response.
Experts are worried that the virus is spreading far
and fast, with potentially devastating consequences. The infection has been
linked to cases of microcephaly, in which babies are born with underdeveloped
brains. There have been around 4,000 reported cases of microcephaly in Brazil
alone since October.
The WHO alert puts Zika in the same category of
concern as Ebola. The declaration also means research and aid will be
fast-tracked to fight the disease.
Canada, Ontario’s travel registrar TICO says it has received a number of calls
and emails in response to the recent warnings. TICO says registrants are asking
what their responsibilities are under the province’s Travel Industry Act, 2002.
response: “Registrants have a duty to warn customers of the reports of Zika
Virus. Pursuant to Section 36(a) of the Regulation, before reserving travel
services for a customer, a travel agent shall bring to the customer’s attention
any conditions relating to the purchase of travel services that the travel
agent has reason to believe may affect the customer’s decision to purchase.”
agents are obligated to inform customers of any safety concerns relating to
their travel destination at the time of making the reservations, whether or not
the Federal Government has issued a travel advisory in relation to that
agents may also have a continuing obligation to inform customers of a
deteriorating situation in the travel destination after the travel services
have been reserved, TICO says.
the following information sources to help agents educate themselves and inform
Agency of Canada has recommendations for travellers to protect themselves
against mosquito bites. To access the Travel Health Advisory issued by the
Public Health Agency of Canada, click here.
The World Heath
Organization (WHO) also has useful information regarding the Zika Virus here.
To access the
Travel Report by country issued by Foreign Affairs Canada click here.