WINNIPEG -- As a growing number of countries around the world are being added to an 'avoid non-essential travel' list amid an outbreak of COVID-19, WestJet said it is temporarily changing its policy on flight cancellations and changes.

Customers who have booked their flight between March 3 and 31 now have the ability to change their flight without applicable change fees. As well, the normal change and cancel restrictions have been temporarily removed for people who booked basic fare for travel beginning on or before March 31.

WestJet Airlines President and CEO Ed Sims announced the policy change in a written statement to WestJet customers.

More information about WestJet travel advisories can be found online.

In addition to the policy changes, Sims said the airline is taking precautions as an outbreak of the COVID-19 virus continues around the world.

Sims said the airline uses hospital-grade disinfectant and sanitizing products to clean the airplanes, as well as viral and bacterial filters.

This comes after Air Canada announced it would be suspending its flights between Canada and Italy as of Wednesday.

-with files from CTV's Sonja Puzic