Travelling during the COVID-19 pandemic requires organisation and understanding. It is important that you read-up on the rules put in place to help keep yourself and others safe.
Travel insurance expert, Rachel Thomas highlights what travellers need to consider before planning a trip and how the rules and restrictions impact travel insurance.
Getting Organised and Following Government Advice
From Monday 11th October, the UK Government has removed 47 countries and territories from its red list, making it easier for people to travel abroad. This leaves only seven destinations on the red list; Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.
This latest change means that passengers returning to the UK from a non-red list country or territory will no longer need to enter hotel quarantine. Eligible fully vaccinated passengers and eligible under 18s can return with just a day two test after arrival in the UK.
Passengers who are not fully vaccinated with an authorised vaccine returning from a non-red list country or territory will still be required to take a pre-departure test (taken no more than 72 hours before departure), a day two and day eight test and complete ten days of self-isolation on arrival. However, they will have the option to utilise the ‘Test to Release’ scheme, which means they can pay for a private COVID-19 test on day five. If the result is negative (and the result of the day two test was negative/inconclusive), they can end their quarantine.
Testing and Passenger Locator Forms
Before you arrive in the UK, you must complete a passenger locator form online, including if you are only transiting through the UK. The form is free to submit and can be submitted any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in the UK.
In other news, from Sunday 24th October, fully vaccinated passengers and most under 18s arriving in the UK from countries not on the red list can take a cheaper lateral flow test, on or before day two of their arrival into the UK.
Whichever country you are travelling to, you must check the entry requirements. There is significant variation from country to country on the rules and regulations required to enter. This varies from proof of vaccination and negative testing to entry bans for UK citizens.
If you’re fully vaccinated, you can now demonstrate ‘proof’ digitally using the NHS COVID Pass. Read more about how to prove your COVID-19 vaccination status.
To read about foreign travel advice for the country you are travelling to, please click here for a list of countries and territories.
Will Travel Insurance Cover My Trip?
Insurers follow Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice and therefore will not cover you for travel that the FCDO advise against.
The good news is, for countries where travel is possible, many insurers will now cover cancellation claims if testing positive or coming into contact with someone who has tested positive results in a cancelled trip. Medical expenses and repatriation cover has also extended to cover COVID-19. Cruise operators are requesting sight of insurance policies prior to allowing people to board.
If you would like to discuss your upcoming trip, including the finer detail around COVID-19 travel insurance policy inclusions and limitations, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Rachel Thomas on 02920 853759 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.