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2020 has been, for the majority of us, the first time we have ever lived through a pandemic of any kind, let alone a global one.
Although the concept of social distancing and isolation isn’t new for those of us who have been through a cancer diagnosis or have an autoimmune condition, as everything starts to reopen, our minds understandably turn to holidays.
We know that this can be daunting and scary step to take, especially if you are a higher risk than others.
As travel insurance experts, we wanted to give you some idea of some things you can expect to come across if you choose to travel this year, as well as some advice of how to book your trip.
We know there are a lot of words being thrown around in the media regarding travel that some may not quite understand:
Travel Corridors – Also known as ‘air bridges’, these travel corridors will allow us to travel to and from international destinations, providing they have a low infection rate. It also means you do not need to quarantine when you return to the UK (good news for those who don’t have much annual leave to take, or who want to show off their new tan to friends and family).
Pandemic – An epidemic, just on a global scale, with infections happening across the world at roughly the same time. As people travel between countries, they bring the virus or bacteria with them and it spreads throughout the population.
Quarantine – A historical concept that used to apply to ships coming into ports laden with disease. Quarantine is used to keep you separate from other people and is used by local authorities to restrict the spread of disease through contact.
Air Quality – This is something that airlines will be advertising and some have already started. This is in relation to their filtration systems and how this could prevent the spread of the virus. Some people will be looking into this before booking their flights, as a safety measure.
Use the governments website to confirm the countries you are able to travel to (if you are wanting to leave the UK) as well as the travel corridors currently open here.
Check the destination or resort itself, as some of them have extra rulings specific to them. For example, if you are looking to travel to Dubai, any incoming tourists are required to provide a negative test result taken within 4 days of the flight. If you haven’t had one upon arrival then you can get one there, but you will need to self-isolate until you have received your results confirming you are clear.
Ensure before booking that the hotel or apartment has re-opened following lockdown as there have already been cases of people arriving at their hotels to find that they are still closed, or have closed again since they booked.
On the whole, the majority of companies have been transparent with their customers but there will always be a couple that fall through the cracks, so make sure to do your research.
On the whole, hotels and formal B&Bs are more likely to be cleaner than AirBnB’s as they are regulated. That said, they’re busier and more people use things like stairways or hallways. To give yourself total peace of mind, you might want to book independent accommodation that you can clean as soon as you arrive (who would have thought you’d be packing the Marigolds to go on holiday this time last year?)
If you’re going on holiday with another household, make sure you abide by the guidelines put in place by the Government. If social distancing is required, be mindful of this when booking accommodation. These guidelines are subject to change so worth keeping an eye on before you’re due to travel.
We always advise customers to purchase their travel insurance once they have paid any sort of deposit towards their trip, to ensure they are fully covered for anything that could lead them to cancel, such as a new diagnoses of Coronavirus that means you have to self-isolate for 14 days. Please visit our COVID-19 page for more details on the cover we can provide.
You have booked your holiday and have got your insurance – what next?
Although most people will be continuing to use contactless payments, we appreciate that some still prefer to use cash, especially when it comes to holidays.
However, money is already one of the dirtiest things in the world, even before coronavirus started to spread. Luckily, we have found a company that will provide you with sterile banknotes.
It is currently only available in Euros and US Dollars, but at least you know it will be clean!
The currency is available from Travel Money Club which is being supplied by Spendology and can give you that peace of mind that you want in this climate.
If you want to visit any tourist attractions whilst away, we recommend that you find them online, or give them a call before turning up. Most places are now open now, but some could potentially be closed or are more likely to close if your destination sees a spike in infection rate. They also may have reduced opening hours, as well as the need to book in advance.
The travelling itself will look very different to what we are used to.
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