2020, the year of grounded flights, docked cruises, closed borders, and stay-at-home orders, was tough on both avid and casual travelers. With the one year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic now upon us, it’s only natural that people around the globe experience a little wanderlust. Now that vaccine distribution is underway around the world and countries are reopening to international travelers, the question remains: Is it safe to travel?
The answer depends on your country of origin, your destination country, how long you’re staying and what kind of travel insurance coverage you have. When deciding whether it’s safe for you to travel again, you’ll need to consider these factors.
Is travel insurance required?
As borders reopen to international tourists, some countries already require travel insurance for entry. This requirement reduces the spread of COVID-19 and keeps you and your fellow travelers safe. Travel insurance may cover many expenses related to COVID, like mandatory quarantine, screenings and hospitalizations. When travelers have access to these benefits, their risk of spreading the virus in the destination country or carrying it back home decreases.
Even if your destination doesn’t require travel insurance, it’s still a good safeguard for travelers. Whether you’re a student looking to conduct research abroad, a business executive trying to broker a big overseas deal, or a tourist on a vacation, you can find COVID coverage options that suit your needs.
While vaccine distribution is underway globally, each country has unique protocols, resources and challenges when it comes to mass vaccination. As you track COVID-19 cases in your home and your destination countries, it’s a good idea to keep up with each country’s rate of inoculations. Once the majority of the population is vaccinated, the threat of COVID-19 is reduced.
COVID-19 protocols & standards
Consider how the safety standards and protocol differ between your home and destination countries. Most airlines, lodging accommodations, and restaurants have implemented strict standards for cleanliness and social distancing, which follows their home country’s official guidelines.
The world’s grappling with the best ways to keep people safe during a pandemic, but every country has unique challenges, limitations and resources. If you’re planning on traveling internationally, be mindful of the protocols in your destination country and every place you visit within its borders.
Trend of COVID-19 cases
While COVID-19 cases trend down worldwide, the virus is still a threat. As you think about where and when to travel, track the latest case rate in both your country of origin and your destination country. The number of cases vary day by day and it’s challenging to know whether a trend will continue. But how can you predict what the case rate will be during your scheduled trip? The trouble is you can’t be completely sure. This is when adding a Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) option to your travel insurance plan can help.
With CFAR, you can cancel your travels without penalty and even recoup some of your prepaid expenses. That means if COVID-19 cases in your destination country rise sharply just before your trip, you can cancel travel plans with reduced financial loss. Of course, with CFAR, you can cancel your trip for reasons completely unrelated to COVID-19, too.
Your own health
When you’re deciding whether or not to travel, consider how healthy you and your travel companions are. If you’re elderly, have diabetes, breathing difficulties, or heart conditions, you’re considered high risk for a severe COVID-related illness. People in high-risk groups should avoid travel until the threat of the virus diminishes or they’re fully vaccinated. If you’re not in a high-risk group, you should still exercise caution.
If you decide to travel make sure you know all your safety options, including the right travel insurance coverage. VisitorsCoverage’s team of customer service specialists is on hand to help.
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