For sunseekers and those with a sense of wanderlust, the opening up of International Travel restrictions has been a welcome move that paves the way for a long-awaited holiday on foreign shores.
After several years when getting away has been complicated by Covid-19, increasing numbers of people are considering leaving the UK for their 2022 summer holiday.
This is backed up by data from Barclays, which analysed consumer spending in March to provide insights into purchasing trends. It found that staycations look set to remain a feature of this holiday season, with spend up 15.3% on Hotels, Resorts & Accommodation venues compared with the same period in 2019.
At the same time, it pointed to the fact that the removal of Covid restrictions by the UK government on March 18 provided a catalyst for spending at Travel Agents to reach its highest level since the onset of the pandemic, with consumers welcoming the return of international travel.
The changing travel landscape
It is not necessarily a return to travel as usual, however. There has undoubtedly been a great deal of change to the landscape in the years since the pandemic first grounded flights and closed borders in 2020. And while there is talk of a ‘post-pandemic world’, this refers not to the absence of Covid-19 but to the need to adjust, adapt and live alongside the virus.
Given that holidays are designed with rest and relaxation in mind, this places even greater importance on the need for travellers to understand exactly how the land lies and what measures they can take to provide the comfort and security that their holiday investment is appropriately protected.
An essential measure for achieving that goal is travel insurance. Policies will differ from provider to provider, making it crucial to check the specific detail, but cover relating to Covid-19 can encompass: cancellation if you or anyone in your party tests positive within a certain period prior to travel; medical costs if you contract the pandemic while outside of the UK; and costs associated with quarantining, such as travel and accommodation expenses.
Some providers also offer extended cover on their policies. This can include the addition of a range of cover for various Covid-19 related scenarios, such as being denied boarding as a result of displaying symptoms or accruing costs in relation to caring for family members and loved ones who contract the virus – or them providing care for you.
Protecting your peace of mind
These scenarios underline the invaluable support that travel insurance provides for today’s traveller, but it is also worth noting that the validity of policies is closely aligned with current government advice issued by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). The Association of British Insurers (ABI) therefore recommends checking the FCDO website for the latest information on your particular destination to avoid the risk of your travel insurance being invalidated. It also advises being clear on any quarantine requirements on your return to the UK, since travel insurance “will not cover costs associated with quarantining in Government provided accommodation”.
The FCDO provides advice on the individual Covid-related entry regulations for each country, which will encompass areas such as vaccination status, mask wearing and testing. Requirements can also vary for children, with different age thresholds applying in different territories.
Travellers will be provided a level of healthcare support with the free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which is in the process of replacing the previous European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) following the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. Holders of these cards are entitled to access state healthcare treatment at a reduced cost or sometimes for free.
However, there are limitations to the GHIC that are complemented by the security of a more extensive insurance policy that incorporates an appropriate level of pandemic cover for the policyholder.
With a recent survey pointing to the fact that Covid-19 tops the list of worries associated with overseas travel – ahead of the rising cost-of-living and global conflicts – the peace of mind afforded by travel insurance can go a long way to alleviating concerns among holidaymakers embarking on overseas trips again. This is particularly poignant in the context of findings that 96% of Brits felt that a foreign holiday was beneficial to their mental health.
After a period defined by significant and often surprising changes to our freedom of movement, it only provides additional impetus to seek greater protection for your travel plans.
The information contained within this communication does not constitute financial advice, medical advice or other and is provided for general information purposes only. No warranty, whether express or implied is given in relation to such information. Vintage Health or its associated representatives shall not be liable for any technical, editorial, typographical or other errors or omissions within the content of this communication.