Can I travel during the Covid Pandemic?
Yes and No.
As the pandemic is ongoing, any exposure to the disease presents a potential health risk.
This is a complicated time with regard to the safe reopening - or phased reopenings - of destinations. Every place has its own process at various levels: country, state/region, county, city, etc. and are constantly being monitored and updated according to the latest statistics of their health officials.
For places that are open to visitors, there may be certain restrictions or requirements in effect that will affect your travels: mandatory quarantines, recent negative Covid test results, mandatory travel insurance, among others. Destinations currently open to visitors, may close their borders or restrict visitors at any time without notice.
There are many destinations that remain closed to non-essential travelers or foreign nationals of any kind. Any anticipated dates of reopening to vacationers are very likely to be delayed or postponed pending the coronavirus cases both in destination and globally.
Will the travel experiences be different than in the past?
All airlines, airports and most hotels are requiring use of masks/facial coverings (indoors and outdoors in public places) and implementing other social distancing measures. There are also reductions for any in-person contact (checking in/out, restaurants, housekeeping etc.) some services will not be available at all.
Depending on the recommendations from health authorities, other amenities may remain closed such as swimming pools, spas/salons, fitness facilities, indoor dining and more. Locally outside of hotels, this can include sites, attractions and other places of interest.
Are changes or cancellations allowed?
The terms and conditions vary depending on the custom itinerary prepared.
What are the requirements for travel?
For places that are open to visitors, there may be certain restrictions or requirements in effect that will affect your travels: mandatory quarantines, recent negative Covid test results, mandatory travel insurance, among others.
While we monitor every trip carefully, we will keep you informed of any notable factors that may arise. The requirements are changing constantly and are subject to change without notice.
What if there is another outbreak or shutdown?
Should another outbreak occur, we may likely see borders or even inter-state travel close. Flights may be halted to stop the spread, or there may be hotel closures or other local shutdowns; all of which may cause implications to your travels.
This may require you to return immediately or as soon as possible. If you are unable to return from your destination, you will have to follow foreign guidelines and instructions and extend your stay for an unknown period of time.
As always for our travelers, we will have 24-hour support to assist in getting travelers home as swiftly as possible. Returning visitors may have to undergo enforced quarantine measures.
What if I get sick while traveling? Is there a cost for treatment?
If you are unwell, seek medical attention right away.
Many hotels have doctors or nurses on call, and many can do remote appointments by telephone/video phone so you can stay isolated to avoid spreading any disease.
Medical care costs will be applicable, and as such some destinations are requiring proof of medical coverage when traveling.
Medical/health insurance is something we have always recommended and will continue to do.
For travel insurance medical coverage, some benefits may be available for emergency medical care services up to the policy limitations.
For any personal insurance, you will need to check the coverage on your policy for coronavirus treatments, and very importantly before you travel, clarify that it is applicable in the destination you will be traveling to as well as any stopover points. There are cases when only certain clinics or hospitals will be covered, and not all.
If a negative Covid test is required, where can I obtain one?
Many destinations are requiring proof that you are Covid free, and all travelers in your party may need a PCR or NAAT Covid test. These often must be taken within 48-72 hours of your arrival to a destination.
Your primary care provider can offer a referral to the nearest Covid testing location, or simply search online for Covid testing sites in your area. Many are by appointment only and a cost applies. You will want to ensure their lab can get your results within the time frame needed.
Keep in mind, if traveling from abroad, allow extra time for long flight times, crossing time zones and possible flight delays or cancellations. The destination will be strict on the validity of the test past the 48-72 hour requirement and you may be denied entry.