Travelling with the Coronavirus (Covid - 19)

Updated: Sep 28

Here is everything you need to know if you are planning on travelling during the coronavirus epidemic.



The spread of the Coronavirus known as COVID-19 has thrown the international travel industry into complete chaos, especially in hard-hit areas like South East Asia.


A number of travellers have decided to post-pone their vacation time, or are cancelling their business trips until the fear of exposure to the coronavirus is known and contained. However, there are some that have pre-paid for their vacations and those that must travel due to business. And there are some of us that think this new virus is nothing much to worry about, and much like the seasonal flu, if we take the right precautions, you will have safe travels.


The virus, first detected in China's Wuhan Province prompted worries for travellers, with governments closing borders with affected countries and barring entry to or subjecting travellers from outbreak areas to lengthy quarantines.


This is despite the World Health Organization (WHO) advising against such travel restrictions.


International airlines are also cancelling flights to areas where the virus is most intense such as Italy, Iran, China and South Korea. This is not because they fear the virus is dangerous, they simply have extremely low demand because of the media hype surrounding it.



Should you cancel or postpone your travel plans?


If you have travel plans to the effective areas of Italy, Iran, China, South Korea or other locations in South-East Asia, health experts do not recommend that you embark on your trip as the chance of catching the virus in these areas is higher than usual. Many countries such as Canada and the United States have warned their citizens in an official capacity not to travel to these locations, but no absolute travel restrictions are in place at this time.


The World Health Organization is recommending elderly travellers and those with underlying health conditions delay or avoid travel to areas that are experiencing ongoing transmission of COVID-19.


That is because the disease, while mild in some 85% of cases, can be fatal for people who are above 65 years or who have chronic illnesses.


If you do decide to travel, even if its destinations without major outbreaks, you should consider your own risk factors and the quality of healthcare available in the region you are going to if you become ill, says Crystal Watson, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.


"Travellers should be aware that this is a possibility, they may be stuck somewhere for an extended period of time and they should plan for that," she said.


"Once this virus is recognized in more places, travel restrictions are going to have less impact, so eventually countries may stop implementing them. But I do think that there will be considerably more disruption in the weeks and months ahead."


As the virus spreads, governments are less likely to try to contain it and as a result, your chance of being caught up in a quarantine-like situation is limited.


There is also the possibility that a lot of tourist related destinations may be shuttering or closed altogether. Smaller hotels or rental apartments may not be operational, or have limited services. Likewise, restaurants and other eaters may be limited. Major tourist attractions such as theme parks, museums, water parks, and cultural and historical destinations may be closed also.


Another X Factor to consider is your flight plans may get disrupted because other passengers are opting not to travel. Even in areas without major outbreaks, large numbers of cancellations and no-shows by customers have led airlines to ground flights disrupting tens of thousands of passengers.


The International Air Transport Association indicate airlines are reporting 50 % "no-shows" across a number of markets in Asia and booking down nearly 92%.


If you did already book a flight and a hotel, you may have to pay for it out of pocket if you decide not to travel. There are some exceptions, however, depending on where you are travelling from and to.


If you booked your flight and hotel before your country made travel warnings you may be entitled to a refund, provided you purchased travel insurance to cover such an event. If you decided to book during the outbreak and during such warnings it is highly unlikely any travel insurance would cover you if you so happen to not want to travel.


Many airlines and hotel properties understand and they have offered re-booking options as a result. In essence, if you booked a flight and hotel to Milan, for example, you may be able to cancel that flight and hotel booking, and fly to Jamaica instead. Of course the price and timing would have to work for both parties, but at least the travel industry is responding and doing the utmost best to accommodate.



How to Limit Your Risk


It is absolutely necessary to purchase travel insurance that will cover everything because we do not know when and where the next outbreak will be, what travel and transportation will be affected and how your vacation may be interrupted including high-cost medical expenses.


We highly recommend World Nomad's Travel Insurance to cover you and your family as they provide the best service, best price and cover your travel needs like no other. You can get a quick quote online by filling out the form below.


What is really great about this travel insurance is that you can buy it online, anytime and still be covered. Even if you are in the middle of your trip, you can still purchase it.



How to Protect Yourself


If you do plan on travelling, just use common sense. If we practise basic hygiene and cleaning methods your travels should be carefree. Here are some useful tips to keep you safe while travelling:


1. Use the washroom at the airport, before you go on the plane as the planes washroom is cleaned in a matter of seconds and the onboard cleaners simply wipe and go making the lavatory a germ haven.


2. Before you sit down, use a cleaning product and wipe down the tray table, the seat, the buttons, the overhead compartment release and your air vent. It will take you all of 45 seconds and you will have cleaned your area better than the cleaning staff.


3. Keep the air flow vent open as it will push air away from you in case someone sneezes or coughs.


4. Wash your hands or wipe your hands with the cleaning product wipes twice before eating.


5. Once at your destinations make sure to wash your hands at least 45 seconds before eating or touching your face in any manner.


6. Try to keep a distance from others and avoid very crowded places.


7. Opt for private tours and transportation as these will have less individuals crowded in around you.


8. Consider renting a car and keeping it clean for your own personal transportation.


9. Photocopy your passport or take a picture of it on your phone so that if you need it for identification, hands or not touching it.


10. Purchase Travel Insurance that will cover everything including medical expenses and travel expenses needed to evacuate an area or country in case of an outbreak.



Remain Calm and Enjoy Your Vacation


There are many places around the world to enjoy and the Coronavirus, it appears, is here to stay. It is important to look toward the rational experts in the field of science to see how it will effect you and determine your risk.


Currently, the Coronavirus is affecting nearly 100,000 people in the world. That is only about 0.00001% of people on earth. Of that amount, tragically, but statistically low, 3,000 people have died.


That represents only 0.0000000000001% of the earth's population and many of these individuals were elderly, with existing health issues such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Many were also citizens of countries where their health care system is very poor and where government's only care to remain in power, rather than to protect its citizens.


Your chance of catching Coronavirus, it appears, is no different that catching the seasonal flu.


And doctor's tell us the symptoms are very similar, except the majority of cases of Coronavirus are very mild.


So if you take precautions, just like any time you fly and vacation to prevent illness, you should be absolutely safe.


There are currently millions upon millions of people travelling around the world and enjoying life.


This very minute, there are over 500,000 people in the air flying in various airliners around the world. 62% of Hotels and Motels are booked solid tonight. And 86% of cars on rental lots are booked for the morning.


Get out there and don't let a little bug stop you!



It is a Travellers Market


With so much anxiety and fear the travel and tour market is taking a big hit and if there is a silver lining to the coronavirus, this is it.


You can find roundtrip airfare for the cheapest it has ever been - one roundtrip flight from Boston to London, England is $288. Vacation rental properties have lowered rates by as much as 40-60%!


If you want to travel this is the time to start booking before the market rebounds.


You will end up saving 40-80% on your future travel plans and vacation and know that if something goes sideways, you don't have to worry if you got the right travel insurance and are informed.


Start by using the links below to find the best deals on flights and hotels and travel insurance.


Happy Worry Free Travels!





For the Best Hotel Rates:


For the Cheapest Flights:



If you are travelling in Asia, the best and safest transport can be found with 12GoAsia. Simply click the link below to find ground and water transportation. Tickets are sold for more than 3000 stations in 15 countries: Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Philippines, New Zealand, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Macao, and China.


12Go.Asia has already helped more than 1,000,000 travelers from around the world to get from point A to point B: trouble-free and with a high-quality service guarantee. Over the years, it has received more than 60,000 customer reviews about the service.






Below are some FAQ provided by World Nomad's Travel Insurance concerning the Coronavirus or Covid-19:


I'm currently travelling. Am I covered for COVID-19 under my World Nomads travel insurance?


If you catch COVID-19 while overseas, you may be covered for emergency medical expenses, provided you were not in a ‘Do Not Travel’ region at the time and bought your policy before any symptoms appeared or you received treatment. This benefit is not impacted by the imposed cut-off dates when it was first publicised that COVID-19 was a contagious disease or possible epidemic. However, if you travel to a declared ‘Do Not Travel’ region anyway and contract the virus, you may not be covered.


If you contract COVID-19 and you’re considered medically unfit to travel and you have no option but to cancel or defer your trip, there may be cover to do so as long as you were following all locally advised precautions, restrictions and laws, and were not in a region classified under a government ‘Do Not Travel’ warning.


If you bought a policy after 5:00 pm AEDT 23 January 2020 for trips to/from China or 6.00am AEDT 31 January  2020 for other destinations, you may also be covered if COVID-19 causes you to cancel or interrupt your trip due to:


The sudden death or sudden illness of your close relative requiring hospitalisation; The sudden death, sudden illness or serious injury of a member of your travelling party; Your business partner or a person in the same job as you and you're required to end your trip early to return to work; or The Australian Government or other official authority has issued a Do Not Travel warning to a specific region or country and that warning was first given after you purchased the policy and after you booked the arrangements.


However, if you bought a policy after 5:00 pm AEDT 23 January 2020 for trips to/from China, or 6.00am AEDT 31 January 2020 for other destinations, there is no cover for any cancellation or trip rearrangement arising from the outbreak now that COVID-19 is a known event. After these dates, this virus is a well-known and publicised event and any disruption to your itinerary caused by COVID-19 is not considered sudden, unforeseen, unavoidable or outside of your control, which is an important condition of coverage under the Australian resident policy.


If there isn’t a ‘Do Not Travel’ government warning, and you make the decision to change or cancel your trip, this may be considered a simple change of mind, which is a General Exclusion on many World Nomads plans. This is why you should first talk to your travel provider to see if they will change or refund your trip.


Other benefits

The COVID-19 outbreak should not impact other benefits under your policy, however the general exclusions do apply to all sections of the policy wording.



I haven’t left home yet, is COVID-19 covered under my World Nomads travel insurance?


If you purchased your policy before 5:00 pm AEDT 23 January 2020 for trips to/from China or 6.00am AEDT 31 January 2020 for other destinations, and have contracted COVID-19 before you leave, you may be covered for cancelling or rearranging your trip, as your doctor may declare that you’re unfit to travel.


If you are healthy and you still decide to cancel or rearrange your trip, the policy would not cover you, unless the region you are travelling to has been declared “Do Not Travel” by the government after you purchased your policy.


However, if you bought a policy after 5:00 pm AEDT 23 January 2020 for trips to/from China or 6.00am AEDT 31 January 2020 for other destinations, there is no cover for any cancellation or trip rearrangement arising from the outbreak, now that COVID-19 is a known event. After these dates, this virus is a well-known and publicized event and any disruption to your itinerary caused by COVID-19 is not considered sudden, unforeseen, unavoidable or outside of your control, which is an important condition of coverage under your resident policy.


If you have to cancel your trip, contact your providers, and see if you are able to obtain a refund for your arrangements before you make a claim on your policy.


Along with other terms, the policy includes an exclusion for a change of mind, disinclination or reluctance to travel and costs associated with pre-existing medical conditions, so please read your policy carefully.


If I'm diagnosed with COVID-19, could I be covered for Trip Cancellation?


It depends on when and where you catch it:


While travelling:

If you catch COVID-19 while overseas and your doctor confirms you are medically unfit to travel, you may be covered for emergency medical expenses and related cancellation expenses, provided you were not in a ‘Do Not Travel’ region at the time and bought your policy before any symptoms appeared or you received treatment. This benefit is not impacted by the imposed cut-off dates for coverage when it was first publicized that COVID-19 was a contagious disease or possible epidemic.


Remember that any impact related to you being quarantined as a precaution (as opposed to actually being diagnosed) may not be covered, as the policy does have a General Exclusion regarding prohibition by or regulation of or intervention of any government.

As soon as possible, contact any airlines or other organization you have pre-booked with, and discuss refunds or rearrangement.


However, if you travel to a declared “Do Not Travel” region anyway and contract the virus, you may not be covered.


Before you leave

If you’re unfortunate enough to be told by your doctor that you have contracted COVID-19 before you even leave on your trip while at home, there may be cover when cancelling your pre-booked, non-refundable arrangements, assuming you’re confirmed as unfit to travel by a registered medical practitioner.


This benefit is not impacted by the imposed cut-off dates when it was first publicized that COVID-19 was a contagious disease or possible epidemic, as contracting the virus while in your country would be considered as sudden, unforeseen, unavoidable and outside your control, unless you are failing to take appropriate precautions (e.g. sustained contact with individuals known to be diagnosed with COVID-19)


However, you would need to have purchased your policy prior to experiencing any symptoms, as the General Exclusion regarding pre-existing medical conditions would still apply.


Important information

If you have to cancel your trip, contact the providers that you have booked through, and see if you are able to obtain a refund for your arrangements before you make a claim on your policy.


If you were experiencing any symptoms at all prior to purchase, then the COVID-19 would be considered a pre-existing medical condition, and the relevant exclusion would apply.

Along with other terms, the policy includes an exclusion for a change of mind, disinclination or reluctance to travel, so please read your policy carefully for full details.



I’m in an area where COVID-19 cases have just been confirmed – how do I get out?


Follow the local advice of local and government authorities and check the World Health Organization website for helpful information on the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.


In some cases, contacting your local embassy or your country’s foreign affairs department may be required, especially if you have recently been to an area impacted by COVID-19, you may not be allowed to enter or transit, or you may be required to enter a period of quarantine after entry.


Contact your transport provider as well – they may be making special arrangements to return travellers to their home destination. Alternately, depending on the country of origin, they may be cancelling flights or other services.


Importantly, before you buy new flights or incur the expense to change your existing flights, please check your policy conditions and exclusions carefully and read our recent articles on COVID-19.


Be prepared for major delays at the airport too! Screening measures on arrival may include temperature checks, and you could be asked about your general health or recent travel history. Where these checks identify a concern, further medical checks may be required.



I’m travelling, and I think I have caught COVID-19 ... What do I do?


First and foremost, seek treatment. If you’re not sure where to go, contact our Emergency Assistance team, who can direct you to appropriate care. They’re available 24/7 and can give you all the advice you need about how to get from wherever you are to a decent hospital.

Remember to follow the World Health Organisation (WHO) advice regarding health. Minimise your contact with other people as much as possible, wear a mask to prevent spreading the infection and wash your hands thoroughly and regularly.


Is cover available if advised by a doctor not to travel?


If you purchased your policy before 5:00pm AEDT 23 January 2020 for trips to/from China or 6.00am AEDT 31 January 2020 for other destinations, and have contracted COVID-19 before leaving home, you may be covered for cancelling or rearranging, as your doctor may declare that you’re unfit to travel.


However, if you are healthy but your doctor has advised you not to travel due to increased risks, the policy would not cover you, unless the region you are travelling to has been declared “Do Not Travel” by the your government after you purchased your policy.

If you have to cancel or rearrange your trip, contact the providers to see if you are able to obtain a refund or if they will waive the costs to make changes.


All resident policies include exclusions for pre-existing medical conditions, change of mind, disinclination or reluctance to travel and others, so please read your policy carefully.



Is cover available if the government says not to travel to a destination?


If you bought your policy prior to your destination being declared “Do Not Travel”, then you may be covered for cancellation or rearrangement, subject to the terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions of the policy.


You should keep a close eye on the latest travel alerts to your destination before you leave home and while travelling in case the status changes to regions or countries in your planned itinerary. As, if you choose to travel to a “Do Not Travel” destination, then there is no cover for any incident under any section of the policy.


We always restrict purchases to countries declared ‘Do Not Travel’ by your government. If this status changes, you may purchase a policy and travel to that destination and coverage is available under the terms of your policy.


As always, cover is subject to the terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions of the policy, so please read your policy carefully.



I want to buy a travel insurance policy to cover COVID-19. Am I covered?


If you’re concerned about catching COVID-19 while travelling, it’s good to know that you may be covered for emergency medical expenses, provided you were not in a ‘Do Not Travel’ region at the time and bought your policy before you experienced any symptoms  or received treatment. This benefit is not impacted by the imposed cut-off dates when it was first publicized COVID-19 was a contagious disease or possible epidemic.


Now that you’re aware of COVID-19, you will not be covered for cancellation or rearrangement of your trip resulting from COVID-19, regardless of whether the need to change arises from a government restriction or transport provider.


If you are travelling anywhere other than a “Do Not Travel” region, you may be covered for medical and associated trip interruption expenses if you are diagnosed with COVID-19 and are hospitalized.


If the country or region you have planned to visit is declared as ‘Do Not Travel’ after you purchase your policy, you may be covered for cancellation or rearrangement.


As always, cover is subject to the terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions of the policy.



If I book and pay for a trip now – am I covered for COVID-19?


There is no cover for any cancellation or trip rearrangement arising from the outbreak, now that COVID-19 is a known event, which was widely publicised in the media from 5:00pm AEDT 23 January 2020 for trips to/from China or 6.00am AEDT 31 January 2020 for other destinations.


If you are travelling anywhere other than a “Do Not Travel” region, you may be covered for medical and associated trip interruption expenses if you are diagnosed with COVID-19 and are hospitalized.


If the country or region you have planned to visit is declared as ‘Do Not Travel’ after you purchase your policy, you may be covered for cancellation or rearrangement.


As always, cover is subject to the terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions of the policy.



If your policy won't cover me for COVID-19, what can I do?


Unfortunately travel insurance isn’t designed to cover everything. It is intended to cover unexpected things that may happen to you which are unrelated to COVID-19. You may be in an accident or your gear is stolen, so your policy isn’t invalidated just because we’re unable to provide cover for this outbreak.


If you’re concerned about COVID-19, it’s best to speak to your travel provider to see what they can do to help you.  In many cases, they are offering refunds, credits or reticketing.


Concerned about catching COVID-19?


If you catch COVID-19 while overseas, you may be covered for emergency medical expenses, provided you were not in a ‘Do Not Travel’ region at the time and bought your policy before you experienced any symptoms or received treatment.


If you’re currently overseas, the best thing you can do is follow local advice. The World Health Organisation (WHO) advises to regularly washing your hands with soap and water and avoid contact with people who may have come into contact with the virus. If you have visited one of the areas where the outbreak has occurred, you should also follow any quarantine measures suggested by local authorities or the WHO to protect your local community.


If you have an underlying respiratory condition (asthma, emphysema, etc.) or are immune compromised, you should probably try to self-isolate as much as practically possible. Note that this information should not be considered medical advice – nor should Dr Google! Stay up to date with local health advisory warnings, and reputable sources such as WHO, Smartraveller and the Australian Department of Health.



How can travel insurance help people travelling to Asia, Italy or other parts of the world with heightened risk?


Travel insurance may provide cover for medical expenses in the event you contract COVID-19 and may also help you change your plans if the outbreak spreads and new areas are declared “Do Not Travel” by your government.


Your risk of catching COVID-19 can be minimized by following the advice of local health authorities and your government health advisory. The World Health Organization also regularly updates its advice on how to protect yourself.


If you begin to feel unwell, you can make contact with our Emergency Assistance team, who are available 24/7. They can help direct you to appropriate care.


Also, travel insurance is designed to cover other unexpected illnesses that are unrelated to COVID-19 and accidents while travelling overseas, plus other benefits depending on the policy you buy. Your policy has full details, so please read it carefully.


If you are travelling in Asia, the best and safest transport can be found with 12GoAsia. Simply click the link below to find ground and water transportation. Tickets are sold for more than 3000 stations in 15 countries: Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Philippines, New Zealand, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Macao, and China.


12Go.Asia has already helped more than 1,000,000 travelers from around the world to get from point A to point B: trouble-free and with a high-quality service guarantee. Over the years, it has received more than 60,000 customer reviews about the service.




Experience This 360

360° of Travel Adventure
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Travel Podcast
About Experience This 360

Experience This 360 is a destination for travel, experiences, and lifestyle. We are here to provide you with the best in travel guides, information, resources and experiences. Learn More

 

Join our mailing list
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Travel Podcast

© 2017 Experience This 360 LLC

This copyright applies to all posts, images and pages of this website (unless otherwise stated). Any of these may not be reproduced on another blog/website without the author's expressed written consent. All applicable laws apply and will be enforced.

TERMS OF USE & PRIVACY POLICY
We do our best to keep the content updated, but please double check the information directly with the concerned brand or organization (e.g. immigration departments, tourism boards, airlines, hotels, brands). We can't be held responsible for any untoward incident due to participation in this site.

Your privacy is important to us. We only collect data to further enhance our web site and to offer you better information. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.