Travel Insurance with Benefits Specific to Coronavirus
The current spread of Covid-19 has undoubtedly left many travellers with feelings of fear and uncertainty – that’s why we have added a new product to our range that offers cover specific to the coronavirus.
While it is imperative for the travel industry to monitor and adhere to the advice and guidelines from leading health organisations during this time, it is equally important for travel insurance to adapt and quickly change to meet the current needs of travellers.
Standard travel insurance vs. Covid-19 travel insurance
As it stands, many of the standard travel insurance options available to travellers do not cover epidemics. In today’s situation, this may leave travellers without cover for cancelled flights, cancelled events or even required medical attention.
Our new travel insurance product is called Covid-19. It is underwritten by Hollard and offers a series of Covid-19 related cover in addition to our standard travel insurance policy.
With Travelsafe, you can purchase a Covid-19 travel insurance policy directly from our website in a few simple clicks.
What does Covid-19 travel insurance cover
The product was developed in consultation with experts and offers additional cover that aims to give peace of mind to travellers in the midst of the outbreak. On top of our standard travel insurance, our new Covid-19 travel insurance also includes the following cover:
• Cover to reimburse you for proactive Covid-19 testing – regardless of if there is a manifestation of symptoms or not
• Cover for cancellations has been expanded to cover the following:
- If a city listed in your itinerary has been isolated by state authorities due to the disease, there is cover for cancellation or curtailment
- If your flight is cancelled, you may be reimbursed for the flights. Our policy will reimburse you for any non-refundable accommodation costs due to the cancelled flights
- If an event you have booked travel for has been cancelled, we will reimburse you for non-refundable flights and accommodation (Excludes the cost of your visa)
• Cover for additional expenses incurred in the case of a flight delay due to a medical emergency on board, such as the purchase of food or accommodation
• Cover for repatriation to South Africa in case you want to return to South Africa earlier than booked due to the threat of Covid-19 being reasonably present
If you have upcoming travel plans and you are concerned about it, the first step should be to consult relevant health organisations for accurate news, advice and information. If you would like to get peace of mind in terms of cover in the event of cancellations or Covid-19 specific situations, you can purchase your Covid-19 travel insurance here.
International Travel For South Africans: Which Countries Are Reopening?
There’s nothing better than the feeling of being at the airport ahead of an international trip - that excitement you feel, anticipating the adventure you’re about to experience.
If you’re missing that feeling and wondering when you’ll be able to travel abroad again, keep reading.
Many of us had plans to travel internationally this year, perhaps in June or July, when its summer overseas.
Unfortunately, Covid-19 had other plans for us.
We’re stuck in lockdown, missing the knot in your stomach as the plane races down the runway when you’re about to take off, the friendly faces of the flight attendants and the overall joy of travelling. The frustration is real!
With the Covid-19 pandemic hitting the world hard, international travel came to a grinding halt which disrupted the travel plans of a number of people. We agree – it’s not ideal.
Despite the frustrating international travel restrictions, the virus is very real and the restrictions have been put in place for a reason. Whether we agree with them or not, we have to adhere to them to help stop spread the virus.
While the lockdown has been tough on all of us and has had some devastating effects on our economy and unemployment – we need to also appreciate it’s importance. For some people, it has been an opportunity to relook at the lives they were living and have now found what is really important to them. Others have learnt to never take the outdoors and freedom for granted and to always remember just how lucky we actually are in that we have the opportunities to travel internationally.
While we’re currently at the mercy of travel restrictions, there’s no harm in thinking ahead and doing a little travel day dreaming!
The latest updates on South Africa’s travel ban
Let’s take a look at the latest updates on international travel regulations and which countries around the world are opening up their borders.
As we all anxiously await the go ahead for international travel, there has been no official announcement to date about when South Africans will be able to travel abroad.
It has been suggested that South African boarders could open up for international travel from September onwards.
Numerous countries in Europe and around the world have already opened their borders. According to AFAR magazine, South Africa’s private tourism sector is aiming for a September reopening, despite claims that South Africa won’t welcome any international tourists until 2021. So far, domestic travel has reopened for business travel and a number of other reasons which fall under alert level 3.
Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, CEO of TBCSA, said in a statement that they are confident that South Africa is in a positon to reopen the inbound market in a health-focused and safe manner by at least September. This comes after the success at getting business travel moved into alert level 3.
If by September international travel has reopened, it will most likely be limited to local “Travel Bubbles”. These are also known as ‘travel corridors’ or ‘corona corridors’ and are basically a partnership between neighbouring countries that have similar risk profiles and are at similar stages of the pandemic. Certain countries that are located close together will fall into certain ‘Travel Bubbles’ which will restore connections between the different counties through the reopening of their borders, which will allow people to travel freely between counties without the mandatory on-arrival quarantine.
With the peak of South Africa’s Covid-19 only expected in August, it is highly likely that the International travel ban could potentially be pushed back. Numbers are currently rising by the thousands each day which suggests that South Africa is most likely entering its peak.
Although South Africa’s borders are not currently open for international travel – there are a number of countries around the world that have reopened for international travel, many of whom do not require the mandatory 2 week quarantine.
Where can I stay up to date on the latest travel regulation updates in South Africa?
While the government has yet to announce the official opening of South African borders, there are a few sites that can keep you updated with information.
• The Wego Travel Blog
• The South African
• COVID-19 Corona Virus South African Resource Portal
• The South African Official Website
You can also follow The South African Government on Twitter (@GovernmentZA) for the latest news about when the borders will reopen.
Which countries have opened their borders?
Let’s take a look at some of the possible destinations based on which countries are reopened that you can plan to travel to.
Here is a list of Countries Reopening for Tourism (updated 1 July 2020):
• Antigua and Barbuda – June 4
• Aruba – July 1
• Austria – June 16
• Bahamas – July 1
• Bali (Indonesia) – September 1
• Barbados – July 12
• Belize – August 15
• Belgium – June 15
• Bermuda – July 1
• Bulgaria – June 1
• Costa Rica – August 1
• Croatia – June 1
• Cyprus – June 1
• Czech Republic – June 15
• Dominican Republic – July 1
• Egypt – July 1
• France – June 15
• French Polynesia – July 15
• Georgia – July 31
• Germany – June 15
• Greece – June 15
• Iceland – June 15
• Italy – June 3
• Jamaica – June 15
• Maldives – July 15
• Malta – July 1
• Mexico – June 8
• Montenegro – June 1
• Netherlands – June 15
• Poland – June 13
• Portugal – June 15
• Rwanda – June 17
• Serbia – May 22
• Seychelles – June 1
• Spain – June 21
• Sri Lanka- August 15
• Barth’s – June 22
• Lucia – June 4
• Maarten – July 1
• Vincent and The Grenadines – July 1
• Sweden – June 1
• Switzerland – June 15
• Tanzania – June 1
• Thailand – August 1
• Tunisia – June 27
• Turkey – June 10
• Turks and Caicos – July 22
• UAE (Dubai) – July 7
• Ukraine – June 15
• U.S. Virgin Islands – June 1
Mistakes to avoid when international travel opens again for South Africans
We are currently living in unprecedented times. Whilst Covid-19 is still lingering around, travelling will be stressful enough, which is why it is a highly recommended idea to take out travel insurance.
Travel insurance will protect you from any unforeseen financial risks and losses that could potentially happen while you’re travelling. These risks can include lost or stolen luggage, a medical emergency overseas or a last-minute trip cancellation.
Avoid the mistake of forgetting about safety precautions (mask, hand sanitizer, quarantine and social distancing) when international travel does open again. Borders might open but doesn’t mean that the pandemic is over.
Ensure that you abide by all of the government’s advice and country regulations because at the end of the day the experts know best and have devised regulations for the best safety outcome of all people. Don’t make the mistake of not abiding by the structures put in place and risk infecting yourself, your family or vulnerable people.
Be careful of putting yourself under financial strain during this tough economic climate and uncertain job market.
The only thing we can do while we wait for the official announcement to be made is to be patient and dream. We can also potentially speed up the process of having our borders reopened by doing our part in helping to stop spread the virus. Only go out for the necessary reasons. Avoid going to see friends or family, technology is a powerful tool that can be used to stay connected, so if you have the means – use them. If you do decide to go to a restaurant or to the shops, follow the precautions that have been put in place, wear a mask, social distance and wash your hands with soap and water. Use this time to reflect, start to save for your trip (that’s if you’re in a position to do so), dream about where you’re next destination is going to be and start looking into travel insurance.