HomeCovid safe international travel for Australians, travel insurance policy changes

Covid safe international travel for Australians, travel insurance policy changes

Now airlines are flying again, experts reveal in our live chat at 12.30pm AEDT how you can try to avoid a Covid infection and how to get insured against it.

A decent mask, proof of vaccination and a supply of rapid antigen tests will be the new pandemic additions to pack before going on an overseas holiday, experts reveal.

Australian National University Infectious diseases expert Professor Peter Collingnon and Compare Insurance’s Natalie Ball will answer your questions about how to travel Covid-safe in a Facebook Live session today at 12.30pm AEDT.

You can also watch it in this story above.

They warn going away is going to be a lot more complicated and require heaps more planning.

After vaccination a good face mask is your best protection against catching Covid-19 while travelling and will reduce your risk of infection by around 20 per cent, Professor Collignon said.

Regular hand washing or use of hand sanitiser is also a good idea.

And from Monday you will be able to buy rapid antigen tests from your chemist to allow you to self-check whether you’ve picked up an infection in-flight or on your tour bus.

Checking the vaccination record of your destination, your cab driver and flight attendant and whether your travel insurance covers Covid will be the new normal as travel resumes.

Then you will have to navigate the myriad different rules that will apply in your destination with some countries including China and Vietnam requiring up to a month in quarantine and others like Singapore demanding multiple expensive PCR tests for a relatively short stay.

And none of it is cheap. In fact you could be spending as much as $1,000 on Covid tests alone to meet the requirements of some overseas destinations.

Qantas and Air Zealand and the Australian Government have made masks and vaccination compulsory if you want to take an international flight.

Coming home our government requires you to return a negative Covid-19 test result from an approved PCR testing site 72 hours prior to departure.

Making sure you are insured for any health or quarantine costs if you catch Covid is highly advisable.

Some travel insurance policies include Covid cover as standard; others may offer it as an added extra; and some policies don’t cover Covid at all, Ms Ball warns.

“Of those providing cover, most will cover you if you or your travelling companion are diagnosed with Covid,” she said.

You can also purchase also cover for additional expenses such as meals and accommodation should you need to extend your stay or if you have to quarantine due to catching Covid.

“This is usually capped at around $2,500 per policyholder. Some insurers allow you to choose the limit,” she said.

Vaccination is not a requirement in order to purchase or validate travel insurance in Australia, she said.

However, many policies exclude cover if you’re travelling against government advice so check the government’s Smartraveller website for “do not travel” warnings.

Originally published as Covid safe international travel for Australians and travel insurance policy changes


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