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What to do if I need to travel to a country with COVID-19 cases?

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While there may be many valid reasons why you need to travel during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, when it comes to knowing what you are or are not covered for can be tricky.

That's why we've put together this guide to help you navigate travel during Coronavirus, with tips on trip planning, selecting travel insurance and more.

Before your trip

1. Are your intended destinations open for travel?

While we would like to sell travel insurance to every country or region, in some instances this will not be the case. Please be aware that some of our policy coverage depends on government travel advisories and your coverage could be invalidated if you travel against government advice.

For example, if a government issues warnings against travel to a specific region or country due to COVID-19 cases, your policy may be invalidated depending on your Country of Residence. This travel warning does not apply to US residents.

Many travel bubbles can change at a moment’s notice when COVID-19 cases go up or down and may cause a big headache if you’ve booked tours, have connecting flights, and need to cancel or rearrange your flight and accommodation dates.

If you’ve purchased a World Nomads policy and a government travel warning is given after you bought your policy and before you left home, and you have no option but to cancel your trip, you may be covered for the costs incurred of cancellation.

Coverage depends on your Country of Residence and varies between plans.

Don’t forget to read the policy wording when you hit the quote button as all plans are different – don’t just assume you’re covered in every situation, as conditions or exclusions may apply.

2. Be aware of the risks of traveling during COVID-19

Regardless of where you may be traveling to, when it comes to COVID-19, you will need to abide by any country or regions’ rules. If you don’t do your research and prepare in advance, you’ll be in for a few stress-related headaches.

Be aware that we won’t cover you if you decide to travel abroad and you buy or extend a policy when you are aware of circumstances that may impact your travel plans, or if you knowingly put yourself in a risky situation, such as:

  • You know you will be unable to avoid close contact with a case of Coronavirus during your trip.
  • You are medically unfit to travel.
  • You travel against medical advice when you know you will have to consult a medical practitioner during your trip.

3. Check your insurance for all the details around cover for Coronavirus-related events

As the world continues to be affected by various COVID-19 strains, it is trickier than ever to plan a trip overseas without potentially getting denied entry because of a positive COVID-19 test or having to go into mandatory quarantine due to a confirmed case of Coronavirus.

Some of our plans have always had coverage for sudden sicknesses such as COVID-19, but more recently, we've added insurance coverage for some Coronavirus-related events to the plans that don't have them. To find out more about coverage, terms, conditions and benefits check out our Coronavirus cover article.

Our Coronavirus-related coverage will vary depending on your Country of Residence and which plan you have selected.

4. Check you have all paperwork

Before you head off on your trip, you'll need to gather evidence of your planned travel and accommodation costs, medical documents that show proof of vaccination or negative COVID tests and which confirm you’ve got a clean bill of health. If you need to make a claim after you’ve returned home, you may need to provide proof of:

  • COVID-19 vaccinations and PCR tests.
  • Any special tourist visas.
  • Mandatory travel or health insurance
  • Ownership of belongings with receipts.
  • Any supporting police or carrier reports when theft occurs.
  • Any evidence of accommodation, airline and tour operator related charges.
  • Any medical evidence especially if you or your loved ones had an accident, fell ill, or had to quarantine and had to use a credit card for extra costs and wish to be reimbursed.

5. Check travel advisories

If you’re planning on traveling abroad or transiting through or near a country or region with a high number of COVID-19 cases, please check any travel and health advice issued by your Country of Residence and monitor the situation through local and international media as it may affect your travel insurance policy.

Helpful links:

During your trip

6. If you get a positive test at the airport

If you or someone in your traveling party tests positive for COVID-19, you should isolate immediately and contact the 24/7 Emergency Assistance Team as well as a local medical practitioner for advice on what to do.

You should also contact your airline or travel provider to reschedule your travel plans and seek advice on whether you can continue travelling. You may need to go into mandatory quarantine depending on the country that you’re in.

7. If you unexpectedly need to quarantine while traveling

If you need to change your travel arrangements because you’ve contracted COVID-19 or been deemed a close contact and you need to go into mandatory quarantine, in the first instance contact your airline, cruise company or travel agent for assistance and to reschedule your flights. Refer to your policy wording for more details or contact us to discuss your plans before making any changes.

Also, if you are feeling unwell and need urgent medical assistance contact the 24/7 Emergency Assistance Team as soon as possible.

Depending on your Country of Residence, and as part of our Coronavirus Travel Costs benefits (Explorer Plan only), if you need to go into mandatory quarantine we will pay for your reasonable additional travel, meals, and accommodation, including in-room entertainment.

You must provide satisfactory written evidence of the timing and circumstances of the quarantine event and the actual costs incurred. Where applicable, this includes written advice from the attending medical practitioner or local health authority confirming that your quarantine is necessary.

8. If you get COVID during your trip

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 while overseas and it’s not considered an ‘existing medical condition’ under our policy, and there is not a warning against travel in place for COVID-19 in the location you are currently visiting, your benefits may include:

  • 24/7 access to our Emergency Assistance Team, who can help you access local medical care.
  • Overseas medical costs including hospitalization.
  • Evacuation or repatriation if deemed medically necessary by us and in consultation with your attending physician, and up to the relevant benefit limit.

Depending on your Country of Residence you could have access to Coronavirus Travel Costs benefits (Explorer Plan only) for certain events such as cancellation, trip interruption expenses, as well as additional benefits for healthcare workers, residential care workers and law enforcement officers who have their pre-arranged leave cancelled by their employer due to COVID.

You can check out our Coronavirus cover article which has more details, including benefit limits and exclusions. 

After your trip

9. Claims tips – gather the right documents for your claim

If you make a claim, you must show the event was unexpected and occurred after you purchased the policy and after you booked or paid for any travel arrangements.

In the event of a claim covered by your policy, you must do everything reasonable you can to reduce the cost of the claim and provide all supporting documentation of the event and expenses incurred.

If you intend to submit a claim, please complete the claim form, and if you have questions about what's covered and not covered, just ask us.

What other tips for COVID-19 travel do you offer?

We have compiled this general information if you’re looking for more information on COVID-19-related articles when planning your next trip, check out our articles below:

Watch Anton's story

Watch our True Claims video to get a glimpse of how we help travelers when something goes wrong.

  • Buy while traveling
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  • Ongoing traveler support
  • 24/7 Emergency Assistance

Waiting periods apply

Malaria at Christmas.

In the 25th of December I woke up feeling nausea, fever, headache, and lethargy. After two days with the symptoms not ceasing I went to a clinic and was admitted with severe malaria. I stayed in the hospital for two days taking shots for malaria and also saline drip.
Claim paid: USD $392,55
A.G. Brazilian Nomad in Zambia.

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Travel insurance for independent travelers and intrepid families. Nobody wants to think about all the things that could go wrong on their trip, but these things can and do happen. So be prepared and get your travel insurance today.

Travel Insurance Benefits: how we can take care of you*

Trip Cancellation

Been working hard for your trip?

We'll work hard to protect it.

Trip Protection
  • Unexpectedly hospitalised?
  • Travel buddy unfit to travel?
  • Been made redundant?

We’ve got your back.

Emergency Medical Expenses

Feeling fit and healthy? What if you get sick or injured?

Take the pain out of medical or dental costs.

Emergency Medical Insurance
  • Need meds quick?
  • Accidentally injured?
  • Suddenly sick?

We’ve got your back.

Emergency Medical Transportation

Know where the nearest hospital is?

Don’t stress, we’ll get you there quickly.

Evacuation and Repatriation
  • Banged up abroad?
  • Need a hospital urgently?
  • Medivac home?

Help starts here.

Protect your gear

Love photography, filming or sport?

Cover your bags, tech or gear.

Protect your gear
  • Luggage lost?
  • Airline lost your gear?
  • Tech trashed?

Help starts here.

  • Emergency Overseas Medical & Dental Expenses
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation & Repatriation
  • Trip Cancellation or Interruption
  • 24-Hour Assistance Services
  • Baggage
  • And more (depending on your country of residence)
*This is a general summary only. Restrictions, exclusions and limitations will apply. Coverage may not be available for all countries, states or provinces. Benefit limits may vary depending on the plan chosen. Get a quote for full details.

24/7 emergency assistance

Whether you need medical assistance or emergency evacuation, our teams are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year before and during your trip.

Are you in need of emergency assistance right now?

Contact the team