I’ve taken the COVID-19 vaccine – can I travel without a worry now?
Yes and no. ‘Expect the best but prepare for the worst’ might as well be the new motto for traveling during COVID-19. Many of us see the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine as key to opening the gates to travel again, and to an extent this is true. However, your travels may require a few extra precautions.
Deciding to get the COVID-19 vaccine (a decision that is totally up to you) may play a big part in how smoothly you want your future holiday plans to go. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the current travel restrictions and requirements (e.g. a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test, and quarantine) will remain in place until most people globally have been vaccinated against COVID and we reach optimal herd immunity levels.
Many countries are mulling over the idea of making it mandatory to be vaccinated or making it easier for those that have been vaccinated to travel. As a result, only once you’ve been vaccinated will you be allowed entry into some highly sought-after destinations. Also, some countries may allow entry without needing to quarantine for a long period of time, or in some cases not at all. However, this will depend on each country's vaccine and entry requirements which are changing every day, so make sure you stay up to date prior to traveling.
Benefits of taking the COVID-19 vaccine include keeping yourself and your loved ones healthy, stopping the spread of the virus, but could also lead to easy access to major tourist attractions and events and the ability to stay at particular hotels or fly with certain airlines.
What to keep in mind if you’re thinking of getting the COVID-19 vaccine
Be prepared to comply with a pile of paperwork to be allowed into some countries. Research where you’re traveling to to find out if you'll need to provide evidence that you’ve been vaccinated, whether you'll need to pay fees or provide a stack of documents letting you enter your intended destination. You may also need to prove that you can pay for medical expenses and the cost of any applicable mandatory quarantine.
Many countries have required travelers to be vaccinated against various illnesses for decades. We advise you to check with consulate, health (such as the World Health Organisation) and government authorities of the countries you're intending to visit. Some countries require proof of vaccination for some conditions before you're allowed entry and COVID-19 will most likely be no different. Make sure you keep a record with you in case it is needed.
You will need to abide by any country or regions’ rules regardless of whether you have received the vaccine or not. This could mean paying for supplemental travel insurance, applying for special tourist visas, and providing written proof that you’ve been vaccinated.
Your airline may require you to receive the vaccine whether you want to or not. For example, Qantas has already announced all travelers will need to be vaccinated for any overseas travel and many other airlines may follow suit.
Some unknowns include how well the vaccine will combat the virus, prevent infection and reduce the rate of transmission. Another is how effective the uptake of the vaccine will be in the countries you’re intending to travel to and when they will receive it, both which will impact where you’ll be able to go and when.
When looking to travel overseas, it’s always a safe bet to consider whether travel insurance may be right for you, as there are a number of activities and events you may be covered for that do not relate to COVID-19. For example, you may be covered if your luggage is stolen or lost by the carrier, if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip, or if you fall ill or are injured and need to go to hospital for treatment, as well as several other events.
With the COVID-19 vaccine rollout now underway we’ve found it timely to clarify some queries from our travellers about the vaccine and how it may impact your travel plans and your travel insurance.
No. overseas medical travel insurance is for unexpected medical emergencies only. Vaccines are not unexpected as they are preventative in nature.
No. Travel insurance is precisely that - it is for when you are traveling abroad or, if you’re from the US or Canada, traveling more than 100 miles from your home. We don’t cover medical costs in your home country. If you decide to take the COVID vaccine before traveling we suggest you leave enough time for the vaccine to take effect (wait time after the final dose may vary from vaccine to vaccine so check with your GP on when its considered safe to travel). It’s always important to consult with your doctor to ensure that you get any vaccines recommended for where you’re traveling to and to get a clean bill of health. Your GP may also advise you if you qualify for an exemption to get the vaccine on medical grounds, for example pregnancy or if you are immunocompromised.
About World Nomads
World Nomads polices are designed by travelers for travelers to provide simple and flexible travel insurance – and it’s often cheaper than you might think! Featuring coverage for more than 150 activities, quotes are fast, free and you can do it all online at www.worldnomads.com. All of the information we provide about travel insurance is a brief summary only. It does not include all terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and termination provisions of the travel insurance plans described. Coverage may not be available for residents of all countries, states or provinces. Please carefully read your policy wording for a full description of coverage.
Never travel without insurance. This was the first time I ever purchased travel insurance and I am so glad I did. A few days into my trip to Spain I twisted my foot heading down to the metro. Thanks to World Nomads I was able to get medical attention in Spain and since, as luck would have it, I had a fracture that required surgery, they got me a flight home the next day. Filing a claim was surprisingly easy and when the claim was finally processed, I was reimbursed for all of my expenses including things like the extra week in the hotel I didn't get to take advantage of.
I recently had a serious injury traveling on my own & the team was amazing. Being confused with a brain injury they took care of everything. Claiming was no problem, they were on the phone constantly to see if all was OK. I can't recommend them enough. Absolutely fantastic & l will always travel with World Nomads Insurance. Thanks guys for getting me home safely.
I was bitten by a monkey at the Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur. I went to a nearby clinic and they gave me a rabies shot, antibiotics to take for 4 days, pain medicine, and anti-inflammatory medicine.
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) and travel - Need to know before you buy
Some but not all of our policies provide cover for some coronavirus-related events – select your Country of Residence to find out more. Cover is not available for loss arising from: government intervention including travel bans, border closures or broadly imposed quarantine requirements; events for which the Government (see your policy) has issued a ‘Do Not Travel’ warning or its equivalent, for your destination(s); or failure to follow advice from official bodies. Your ability to travel may be affected by travel restrictions. Check your cover and the latest government advice and our travel insurance alerts.