It’s been a crap year. We’ve been locked in, let out and locked in again. We’ve tasted the freedom of international travel only to have it snatched away from us and instead tried to pretend that Brighton is the new Ibiza. What’s more, we’re mostly just as confused about the pandemic now as we were at the start.
But the confusion stops here; the Postcard team are about to kit you out in the armour of knowledge and be your sword in the battle against pandemic uncertainty. If you want answers, just keep reading.
Around 132 million people around the world have been infected with the virus, with 2.86mil dying as a result. As horrific as this figure is, we don’t want this to be yet another doom scroll, so you should also know that of the remaining 129.14mil infected people, 74.7mil have recovered.
Contrary to what your Instagram feed would have you believe, international travel is not advised right now. The current advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is that unless your trip falls under their ‘permitted reasons to travel abroad’, you shouldn’t leave the country until the Government says that it is safe to do so. We know, ugh. You wouldn’t be missing much anyway as most countries are still in lockdown and shut to international travellers, so you’d waste a plane trip and have to pay for a 10-day isolation stint in a grotty airport hotel. Fingers crossed this won’t be for long though so start thinking ahead and booking your post-pandemic trip now!
lmost 10,000 people around the world have been infected with the virus novel coronavirus, with 213 dying as a result of the outbreak. The illness, which begins with a fever and a dry cough, can take up to 14 days to fully take hold, with severe cases leading to pneumonia and kidney failure.
The Chinese government has taken steps to limit its spread, including quarantining the city of origin, Wuhan, and placing travel restrictions on many other cities. Cases have been reported across much of South East Asia, and some small cases have been reported in Western countries.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office has changed their travel advice for mainland China, advising against ‘all but essential travel’ to the entirety of mainland China, except for Hubei Province, where they advise ‘against all travel’.
So far, there are three types of vaccine which are being used to prevent the spread of the virus; BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine, Moderna vaccine, Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. A total of 144million people worldwide have had one of these vaccines.
The vaccines are currently being given to those who are most vulnerable to the virus because of an existing health condition or because of their age. In order to keep yourselves and others safe from infection, the Government advises that you book a vaccination appointment as soon as one becomes available to you.
To those without a vaccine, the original messages of personal hygiene (handsan), social distancing (two-metre distance) and preventative face coverings (medical grade masks/visors) still apply. If you, like us, are unsure of how big a distance two metres is, we’ve scientifically calculated that it is six bottles of wine. Or 80 creme eggs.
Any customers who are currently in an affected country will be covered unless the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office changes their travel advice for the particular country they are in, in which case if the FCDO recommends leaving the area or country, you should contact your tour operator or flight provider to arrange a flight home. If you have to make your own arrangements, you might be covered under your travel insurance, so you should keep all receipts for your expenditure and submit a claim when you get home.
Providing the FCDO advice does not change prior to travel and you are unlucky enough to contract Novel Coronavirus whilst you are away, you should contact the local medical authorities and follow their instructions, as they will be able to direct you to a public hospital that will be set up to provide optimal care and quarantine. You should then contact our assistance so that we can liaise with the treating doctors. We would recommend that you avoid the ‘dangerous/infected’ areas and follow the published guidelines to minimise your risk of exposure.
If you are considering returning to the UK earlier than originally planned as a result of the viral outbreak, please be aware that most policies have specific reasons for cutting short a trip, and the “the fear of an epidemic, pandemic, infection or allergic reaction”, is not usually one of the reasons.
If you have booked a package holiday to a destination affected by the viral outbreak and looking to cut your trip short, you should contact your travel agent or tour operator for information on availability of flights in the first instance.
If you are travelling independently from a tour operator or travel agent, you should make your own arrangements to leave by either altering your return tickets, where possible, or booking onto an alternative commercial flight. Claims for independent travellers’ additional expenses in returning home earlier, where medically justified, will be treated sympathetically.
As with cutting your trip short, most policies don’t cover a trip cancellation due to “fear of an epidemic, pandemic, infection or allergic reaction”.
Again, you should contact the company you booked your holiday through or the airline you flew with to make arrangements for your trip home. Don’t forget those receipts!
If you have a medical condition (e.g. diabetes) that you’ve told us about which would make you more susceptible to infection, it is more likely that we’ll be able to do something for you. Try and contact us as soon as possible to see what we can do.
If your travel agent or tour operator has offered you an alternative destination and/or different travel dates, we will be happy to amend your insurance policy to fit the new trip without any administration charges, providing the new trip is for the same duration and to the same location or geographical area. Call the customer service team on 0333 999 2681, and they will take you through what to do.
If you have any questions give us a bell on 0333 999 2681, and we’ll do all we can to help you.
We hope you aren’t affected by this outbreak, but if you are, we’re here to help.
The Postcard Team