Stay healthy holidaying COVID-19 – the new challenges for expats and travellers

Stay healthy holidaying COVID-19 – the new challenges for expats and travellers

Going abroad has always had risks, this has been further complicated by a highly contagious disease that brought much of the travel industry to a halt. As airlines and holiday providers look to recuperate, costs look likely to rise. The ongoing spike in cases in many countries is a cause for concern, with quarantines becoming mandatory after visiting certain countries, particularly in parts of Europe. As lockdown ended, cases have started rising again, and this could coincide with the next flu season – it is recommended that people only make essential travel.  There is a real chance of being infected, falling ill and being at the mercy of an expensive foreign healthcare system.

EU COVID-19 cases June-July 2020

Source: Euractiv

Spain has had a significant rise in COVID cases, the average age of a British expat there is 53 and 7% of businesses are run by expats. This means a fair amount of risk exposure, not only will lots of business owners be cash strapped but also potentially be in contact with customers when re-opening.

Emergency repatriation, affordable treatment and transparency with medical costs are a necessity now when abroad, being stuck in a country ill and in an unfamiliar healthcare system is a vulnerable position to be in. International health insurance not only provides a safety net in the wake of such events, but also provides peace of mind that things will not spiral out of your control. Expats and travellers often need bilingual support, to make smooth claims and to gain a second opinion from insurance provider in-house clinicians such as 24/7 GP’s. The emergence of COVID-19 specific insurance policies, merging travel and medical insurance, lays testament to an increased requirement for customised insurance policies that are tailored to meet an individual/family’s situation.

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