If you want to start traveling but still worried about the pandemic, here are the steps you should take for a worry-free getaway!
There are plenty of reasons to travel right now after the Malaysian Government announced our transition to the endemic phase.
While many experts support the transition from pandemic to endemicity, they also believe that the virus will not be disappearing any sooner, much like the flu. Chances are with protection from vaccination and natural immunity, COVID-19 will become less transmissible and hence lower hospitalization rate around the world.
Traveling during COVID-19 is different to what we were used to pre-pandemic. There are additional steps that we must go through to ensure we are keeping ourselves and those around us as safe as possible, with routine self-testing and quarantine if needed.
Here are some general guidelines to help you travel with peace of mind during this pandemic that covers trip planning, buying travel insurance coverage and other matters you may want to consider when you travel.
1. Check if your intended travel destination is open for travel.
By this time, almost all countries around the world have opened their borders for international travelers. Before you book a flight ticket, check what are the requirements that inbound travelers need to take note of.
For example, most countries still enforce mandatory travel insurance coverage for inbound international travelers, with some countries going further to set a minimum medical and hospitalization benefit covering USD$100,000.
Although buying a travel insurance may seem like a hassle, imagine the cost of hospitalization and out-patient treatment if you get infected with the virus while traveling abroad. Having a travel insurance added with Pandemic Cover could potentially save you from a major financial setback after you come back from the trip.
2. Beware of the risk of traveling and restrictions during a pandemic
No matter which country you are visiting soon, you are advised to take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously for your own safety and well-being. Do advance research on the destination so you can travel with peace of mind and joy.
What you can do when you have arrived at your destination, is to find out what are the regulatory requirements on COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOP) there as the local regulations could be different from ours. This ranges from the mask mandate, PCR or RTK tests prior to participating in any planned activities, dining at restaurants of local bars or even going to concerts.
Did you know? If you are planning to catch a concert or visit a theme park overseas, our Flight Cancellation/Rescheduling During Trip additional cover will reimburse loss of non-refundable, non-utilized and /or non-transferable deposits or charges that you have paid in advance.
This includes but not limited to the trip package, entertainment ticket, accommodation and the like if the loss was caused by the cancellation of a planned trip due to the flight being canceled or rescheduled by the airline.
3. Make sure you know what your pandemic benefit covers
It is general knowledge that COVID-19 cases are on the rise again worldwide with the opening of borders. The new strains are spreading rapidly than the previous variants. Hence, it will be trickier to plan a trip overseas but being denied entry because of a positive COVID-19 test or having to go into mandatory quarantine after you are tested positive.
As mentioned in the earlier point, AXA Travel Online with the additional Pandemic Cover has medical and hospital treatment and trip cancellation due to COVID-19.However, our travel insurance policy does not cover the cost of quarantine you may need to observe. Therefore, it is important to understand your coverage before you travel.
4. Ensure your documentation and other paperwork are in order
Other additional work that you may need to do before you embark on your adventure are such as preparing a copy of your accommodation bookings, flight details, medical documents, COVID-19 test results and proof of vaccination in case you are asked to provide them at the immigration booths.
These documents are also important if you need to make a claim from your travel insurance provider. Hence, any hospital bills and report, receipts and other supporting documents such as police report if theft occurs, that you wish to be reimbursed, should be kept documented.
5. What if you get a positive test at the airport?
If you or one of your entourages are tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival, you should inform the authority and isolate yourself immediately. Next thing you should do is call AXA Travel Assistance at (+603) 2142 0399 so they will be informed of your situation and advise you on what to do.
If you are scheduled to board another flight before the end of your quarantine, contact your airline and seek advice on whether you can continue traveling. Check the local medical practitioner if you need to go into mandatory quarantine as each country may have different rules and standard operating procedure when it comes to COVID-19 cases.
6. What if you get COVID-19 while you are on your trip?
Say if you got infected with COVID-19 during your travel, and you purchased the additional Pandemic Cover with AXA Travel Online insurance, you are entitled to claim for benefits including:
a. Medical and treatment if you are admitted to the hospital, including hospitalization costs
b. Emergency evacuation or repatriation if deemed necessary after our consultation with the attending physician
c. Trip curtailment if you are certified unfit to continue your travel by the attending physician.
7. Tips on how to ensure smoother claim process
Before making or filing fortravel insurance claim, you must have proof that the event you are claiming for happened unexpectedly after you have bought your travel insurance policy and paid for your travel arrangements like flight tickets, accommodation, tour or theme park tickets and other related activities.
Do you have other COVID-19 travel tips or experiences you would like to share? Just post your tips on Facebook or Instagram and tag @MYAXAAffin so we will know about it. If you find this article useful, feel free to share this article to your friends and family if they are planning to travel soon.
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