Travel and the Coronavirus Pandemic- What Do You Need To Know?

Travel and the Coronavirus Pandemic: What Do You Need To Know?

We are living in uncertain times. The Covid-2019 pandemic has impacted our lives remarkably, compelling us to change the ways in which we live, work and play. Plans are being canceled, work schedules are put on rotational shifts of work-from-home plans and people are living in social isolation for fear of increasing the probabilities of spreading the virus

How can you protect your business and employees? Read more about the different types of business and personal insurance plans that are essential in Singapore here

Contingency plans are also absolutely vital to keep your business afloat in the market today – learn more about travel business insurance and professional indemnity insurance today. 

The rapid development of the novel coronavirus has impacted countless lives. It has also severely damaged several prominent industries that are in the spotlight now. Not only are stock markets and ecommerce shares falling, small businesses are taking a hit from the lack of traffic that resulted from social distancing and quarantining measures. 

As a world leader in designing business and individual based medical insurance plans, we take the unknown out of insurance planning for you.

Travel Bans & Restrictions: Is it possible to travel?

Most significantly, perhaps, are the massive cancellations in travel plans that are borne out of these factors:

[1] Countries worldwide are closing their borders and enforcing lockdown procedures

  • Wuhan, China, the epicentre of the outbreak has been on lockdown for six weeks, with Spain, France, Italy and the UK following suit. 

[2] Governments worldwide are issuing stay-home notices and enforcing social distancing measures for individuals to follow. Likewise, non-essential travel has been discouraged globally to stem the further spread of Covid-2019. 

  • In Singapore, the government is issuing Quarantine Orders (QO) and Stay-Home-Notices (SHN) to enforce high risk individuals to practise social distancing. 

[3] Due to reduced business, major airlines and some of the busiest airports in the world have scaled down their operations to mitigate the economic impact on their business. 

  • Malaysia airports report a 30% decline in international passenger traffic, while Changi Airport, Singapore’s main airport, experiences a 33% drop. 
  • Singapore Airlines (SIA), Jetstar and Scoot have all cut down flights, reduced capacity and operations. 

Prior to these cancellations and deferments, people were encouraged to pay greater attention to their hygiene practices by washing their hands regularly and not touching their faces.

Precautionary Measures For Travellers

However, as cases began to increase, measures such as 14-day quarantines were observed to ensure that travellers were not carriers of the disease. 

  • Wear masks if you feel unwell
  • Defer travel if you are experiencing respiratory symptoms such as cough, runny nose or shortness of breath
  • Stay home to be socially responsible 
  • Wash hands with soap and water for 30 seconds 
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers 

In times like these, it is absolutely vital that you have all your necessary insurance plans in place. Not only will your travel insurance come in handy, but your health insurance is also important for any emergencies. 

Read more on our health and wellness insurance coverage amid the coronavirus outbreak here

Travel restrictions are evolving at a rapid pace. Due to these cancellations, many are advised to check in with airline companies and insurers to see how their travel plans can pan out in the coming months. 

How Does Covid-2019 Compare To Other Respiratory Diseases? 

Should I cancel my trip? This is a question we will be hearing more and more of, in the coming months. 

We need to understand the signs and symptoms of the novel coronavirus before we can make informed decisions regarding our health and consecutively, make responsible decisions with regards to travel and work. 

Reading extensively and keeping up-to-date with the news can help you understand how common some symptoms are across the Covid-2019 virus, common cold and the flu. Having a fever, dry cough and sore throat are some of the most commonly reported symptoms of the coronavirus.

Postponing Your Travel Plans Amid The Covid-2019 Outbreak

[1] Airplane Tickets

To be socially responsible, it is advisable to consider refunding, cancelling or rescheduling your travel plans – even if your health and wellness may be covered by your travel business insurance or medical insurance in Singapore. 

Travellers are advised to practice prudence and to check in on modified travel advisories and policies in light of the situation. Similarly, whether it is a travel business insurance or a personal insurance cover, you should contact the insurer for the next steps – as it is with every scenario involving claims. 

[2] Hotels & Airbnbs 

The tourism industry covers for 10% of the world’s GDP and jobs, so tourism-related companies and agents are practising flexibility on travel plans, insurance and bookings to mitigate the potential losses incurred in this period. 

Most hotels and airbnbs will be offering waivers and rebooking of dates to retain the bookings made but with greater flexibility. Many cancellation policies are bound to be influenced and revised in light of the pandemic. 

Will Travel Insurance Cover Me?

Travel business or personal insurance plans usually cover you for a multitude of scenarios – cancellation of flights, delays, loss of items, injury and medical expenses.

However, it is important to recognise that travel business and personal insurance policies will not cover you for any Covid-2019 related damages if you had only bought them after the incident has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO). 

What if I am already abroad?

During the global health crisis, there are many travellers who are unfortunately stranded overseas as airports close and lockdowns are enforced. If you find yourself in this situation, you can do the following:

  1. Contact your airline 
  2. Get in touch with your insurance provider
  3. Inform your embassy 

Also, keeping a tab on the medical facilities in your vicinity can be helpful in times of emergencies.

Fighting Covid-2019: How can I stay safe?

Unlikely to be a one-off occurrence, the Covid-2019 outbreak is a wake-up call for all of us. Being able to travel – for business and pleasure – are luxuries we often forget in our day-to-day lives. It also sheds light on the importance of being prepared – through insurance coverage plans, healthy diet and hygienic practices. 

Find out how we can help you with your travel (business and individual) insurance plans by scheduling an appointment with us

While the world tries to stem the spread of the coronavirus, you can take basic precautions to stay healthy. Keep diets balanced, do simple exercises at home and most importantly, practice social responsibility by self isolating.