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‘Pingdemic’: How it can affect you and your holiday

Lydia Crispin | Communications Assistant
Last updated 2 August 2021

What is the ‘pingdemic’?

On the 19th of July, most of Britain unlocked. Since then, many of us have enjoyed seeing friends, family and travelling to our favourite holiday hotspots.

While we’ve all enjoyed our freedom, cases of Covid have risen. This has sparked a ‘Pingdemic’. Across the UK, thousands of people have received a ‘ping’ alerting them that they need to self-isolate.

While we’ve all become adaptable to circumstances changing due to COVID-19, receiving a ‘ping’ can cause us to be concerned, especially if we have travel plans.

The good news is, from August 16, in England, if you have been fully vaccinated for more than 2 weeks you will no longer be required to self isolate if you receive an alert. Instead, you will be advised to take a PCR test to prove you have not been infected.

If you are hoping to travel, this guide will help you to choose which type of travel insurance policy is best for you in light of the pandemic. As well as what travel actions to take before travelling. And what to do if you receive a ‘ping’ before booking your holiday and if you already have a trip booked.

How to choose the right type travel insurance policy in light of the ‘pingdemic’

Preparing for a holiday is exciting, especially after enduring many lockdowns. There’s no doubt that you deserve a much-needed break. So, it makes sense to protect both yourself and your holiday. After all, while we hope your trip goes smoothly – we all know how quickly things can change.

So, we want to ensure that you have the right level of support and cover should you need to cancel or cut short your trip, due to receiving an alert or testing positive for Covid.

Chris Rolland, CEO of AllClear Travel Insurance, comments: “Ensuring that your travel insurance policy covers you fully in these unusual times will give people one less thing to stress about, and hopefully peace of mind. At AllClear, we have comprehensive policies that will play a part in easing the stress of booking a long-awaited summer break.”

To travel with confidence – you’ll want a policy that has enhanced covid-19 cover included. There are plenty of options. Here’s how to decide what type of travel insurance is best for you:

Single trip travel insurance: If you’re enjoying your freedom one trip at a time, then a single trip travel insurance policy could be the ideal option for you. Make sure it includes enhanced covid cover.  Many providers will be able to move dates should you receive a ‘ping’ before travelling. But, this will be specific to your chosen policies terms and conditions.

Annual- multi-trip travel insurance: if you wish to visit multiple destinations this summer. An Annual Multi-trip policy could save you time and money. Make sure your policy includes enhanced Covid cover to ensure that you’re covered for covid related cancellations.

UK Travel Insurance: Luckily, in the UK we have the wonderful NHS. So, medical cover isn’t always necessary for a staycation. However, UK travel insurance is still worth considering. Should you need to self isolate, cancel or cut short your travel plans, UK travel insurance could cover you for the costs. Make sure you check your chosen policies’ specific terms and conditions.

What to do if you get ‘Pinged’ and you’re due to go on holiday

Receiving a ‘ping’ can bring inconvenience and concern. However, safety remains a top priority. Here’s what to do if you receive a ‘ping’ before travelling.

If you haven’t booked your trip

If you haven’t booked your accommodation or flights, and you receive a ‘ping’ from the NHS app – simply call your travel insurance provider and see if they can move the dates of your cover. This will be specific to your policies, terms and agreements.

If you only have flights booked but not accommodation, it may be possible to rearrange your flights. This will depend on each airline. For example, although all Ryanair flights cannot be cancelled, they are changeable up to 2.5 hours before the flight departure time.

If your holiday is booked

If your holiday is booked, your package provider may be able to offer you a refund. Travel insurance is there to help you when you are not able to recover cancellation costs. This will be dependent on your policies’ specific terms and conditions.

If you have an AllClear Gold, Gold Plus or Platinum travel insurance policy with AllClear, we will be able to cover you should you test positive for COVID-19 and are unable to travel. We also offer cover if you don’t have a positive test result but have been asked to stay at home to self-isolate by the NHS track and trace system. You’ll only be covered for cancellation if you’ve chosen a policy that includes cancellation cover.

For details on various covid related scenarios, check out our coronavirus travel insurance.

Travel actions to take before Travelling

The following travel actions can help you prepare for your post-lockdown trip:

  • Check the FCDO for the latest travel advice, entry and quarantine requirements of your chosen destination.
  • Check your chosen destinations local restrictions, rules and measures -for example. Some places may still have curfews.
  • If your chosen destination requires you to be vaccinated as an entry requirement, you’ll need to download your proof of vaccination.’
  • Sign up to receive travel advice email alerts, so you’ll access to information about your chosen destination.
  • If you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), make sure it is still valid for your trip, or replace it with a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).
  • Be prepared for travel disruption – at short notice, countries can close their borders or change their entry requirements.
  • Buy comprehensive travel insurance that includes cancellation cover and enhanced covid cover.

Post pandemic travel-related resources

We hope you have found this guide helpful. We have plenty of travel-related resources to help you further prepare for your future travel plans. Our guides include; How to access ‘proof of vaccination’ for the purpose of travel and what to expect when arriving at your holiday destination after the Coronavirus. For access to all post-covid travel, check out our all-in-one post-lockdown travel guide.

Author notes

Written by Lydia Crispin, MA Content Creator at AllClear
Edited by Letitia Smith, M.Sc. Content Manager at AllClear

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