After the UK government added the United Arab Emirates to its ‘red list’ of countries on January 29, cancelling all flights to and from the UK for the foreseeable, it seems that British influencers have found a new destination to continue their essential work, with a number of celebrities spotted in Mexico.
Mexico is not currently included on the UK’s red list, however, as part of new attempts to reduce the number of Covid-19 infections, anyone returning from the country must isolate for 10 days on their arrival.
Apart from the fact that the UK is still under a travel ban, and Brits have been advised not to leave their homes unless for legally permitted reasons, there’s also a very serious risk in travelling to a destination that has not been approved by the government or Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCDO) – especially to countries where they do not have Covid-19 cases under control.
Mexico reported more than 1.7 million Covid-19 cases and over 150,000 deaths in January, as well as a spike that saw cases daily double to 21,366 within a week. However, according to the Daily Mail, experts believe the true death count could be closer to 200,000.
Mexico is a very popular holiday destination, but when it comes to healthcare, they work very differently than we do here in the UK.
It is not uncommon for those who find themselves requiring emergency treatment in Mexico to be asked by the hospital to pay for their treatment up front – regardless of whether have travel insurance in place. We’ve heard of travellers who have even been refused treatment or stopped from leaving the hospital until they have paid.
The Daily Mail recently published an article regarding a British celebrity agent who contracted Covid-19 during a trip to Mexico and now must pay £100,000 for treatment and transportation home. The agent is fighting for his life and close friends and family are having to fundraise to cover the costs.
In most cases, travel insurance providers will work with the hospital to quickly arrange payment and make sure the patient receives the treatment they need. However, in most cases, payment will only be made if the traveller is covered to travel to the destination, and has not voided the policy terms and conditions. Of course, t&c’s will vary from provider to provider.
Where British tourists travel against government advice and without a legally permitted reason to do so, in most cases, their travel insurance provider will not cover them should they require emergency medical treatment or to submit a claim upon their return.
Therefore, we strongly urge anyone that is considering booking a holiday while the government continues to advise against travel to weigh up the risks and consider whether they can afford treatment should something happen while they’re abroad.
Additionally, we would advise anyone who absolutely must travel for unavoidable work purposes to discuss the matter with their travel insurer beforehand to confirm cover. In this scenario, travellers should prepare to be questioned and, in some cases, asked to provide evidence to prove that the trip is essential.
We’re all desperate for some sunshine, but it really isn’t worth the risk right now.