Travel bans have been implemented across the world as a result of a new, and potentially highly infectious, Covid-19 variant.

The Omicron variant was first detected in South Africa earlier this month and has since been the cause of multiple travel bans and newly implemented restrictions. The UK, EU, and the US are among those that have introduced travel bans and new requirements due to the variant.

Spain is now only allowing fully-vaccinated Brits to enter the country. While Switzerland has imposed a 10-day quarantine on travellers arriving from Britain, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Egypt, and Malawi. Japan and Israel have also banned all travellers from entering their countries completely.

Early evidence of the virus suggests it has a higher re-infection risk than others that we have seen previously. For that reason, all arrivals into the UK, regardless of their vaccination status, will be required to take a PCR test and self-isolate until they have a negative result from November 30, 2021.

Additionally, anyone arriving from the six African destinations that are currently on the government’s “red list” – South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, and Namibia – will be required to book and pay for a government-approved hotel quarantine facility for 10 days.

While a mandatory quarantine-hotel expense is not something that a travel insurance policy would cover if travellers are returning from a “red list” destination, it is worth noting that protection is available on some policies in the market, should travellers catch Covid-19 while on holiday and have to isolate abroad until they are able to produce a negative Covid test.

This type of protection typically provides cover for any additional costs incurred as a result of having to isolate. For example, extra accommodation and alternative transport back to the UK. However, as said, this protection isn’t available across all travel insurance policies, so travellers who desire this cover will need to check the policy wording and terms and conditions.

As always, we’re here from Monday to Friday every week to help you with any travel insurance-related concerns you have. So, if there’s anything you’re unsure of, drop us a message and we’ll try our very best to help!