Can I travel during the Covid Pandemic
Yes and No.
As the pandemic continues, any exposure to the disease presents a very serious health risk for illness, injury and possibly death.
This is a complicated time with regard to the safe reopening - or phased reopenings - of destinations. Every place has its own process at various levels: country, state/region, county, city, etc. and are constantly being monitored and updated according to the latest statistics of their health officials.
For places that are open to visitors, there may be certain restrictions or requirements in effect that will affect your travels: mandatory quarantines, recent negative Covid test results, mandatory travel insurance, among others. Destinations currently open to visitors, may close their borders or restrict visitors at any time without notice.
There are many destinations that remain closed to non-essential travelers or foreign nationals of any kind. Any anticipated dates of reopening to vacationers are very likely to be delayed or postponed pending the coronavirus cases both in destination and globally.
Will the travel experiences be different than in the past?
All airlines, airports and most hotels are requiring use of masks/facial coverings (indoors and outdoors in public places) and implementing other social distancing measures. There are also reductions for any in-person contact (checking in/out, restaurants, housekeeping etc.) some services will not be available at all.
Depending on the recommendations from health authorities, other amenities may remain closed such as swimming pools, spas/salons, fitness facilities, indoor dining and more. Locally outside of hotels, this can include sites, attractions and other places of interest.
What is Hill Barrett Travel doing differently with Covid?
With almost constant updates regarding vacation travel, there are now many changes involved from a planning perspective. We will have a very open dialogue with travelers on setting expectations for what is open, or changed from the typical experience, and what that will mean for your vacation plans.
Just a few of the main factors:
- watching the coronavirus cases and outbreaks pertaining to various destinations, and the handling of public health and safety
- monitoring the re-opening of destinations, resorts, hotels, and other travel services
- keeping informed as to the new safety measures, cleaning and hygiene protocols at accommodations, transportation companies, and other service providers involved in your trips
In light of the new social-distancing measures and limited capacity restrictions, we are adding to the concierge type services that we always have offered, but now with much more needing advance reservations:
- Dining Reservations (both on-resort premises as well as local restaurants)
- Advance reservations for activities, pool cabanas, etc. with a focus on private experiences
- For places of interest that may be open, pre-booking entrance/admission for sites, museums, etc.
As the pandemic is ongoing, every traveler needs to be prepared for the possibility of Covid potentially requiring us to change or cancel your trip at any time.
What if there is another outbreak or shutdown?
Should another outbreak occur, we may likely see borders close again - either by the US Government or foreign governments. Flights may be halted to stop the spread, or there may be hotel closures or other local shutdowns; all of which may cause implications to your travels.
This may require you to return immediately or as soon as possible. If you are unable to return from your destination, you will have to follow foreign guidelines and instructions and extend your stay for an unknown period of time.
As always for our travelers, we will have 24-hour support to assist in getting travelers home as swiftly as possible. Returning visitors may have to undergo enforced quarantine measures.
Are change or cancellations allowed?
You can expect flexibility from most providers during the pandemic, which we will endeavour as always to put our traveler's best interests at the forefront as always.
The terms and conditions will vary immensely depending on the service provider, and will be detailed to travelers.
While we waived our Hill Barrett Travel change and cancellation fees in the beginning due to the unexpected nature of Covid, going forward our service fees will apply due to the time-intensive nature.
What are the requirements for travel?
For places that are open to visitors, there may be certain restrictions or requirements in effect that will affect your travels: mandatory quarantines, recent negative Covid test results, mandatory travel insurance, among others.
While we monitor every trip carefully, we will keep you informed of any notable factors that may arise. The requirements are changing constantly and are subject to change without notice.
If a negative Covid test is required, where can I obtain one?
Many destinations are requiring proof that you are Covid free, and all travelers in your party may need a PCR or NAAT Covid test. These often must be taken within 48-72 hours of your arrival to a destination.
Your primary care provider can offer a referral to the nearest Covid testing location, or simply search online for Covid testing sites in your area. Many are by appointment only and a cost applies. You will want to ensure their lab can get your results within the time frame needed.
Keep in mind, if traveling abroad, allow extra time for long flight times, crossing time zones and possible flight delays or cancellations. The destination will be strict on the validity of the test past the 48-72 hour requirement and you may be denied entry.
What if I get sick while traveling? Is there a cost for treatment?
If you are unwell, seek medical attention right away.
Many hotels have doctors or nurses on call, and many can do remote appointments by telephone/video phone so you can stay isolated to avoid spreading any disease.
Medical care costs will be applicable, and as such some destinations are requiring proof of medical coverage when traveling.
Medical/health insurance is something we have always recommended and will continue to do.
For travel insurance medical coverage, some benefits may be available for emergency medical care services up to the policy limitations.
For any personal insurance, you will need to check the coverage on your policy for coronavirus treatments, and very importantly before you travel, clarify that it is applicable in the destination you will be traveling to as well as any stopover points. There are cases when only certain clinics or hospitals will be covered, and not all.