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Everything you need to know about the traffic light system and what we cover

The UK has recently changed its travel restrictions in regards to international travel and the coronavirus pandemic. In October 2021 the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) changed its advice for over 50 countries and territories, making the rest of the world feel accessible once again.

On the FCDO website, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: “These updates make travel abroad easier - boosting trade, tourism and reuniting friends and families. I am delighted that the safe reopening of travel allows people to exercise personal responsibility and visit more destinations across the globe” (Source).

With the travel rules constantly changing, we understand that the advice can be a little confusing and leave you wondering what kind of travel insurance protection you actually need. We wanted to share the Alpha stance on our products with you, to give you some reassurance when booking your next trip.

Post-Pandemic Travel Rules

The travel light system has changed. Amber and Green lists have now been scrapped, with the majority of countries now labelled ‘safe to visit’. Remaining however is a small ‘Red’ list of countries which the FCDO recommend against ‘all but essential’ travel to (i.e. your standard holiday is not advised for these places).

Even if your destination of choice does not feature on the Red list, it’s important to remember that new rules and restrictions are still in place. These will apply before you depart (for example COVID testing), upon entry into your holiday destination (for example temperature checks), during your holiday and upon your return home - whether you’ve been vaccinated or not. More information on each destination’s rules can be found on the Government’s website.

Generally, for all vaccinated travellers, on arrival back to the UK, you’ll need to book a day 2 Covid-19 PCR test before you fly and complete a locator form to be allowed entry. The Covid-19 test booking reference will be added onto the locator form. For more information about travelling internationally, keep up to date with the rules on the Government’s website.

Alpha’s COVID Cover

Providing you’re not travelling against the FDCO’s advice, all Alpha policies include;

For more information please visit our Coronavirus Travel Insurance page.

Full details of the cover available under each policy can be found in our policy documents.

Alpha customers must follow any advice that is in place at the time of travel and for the duration of the trip, both from the FCDO and the local authorities in your destination of choice. Failure to comply with FCDO advice could invalidate your policy.

All customers should be made aware at point of sale that there is no cover under any of our policies for the costs associated with the following:

For policies issued after the 13th March 2020

-  Cancellation due to a change in FCDO advice caused by the pandemic

- Denied entry to the country or territory they are due to travel to

- Having to quarantine or isolate when they return to the UK (this includes hotel quarantine costs)

- Having to purchase/pay for Covid-19 test

I am travelling to a Red country, what cover can I get?

Red list countries are deemed as high-risk countries and advised to avoid, unless essential. Alpha will not provide any cover under any section of the policy to customers who are, or are planning on, travelling to countries or territories categorised as unsafe by the FCDO. This means no claims will be paid under any section of the policy for trips relating to ‘Red’ countries, including but not limited to ‘Cancellation, Curtailment and Medical Expenses’.

Travelling to red list countries also means there are many restrictions put in place and it’s essential to know the steps you need to take before heading to your destinations or for your return in the UK. Currently, upon entry to the UK, you must have taken a Covid-19 test 3 days prior, booked a quarantine hotel package which includes 2 Covid-19 tests and complete a passenger locator form. More information can be found on the government website.

Information correct at the time of writing (and updated in October 2021). If our stance does change regarding travelling internationally and what we can and cannot cover, then the information above will reflect this and the policy wordings updated accordingly.

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