Vaccine Passports – can UK travellers escape for that foreign sunshine break in 2021?
19 March 2021
After several weeks of speculation, the European Union has finally released its plan for a Covid-19 vaccine ‘passport’. The proposal, unveiled by the President of the Commission Ursula von der Leyen, will see a coronavirus ‘digital green certificate’, which could allow people to travel freely within the EU by the summer.
This could be the news millions of desperate British holidaymakers have been waiting for getting a chance to jet off to their favourite destinations this summer. The UK has unveiled its own roadmap to ease lockdown which means that Britons could be able to travel abroad from June, maybe earlier.
But how will this Covid passport proposal affect UK travellers who hope to spend a much needed vacation in Continental Europe? What does it mean for your travel insurance cover?
Fiona Macrae, head of consumer awareness initiative, travelinsuranceexplained.co.uk explains all you need to know about the scheme and how it will impact you and your premium:
How will the vaccine passport affect global travel plans?
It is becoming increasingly more obvious that vaccinated citizens will have fewer hurdles to overcome when travelling to another country.
For example, some countries have announced they will allow anyone who has received a Covid-19 vaccination to enter without having to provide any further documentation.
It is anticipated that those who are yet to be inoculated will need to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test, taken up to 72 hours before their departure, as well as providing evidence of a negative test on their trip home. However, nothing has been confirmed as of yet.
If your family are all vaccinated will you be able to get a cheaper premium or at least not have to buy any Covid cover add-ons?
Travellers will still need to look for a policy that includes cover for Covid-19, even if the whole family has been vaccinated. This is because despite the vaccine being a huge success, it does not guarantee 100% prevention from catching the virus in a milder form. Therefore, it is important that travellers still have cancellation cover should anyone on the policy catch Covid-19 before the trip and have to isolate.
If the UK continues to require all arrivals to provide proof of a negative Covid-19, travellers will also need to be covered for additional expenses should they test positive for Covid-19 on their return and have to isolate abroad. This cover may also be called ‘cover for denied boarding’ in some travel insurance policies.
Just because the infection rate is falling in the UK doesn’t mean that every other county has Covid-19 cases under control and that there isn’t still a risk of catching the virus.
How likely is it that there will be an online ‘ESTA style’ system of online vaccination visas/certificates? ESTA currently costs around £10 per person.
It has been suggested that some form of ‘passport vaccine’ or ‘digital green pass’ could become mandatory in the future to enter certain destinations. The ‘passport’ would highlight who has received a Covid-19 inoculation and therefore is at less risk of contracting the virus in fatal form.
However, many privacy challenges come with creating a digital vaccination certificate which will need to be confronted before one can be safely launched.
If you travel to a country without the relevant documents will you be covered for any expenses caused by the paperwork disruption?
Travellers must be aware that if a country requires visitors to arrive with proof of a Covid-19 vaccine, negative Covid-19 test taken before departure, or any other form of documentation, they must comply with the entry requirements.
At the time of writing, travellers won’t be able to claim for denied entry costs through their travel insurer should they be turned away and not allowed to enter at the border due to incorrect documentation, be that VISA or vaccination requirements.
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Notes to editors:
Travel Insurance Explained is a multimedia awareness campaign that has been created to be an impartial voice to help you understand travel insurance, so should you need to make a claim you will be delighted with the outcome.
Our goals are:
- To help consumers understand what a policy can and cannot cover
- To explain insurance jargon in everyday terms
- To give consumers the tools they need to ensure they get the most appropriate policy
- To help reduce disputed claims and therefore increase consumers satisfaction
- To match the consumers’ requirements to ensure they are buying a suitable policy for their needs at an appropriate price.