Omicron cases rise: Why you need a backup travel plan

With wave after wave of Covid-19 coming and the rise in Omicron cases, it is crucial that you have a backup travel plan this holiday season. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you're travelling.

Taking trips in 2021 is not easy. Remember that international travel during a pandemic comes with unexpected lockdowns, canceled flights, lost money from bookings and unplanned quarantines.

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Most countries worldwide have already imposed travel bans to curb the spread of the omicron variant of Covid-19. With wave after wave of Covid-19 coming and the rise in Omicron cases, it is crucial that you have a backup travel plan this holiday season. Many travelers are stuck in crowded airports. And those who will be traveling soon might have to call the plans off. Here are some backup travel pointers to keep in mind if you plan to travel amid the omicron crisis.

Fright in flights

Nearly all airlines in 2020 announced policies for easy flight change and cancellation. These policies are still in effect in 2021 and will mostly be in effect in 2022 as well. Due to the confusion at every airport right now, you can contact your air carrier for updates.

You might also get a voucher that you can claim for a future flight or a complete refund for any reason of cancellation. However, read the fine print carefully. Generally, policies on basic economy fares don’t offer much flexibility and some flight credits will come with short expiration dates.

For flights between the United States and many southern African countries, many airlines have special change policies that may confuse you. You will get several alternative options and will have to consider several factors like fare, timings, delays and the importance of the event before deciding to fly or not.

Travel insurance coverage

Get Cancel For Any Reason travel insurance. You may need to cancel the trip altogether if a travel ban is imposed. Even if you want to cancel because of the news of the omicron variant, you safeguard the money if you have the right travel insurance coverage.

However, remember that any insurance coverage will work differently during any disaster or pandemic. Even the most prominent travel insurance may not cover omicron-related challenges.

For instance, some insurance plans cover you if you become sick from Covid-19. They will, however, not cover travel restrictions or travel warnings imposed because of Covid-19 by health authorities. In that case, you will be safe if you have signed up for a Cancel For Any Reason coverage. You will get a partial or full refund for any reason you mention for the cancellation.

Border closures

The United States has restricted travel from South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, and Namibia after the news about the omicron variant. These travel restrictions are not for US citizens.

However, some airlines are canceling flights from those countries, even though the travel restrictions are not for US citizens, lawful permanent residents and other travelers in specific categories in the United States.

Moreover, numerous countries continue to impose even stronger restrictions: Morocco, Japan and Israel have temporarily banned international travel (with few exceptions) completely.

Thus, it’s advisable to know about border closures and entry requirements for every stop on your trip, even if it’s just a layover. Check every country’s travel policies only on the government’s travel or tourism office websites.

Quarantine ready

If you’re returning to the US from another country, you need to carry a negative Covid-19 test to enter the US border — even if you are fully vaccinated.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you can be infected with Covid-19 even if you are vaccinated. If that’s the case, quarantine for more than a week in a foreign country. You must plan ahead and research where you can stay to avoid last-minute confusion.

While there are plenty of holiday hacks out there, here’s how you can have a debt-free vacation this year.

Taking trips is not easy

You need to prepare to face anything when traveling during a pandemic, as Covid-19-related travel restrictions change every day. Taking trips in 2021 and 2022 is not easy. Apart from confusion by regulations, it’s also risky for your health, even if you have got your doses. So take care of yourself while navigating different countries.

Always remember that international travel during a pandemic comes with unexpected lockdowns, canceled flights, lost money from bookings and quarantine. With the recent emergence of omicron, even domestic travel has become difficult today. No matter what happens, even with the Omicron variant, you can survive if you have a dependable backup travel plan.

This page is purely informational. Line does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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