Coronavirus Travel – Infos and Updates

Due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus Outbreak, we are sharing travel tips based on the first-hand experience and feedback from the Hostelgeeks Community.

Important to read first:

This information was written on 17th of March, 2020. It is very likely not up to date with the latest information. Please use this page as a starter and help, and please use official websites of airlines and governments to get complete and updated information.

We cover:

  1. Websites for information
  2. Book Flights
  3. Book Hostels and accommodation
  4. travel insurance

Websites to stay up to date

How to find and Booking Flights

Due to the Coronavirus Crisis (COVID-19), we recommend booking your flights directly with the official website of the Airline.

For your final booking, we recommend not using any 3rd party agents like Skyscanner, Kiwi or others.

This is due to the amount of customer requests and the customer support is experiencing difficulties handling the high number of requests. This recommendation is based on first-hand experience as well as many feedback from the community.

Should you be flying right now?

It is recommended to keep you travel to an absolute minimum. All effected countries recommend travelling only if absolutely necessary. This includes a trip for coming back home to your home country.

At this point travelling for pleasure is not recommended.

How to find flights at this moment?

We recommend checking the most common flight aggregators out there to find options on how you can fly.

These are:

  • Kiwi.com
  • Skyscanner
  • Flights.google.com
  • Omio.com

However, for the final booking we always recommend using the official website.

Why? Some 3rd party websites like Kiwi.com still show cancelled flights in their system. Booking these flights may most likely leave you with a cancelled flight and an open claim to Kiwi for a refund.

Booking Hostels and Accommodation

Same as for Airlines, we recommend contacting hostels, hotels, guesthouses and all accommodations directly.

The best way to contact them is by calling the official phone number. You can find them on the official website of the accommodation, Facebook, or other listings.

When calling directly, you can ensure the hostel is open to receive guests, updated information on possible quarantine or even if the hostel closed.

Many hostels already closed, others require guests to stay in 14 days quarantine. The situation really depends on the city and county. Many travelers are stuck in a hostel in Peru, other hostels in Europe are completely closed until further notice.

Update: Hostels in Scotland closed from 23rd of March, 2020. (link)

Travel Insurance

Do you have a travel insurance? Some travel insurance cover political evacuation in case you want to return to your home country.

Please contact your travel insurance for further information. We usually use Safetywing, World Nomads or Iati Seguros.

Safetywing decided to setup a landing page where you can find updated information at safetywing.com/coronavirus. They also informed us with the following statement:

Dear SafetyWing members,

We want to give you an update in response to the growing number of cases related to COVID-19 (commonly known as the coronavirus). We want to let you know that SafetyWing is here to help keep you safe and informed as the situation progresses. Here are detailed answers to some commonly asked questions. Please read the following information to see how it relates to your specific location and active coverage.

We’ve also added some remote work tips at the bottom for those who are working from home because of the virus! 

Does SafetyWing cover coronavirus?

You are eligible for coverage of coronavirus-related expenses unless either of the following applies to your situation:The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a Warning Level 3 for your location, and you arrive there, or purchased your policy, after it was issued

The CDC issued a Warning Level 3 for your location while you were already there, and more than 10 days have passed since the warning went into effect

As of March 11th, 2020, the CDC has issued a Warning Level 3 for the following countries:

  • 🇨🇳China on January 27, 2020
  • 🇰🇷 South Korea on February 24, 2020
  • 🇮🇹 Italy on February 29, 2020

As of March 11th, the following European countries:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City.

Keep an eye on CDC’s Travel Health Notices to check whether any travel plans you have are affected by the coronavirus.

What if I’m already in a location that receives a CDC travel warning?

After a CDC Warning Level 3 has been issued, you have 10 days to depart the warned-against location to remain eligible for coverage of coronavirus contracted there. If you stay beyond 10 days, you are no longer eligible for coverage of coronavirus contracted in that location.

You also have relevant coverage under the “Political Evacuation” benefit in the SafetyWing policy, which means you may be eligible for evacuation (people in the mentioned European countries* from the March 11th CDC warning are eligible, if they contact +1 800 605 2282 in the 10 day time span).

You must contact +1 800 605 2282 within 10 days of the U.S. Department of State (not the same as CDC) issuing a new Level 3 or 4 travel advisory for the country you are located in. The Political Evacuation benefit provides coverage for the most economical means of transportation to take you to the nearest, safest country or your home country. The travel assistance team will determine which country you will be evacuated to. Contact Emergency travel assistance at +1 800 605 2282 to arrange evacuation. Because of the current situation, there might be a wait on the phone. You have the option to type your phone number and have them call you back. Check the U.S. Department of State government issued travel advisory for all countries here.

*Italy is not eligible as a Department of State Level 3 travel advisory has been in place as of February 29th. If this affects you, contact support(at)safetywing.com to get assistance with exploring options.

Is my insurance cancelled if I am in a location that is affected by a level 3 travel warning from CDC?
If you choose to stay (and not be covered for Coronavirus), the rest of your insurance coverage will function as normal.

Coronavirus & the world’s largest remote work experiment 🧑‍

Companies around the world are encouraging (and sometimes requiring) their employees to work from home. For many of these people, it’s the first time they’ve worked remotely, and much of the world’s employers will be watching to see how it goes.

We’ve collected some tips on how to break past some common obstacles, if you or anyone you know is working remotely because of the virus. 

Coronavirus tips while traveling

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water, or with an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a flexed elbow or paper tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Dispose of tissue immediately if used.
  • Refrain from touching your mouth and nose.
  • Practice social distancing: remain out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintain distance with other people.

Visit The Centers for Disease Control website for more information on the coronavirus, including what you should know about symptoms, treatments, testing, and other frequently asked questions.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please email support@safetywing.com.

Be safe! The SafetyWing Team

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Last note: We did not add any single affiliate links to this post!