People traveling outside of Ireland have been warned that they will void their travel insurance even if the country they are visiting is on the so-called green list of safe countries to be published by the government.
Travel insurance exclusions denying coverage to people who travel contrary to official guidelines are the norm across the industry, and as it stands, the government advises against non-essential overseas travel.
The publication of the green list will not change that advice and one group in the insurance industry said that means anyone who decides to travel abroad will do so without coverage. This could create complications if an insured becomes ill or is the victim of a crime abroad.
While holders of a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will be able to access medical care in most public hospitals in Europe, they will have to bear the costs of private care or repatriation, which can reach tens of thousands, s ‘it is necessary. They will also have no coverage for lost baggage, criminal damage or canceled flights while abroad.
Insurance Ireland has advised all travelers considering booking a vacation in a Green List country “to check with their insurer if they are covered first”.
A spokesperson for the group stressed that a green list “does not amount to relaxation” of the directive stating that non-essential travel should be avoided.
“The government’s advice remains that only essential travel should be undertaken and we await more clarity on any change in this position,” she said.
The government plans to ease travel restrictions to and from certain countries with the publication of the green list of countries with coronavirus infection rates similar to Ireland. Travelers returning from these countries will not have to self-isolate for 14 days.
Agriculture Minister Dara Calleary said the green list was being created because the state would be living with Covid-19 for a while and there had to be a structure for business travel and for people coming to Ireland.
Ryanair said at the weekend that it was “absolutely not” putting its business interests ahead of public health concerns and that “travel is not the scarecrow” when it comes to the spread of Covid-19.
Airline chief executive Eddie Wilson has slammed the government for what he called a “half-baked quarantine” rule and called for the lifting of travel restrictions for EU countries, with the exception of Sweden.
He denied making an appeal to protect Ryanair and expressed concern for Irish tour operators who, he told RTÉ’s The Business, were at risk of going bankrupt unless foreign visitors were allowed to visit. in the country without being hampered by the restrictions related to Covid-19.