Travelers are urged to take out insurance in case they contract Covid-19 while abroad

People who travel abroad under the digital EU certificate are recommended to take out travel insurance if they test positive for Covid-19 abroad.

Minister of State Ossian Smyth highlighted the potential problems of people traveling from Ireland to another EU country where she test positive for the virus and can’t come home.

“There’s a problem with what happens when someone tests positive abroad, especially on family vacation,” he said.

“If a group is absent and a child tests positive, how are they supposed to isolate themselves?

“There has to be an insurance solution.”

Mr Smyth spoke at a forum organized by the Representation of the European Commission in Ireland and the European Parliament Liaison Office.

Yesterday a poll said this could add around € 70 to the cost of an insurance policy that would cover placement in another country until the infection subsided.

Pat Dawson of the Irish Travel Agents Association said, “It is one thing to have insurance, but it is important to have adequate insurance coverage.

“People should look at the terms and conditions of every policy they have.”

He reckons that the cases in which people are taken abroad due to an infection are very low.

The EU Digital Covid Certificate to facilitate travel between the member states is not due to come into force until July 19.

Mr Dawson said there have been few families booking trips abroad in July and August.

From September onwards, trips abroad will be more in focus.

“There are bookings for late August, but at the moment there are few bookings for mid-July,” he added.

That is fueled for the most part by the uncertainty as to whether the start will occur in mid-July.

One of the complexities surrounding the work of the EU certificate is that people have to book a test to get home in another country where there is no record of their identity, said Mr Smyth.

Ambassadors of the 27 EU countries yesterday approved a modified proposal by the European Commission that people who have been fully vaccinated for 14 days can travel freely from one EU country to another.

Just over a quarter of adults in the EU are now fully vaccinated.

Individual countries may decide to allow the inclusion of people who have only received one dose.

Restrictions for other travelers should be based on the extent to which the country they come from has Covid-19 under control.

As vaccinations accelerate, the EU will relax the traffic light color coding it used to determine the safety of regions within the bloc.

Green regions must now have fewer than 25 cases per 100,000 people in 14 days, with less than 4 percent of positive tests. That’ll go up to 50 or 75 if the positivity rate is less than 1 percent.

For infection rates up to 500, a red category would apply, from a maximum of 150 so far. There should be no restrictions for trips out of a green zone.

EU Member States can also apply an “emergency brake” to exclude all travelers from a region with an increase in more contagious variants of the disease.

The message here is expected to be to avoid unnecessary travel in order to minimize the risk of increasing the spread of variants of the virus.

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