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International travel restrictions are lifting, so you may be ready to book a U.K. trip and take in the history, culture and landscape—and maybe get in some Royals watching. Although travel insurance is not mandatory to visit the United Kingdom, it’s a lovely idea to buy a solid travel insurance plan.

Related: Compare & Buy Travel Insurance For 2021

Covid-related travel concerns are a top priority for many travelers, reports Gail Mangiante, spokesperson with insurance comparison site InsureMyTrip. Many travel insurance companies provide benefits that will cover Covid-19 medical costs for treatment if you contract the virus during your trip, as well as the extra costs of quarantine in a hotel if you test positive.

A travel insurance agent can identify the policies that meet your needs and price-shop the choices for you. It’s important to ask questions and ensure your travel insurance policy provides coverage specific to Covid.

Some American tourists opt for a long weekend to experience London, while others embark on multi-location trips that include Wales and Scotland. Because the U.K. is a sprawling place with rural and city settings—as well as a broad mix of tourist attractions — your travel insurance policy should be comprehensive and cover a variety of events.

Comprehensive travel plans typically include coverage for:

  • Travel medical expenses
  • Emergency medical evacuation
  • Trip cancellation
  • Trip delay and trip interruption coverage
  • Baggage loss protection

Prepare to Cancel Before You Go

Vacations are fun to look forward to, so it’s hard to think about a potential setback. Still, planning for one is a good idea. If you need to cancel your U.K. trip, a travel insurance plan can reimburse you 100 percent for lost prepaid, nonrefundable deposits. To make a cancellation claim you’ll need to have a reason that’s listed in the policy and provide documentation.

Acceptable reasons for cancellation include unplanned events such as an illness or death, a serious family emergency, a national emergency either at your destination or in the U.S., terrorist action or severe weather.

Related: Compare over 22+ Travel Insurance Companies

Not all reasons for canceling a trip are covered by travel insurance, so check your policy for the list of reasons. For example, if you have tickets to a musical in London’s West End and the headliner changed and is no longer Hugh Jackman, your travel insurance plan would not cover your trip cancellation.

But there is a way to cover a movie star-level issue and other problems. You could opt for a “cancel for any reason” travel insurance upgrade, which will cost about 40% more. With this upgrade you can literally cancel your trip for any reason — as long as you cancel within 48 hours before your scheduled departure. Reimbursement is typically 50% or 75% under this coverage. (Not all travel insurers offer this upgrade.)

Medical Issues While on

Sydney lockdown extension confirmed as NSW records 27 new community cases. Video / 9 News

Covid

The Ministry of Health has announced the pause on the quarantine-free travel from Queensland and New South Wales to New Zealand will continue.

It says there is a need to better understand “the developing situation” including the number and pattern of cases being reported in these Australian states.

New Zealand public health staff remain in close contact with Australian health authorities about the actions being taken in each State, the ministry said in a statement released tonight.

“As with previous pauses, it will be under constant review.”

At this stage there is no date on when lifting the freeze would be re-evaluated.

“We consider this pause to be prudent while investigations continue and until further test results are returned,” the ministry said.

From Friday July 9 at 11.59pm, “green flights” will open from Queensland and New South Wales to New Zealand.

Travel on such flights would be limited to New Zealand citizens and Australians who normally reside here. Critical workers who were stranded in Queensland or New South Wales would also be welcome.

Anyone boarding these flights would need to have a negative pre-departure test taken within 72 hours before departure, the ministry said.

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Travellers were also required to meet all the standard public health measures for travel, which included declaring they had not been in a location of interest in the past 14 days, weren’t symptomatic, weren’t a close contact and weren’t awaiting the results of a Covid-19 test.

When arriving in New Zealand, travellers were asked to monitor themselves closely for any Covid-19 symptoms and to “diligently keep contact tracing records” using the NZ COVID Tracer app or another form of diary, the ministry said.

Likewise, anyone with Covid-19 symptoms should stay at home, get tested, and remain in isolation until a negative test result is returned, the ministry said.

The growing numbers of cases across the globe was a stark reminder that the Covid-19 pandemic was still evolving, the ministry said.

“It reinforces we are taking the right approach with our precautionary actions to protect the public health of New Zealanders.”

New Zealand has paused quarantine-free travel with New South Wales and Victoria effectively shut its border to large parts of Sydney after NSW recorded 10 new locally acquired cases of coronavirus.

NSW Health subsequently said a confirmed case had flown from Sydney to Wellington on the night of Friday 18 June and from Wellington to Sydney on Monday morning.

“Passengers who flew on the flights at the times listed are considered close contacts and must immediately call NSW Health … get tested and isolate for 14 days, regardless of the result,” the department said in a statement on Tuesday night.

The spike in local cases had earlier prompted the NSW government to extend the indoor mask mandate across greater Sydney in an attempt to curb the Bondi outbreak.

Masks will be required to be worn on public transport and indoors in Sydney for another week until midnight 30 June.

There are now 21 cases linked to the Bondi cluster, with all but two of the new cases already in isolation. Six are household contacts of previous cases.

The NSW premier, Gladys Berejiklian, said it wasn’t a surprise to see more cases emerge, and that she was expecting more household contacts to test positive in the coming days.

“The virus is not like other strains where it is less contagious.

“We expected, given how absolutely contagious the virus is, we expected that household contacts already in isolation were likely to get the virus.

“A very fleeting exchange or a very fleeting coexistence has actually allowed the virus to transfer and highlights how contagious it is.”

Authorities are most concerned about two cases not already in isolation: a school student at St Charles’ Catholic primary school in Waverley and a woman in her 20s who works at Bondi Junction Westfield.

The chief health officer, Kerry Chant, said the student’s test results only came in earlier on Tuesday, and the school was working with health officials to develop a plan for the children to go home.

“Please, parents, I know there may be a level of concern, the school and public health officials will communicate with you a safe plan for the students to go home and testing arrangements which are critical for us to understand the situation.

“We want to provide advice and a mechanism to get tested because we want to find out how this child was exposed and establish that because cases where we don’t understand the acquisition means we have mystery cases.

“And in this case, we don’t have preliminary information [on] a source for this child’s exposure so we are looking for an intermediate source.”

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Chant said the other case of concern, the woman in her 20s, was likely exposed through “fleeting” contact with an infectious person.

Chant urged anyone who had been at Bondi Junction Westfield, including the car parks, at any time between 12 and 18 June, to get tested.

“We are casting the

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says there is still a level of concern about the way this virus has spread “fleetingly” between some cases. Video / Sky News Australia

New Zealand has halted its quarantine-free travel bubble with New South Wales as Sydney battles a growing Covid outbreak.

The pause takes effect from 11.59pm tonight and is scheduled to last for 72 hours, the Government has just announced.

“This decision follows a public health assessment today which determined that while the overall risk to public health in New Zealand currently remains low, there are still several unknowns, including a case that was infectious while in the Sydney community and a primary-school-age child with no clear link established at present,” Covid Response Minister Chris Hipkins said tonight.

“The Government is taking a precautionary approach and will review the decision to pause again on Thursday.”

There are now 21 community cases linked to the highly infectious Delta virus strain with 10 new cases reported today in New South Wales.

Passengers on two flights which travelled between Sydney and Wellington have been identified as close contacts.

It includes Qantas flight QF163 which departed Sydney just after 7pm last Friday and arrived in Wellington on Saturday at about 12am.

Air New Zealand flight NZ247 which flew out from Wellington at 10am yesterday and arrived in Sydney at 11.30am has also been flagged.

New South Wales Health issued the alert – and has asked everyone on the flights to get tested and isolated for 14-days.

Updated advice for travellers from NSW

NZ health officials have updated their advice to anyone now in this country who had recently visited Sydney’s Westfield Bondi Junction mall.

One of the new cases reported today is connected to the busy mall which is popular with Kiwi tourists.

“In line with NSW Health’s advice: anyone in New Zealand who was at Westfield Bondi Junction (including the car park) in Sydney’s Bondi Junction at any time between 12 June and 18 June should contact Healthline on 0800 358 5453, get tested and stay at home until they get a negative test result, or remain isolated if instructed.”

Anyone who has been in Sydney since June 11 is asked to check the NSH Health website.

In New South Wales all but one of today’s new Covid cases have been linked to the highly infectious Delta virus strain.

All bar one of the new cases is linked to existing cases.

The mystery case is a Year 3 student who attends a school in Waverley, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

New Zealand contact tracing teams last week got in touch with 6824 passengers from New South Wales, who arrived in the country before last Wednesday, when the first recent community case in Sydney was announced.

These were travellers who had been in NSW since June 11.

There are 16 contacts related to locations of interest in Sydney that are currently in New Zealand.

The majority of these contacts identified themselves by calling Healthline –

There are no new cases of Covid-19 in the community today, the Ministry of Health reported in a statement.

There are four cases in managed isolation. They are from travellers who have recently returned from Philippines, India, Afghanistan and the USA.

Meanwhile, quarantine free travel is set to continue with New South Wales. This is despite two new cases of Covid-19 being reported in Sydney yesterday, both connected to the busy Westfield Bondi Junction mall, which is popular with locals and New Zealand visitors. The two new cases take New South Wales’ recent community cases to six.

“New Zealand health officials have determined that, at this time, the COVID-19 public health risk to New Zealand remains low,” the statement reads.

“Last night the Ministry of Health updated its advice for anyone in New Zealand who was at the Westfield Bondi Junction mall in Sydney last weekend.

“Anyone in New Zealand at the Westfield Bondi Junction mall (including the car park) in Sydney’s Bondi Junction on Saturday 12 June between 11am to 12pm or Sunday 13 June between 1pm to 2pm and 4pm to 4:30pm should get tested immediately.

“They must also contact Healthline on 0800 358 5453 and stay at home until they get a negative test result. They are also advised to continue to monitor for symptoms and if any develop, get tested again.

“This follows a decision by New South Wales public health officials last night to classify the entire Westfield Bondi Junction mall and its car park as a location of interest, not just the particular shops earlier identified. It follows a case last week involving a very fleeting contact with another case at the busy mall.

“Information about all the locations of interest visited by the cases is available on the New South Wales health website: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/latest-news-and-updates
People who have been in Sydney are urged to check this website as there are new locations of interest, including trains and bus routes. Please check for the relevant dates and times; and follow health advice.”

 

Warner Leisure Hotels says it has around 300 jobs on offer at six hotels in Wales and England.

The company, which employs 2,500 staff, is stepping up recruitment as it prepares to fully reopen sites on May 17.

It comes at a time when the UK hospitality sector is struggling to recruit due to thousands of staff leaving the sector for other industries during the pandemic and Brexit making it harder to get in workers from Europe.

The crisis could mean some hotels and restaurants being forced to limit operations.

Warner – part of the Bourne Leisure group – is looking for chefs, restaurant and bar teams, housekeepers, gardeners and maintenance workers at five hotels in England and one in Wales.

Head of operations and people Ian Gyte said: “We’re so excited to be able to re-open our hotels and are looking for a wealth of talent to join the team.

“Warner is a key employer throughout the UK and we’re extremely proud to be able to offer jobs to thousands of people up and down the country during what’s been a particularly difficult time for job seekers.

“This year is set to be a really big year for UK holidays with thousands of holidaymakers looking to escape to the great British coast and countryside for a well-deserved break.”

Hotels looking for team include Thoresby Hall, Nottinghamshire, Alvaston Hall, Cheshire, Nidd Hall, North Yorkshire, Sinah Warren Coastal Hotel, Hampshire, Holme Lacy House, Herefordshire and Bodelwyddan Castle, North Wales.

Team members will receive training, free uniform and PPE.

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