Got questions about COVID-19 while away from home? Trip takers with a travel protection membership rely on one number to call: Global Rescue.
David Bonner was traveling from Los Angeles, California to Santiago, Chile and needed to meet the Chilean government requirements for the flight.
“I arrived at LAX and LATAM Airlines required a letter of coverage that contained the word ‘COVID’,” Bonner said. “After a frantic call to Global Rescue, member services was able to issue a coverage letter. That did the trick — my boarding pass was issued and I was on my way. Without action on your part, my trip would have never gotten off the ground.”
Bonner isn’t the only member who has needed instant travel protection services to meet COVID travel requirements. Justin Cordero was returning home to Oregon after a business trip to Oregon in December. He needed to find a site offering COVID testing for travel for his 7 a.m. flight.
“Restrictions were changed while I was in Canada,” Cordero said. “I already had my flight booked — which was at a horrible time for receiving test results now that testing is required within 24 hours.”
He emailed Global Rescue and got the answer he needed.
“FastTest offers testing in downtown Vancouver at the Fairmont Hotel. Rapid Antigen test results are available within 15 minutes of getting tested. It would appear as if they have multiple time slots still available for this evening,” said Jeffrey Weinstein, medical operations supervisor at Global Rescue.
How To Travel Safely During COVID]
The Latest Travel Information
If you’re traveling today, traditional travel insurance isn’t enough. You need more, like a travel protection membership.
“A Global Rescue membership is more than financial protection. Travel insurance policies are only designed to protect your wallet. A Global Rescue membership provides rescue and emergency services for injuries and illness, including COVID-19, as well as travel counsel and guidance— anything that could impact traveler safety and security” said Dan Richards, CEO of Global Rescue.
A Global Rescue membership is a start-to-finish solution to help travelers from their front door to their hotel room, and back home again.
Global Rescue members might start their trip planning by checking the Coronavirus Weekly Update, a free online COVID-19 information center with educational — and factual — information about the pandemic. Scroll down and click on the “View International Restrictions” button. It will bring you to a country restrictions matrix searchable by destination. Scroll until you see your destination, Iceland for this example, and you’ll see the country does have confirmed COVID cases, entry restrictions in place, quarantine and testing requirements.
The U.S. Embassy in Iceland provides COVID requirements: All travelers to the U.S. will be required to present evidence of a negative COVID test taken within a day before departure, regardless of vaccine status. You’ll also find a link to the preregistration page all visitors need to fill out 48 hours before entry into Iceland.
Once you’ve got a handle on the COVID travel requirements, it’s time to research additional health and security risks by using Global Rescue’s Destination Reports. You can log in via computer or use the app on your phone. Click Destination Report, then type in the location: Iceland. The Risk Overview for health concerns is low, but high-quality health care is concentrated around cities. The Security Risk Overview is also low; most trips to Iceland are free of major security concerns.
Icelanders are used to the snow, so they are more apt to check the weather for wind speed. The Iceland Meteorological Office is a great resource for local weather conditions.
What COVID Test Is Required for Travel?
Before, during and after a trip, help is always a phone call away.
“Whether a traveler needs a COVID-19 screening and testing regimen for a trip or needs help finding a COVID-prepared health care facility, Global Rescue can provide assistance before, during and after travel,” Richards said.
Should an emergency occur, Global Rescue medical and security experts can fully coordinate all aspects from advisory (calling for a test location, like Justin Cordero) to evacuation (testing positive in a remote location without the health care capabilities you need, like Dolly Webster.
Unlike other providers, Global Rescue does not make any distinctions between #COVID-19 and other infectious diseases with respect to our services. If members have questions related to COVID or become ill from the virus while traveling, our same services still apply. This has been the case since the start of the pandemic and will continue to be until the end.
Not sure if your travel insurance provides the COVID resources you need? One of our COVID blogs provides answers to the most commonly asked COVID-19 questions. And here are some other considerations — and areas where a Global Rescue membership excels:
- In-house Expertise: Our operations centers are staffed by experienced nurses, paramedics and military special operations veterans and you are speaking to them with every call.
- Start-to-finish Services: Personalized communications, recommendations and responses continue until your emergency is resolved.
- No Hidden Fees: With Global Rescue there are never any claim forms, co-pays or deductibles. All Global Rescue services are included in your membership fee.
- Field Rescue: If you’re looking for medical evacuation services, be sure to ask your provider if you have to be in the hospital first. (Many will say yes.) Here at Global Rescue, we know this is not what travelers need. That’s why we offer field rescue AND hospital transport — and we are one of the few that do. COVID-19 transport and services are included.
- Hospital Transport: Just like any other infectious disease, Global Rescue will provide rescue and emergency transport services to the nearest medical facility, center of excellence or the member’s home hospital, depending on the member’s wishes, medical condition and government regulations.
- Up-to-date Travel Information: The Global Rescue Intelligence Team continues to closely monitor the outbreak. The Coronavirus Intelligence Center is updated weekly with information which includes outbreak locations, outbreak data, signs and symptoms and medical advice for travelers.
- Medical Advisory Services: Global Rescue will provide medical and other advisory services, including health advice to help you make more informed decisions; hospital/clinic referral and facilitation of access, as needed; medical translation services to improve communication with medical providers; medical advisory and review of care; and assistance in locating and acquiring medications.
“We’ll be with you every step of the way: our advisory services continue until the member is brought home or gets better,” Weinstein said.
Sometimes, that’s what a traveler really needs. Karen Martinez was in Ukraine on holiday and tested positive for COVID right before her flight. She called Atlas Obscura, a Global Rescue Safe Travel Partner, who recommended contacting Global Rescue.
“I was pretty frightened due to the political situation in Ukraine, which was inundating the news at the time (and still is),” Martinez said. “I received an email then WhatsApp’ed with a real person at Global Rescue. I can’t say that I needed anything specific but it was nice to know that she was there and knew about my situation. I was all alone in Ukraine and not knowing when I might be able to get a negative COVID test was pretty stressful. She followed up with me the next day and also on the day I told her I was getting a test.”
Fortunately, Martinez tested negative and was able to fly home. “Just knowing that someone else knows what you’re going through and having them continue to text you and ask how you are and what’s happening was such a helpful thing for my mental state. I really appreciate that,” Martinez said.
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