Global Affairs Canada recently issued a travel advisory advising Canadians should avoid all non-essential travel to China and all travel to the province of Hubei, including the cities of Wuhan, Huanggang and Ezhou to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Canada’s chief public health officer has stated at this point the risk to others is low; however, we are closely monitoring the situation and will continue to provide updates as we become aware of any changes that may impact you and any future travel plans.

In light of this, you might be hearing things like ‘watch for travel health notices’, ‘avoid non-essential travel’ and ‘check travel advisories.’ Here, we’ll shed some light on what the Government of Canada travel advisories are, where to find them and what to do with the information.

What’s a travel advisory?

Travel advisories are issued by the Government of Canada and are the official source of destination-specific travel information. They give you important information to help protect you from security threats around the world: are there any climate or weather concerns, is the political situation stable, are there any major health outbreaks you should watch for? When there is an elevated security concern, advisories will caution you against all or non-essential travel to that specific city, region or country. These concerns include health emergencies, terrorism, protests, violence, war, rebellion, natural disasters and political instability. It’s important to always get updates on travel advisories and health information issued by the Government of Canada before travelling abroad.

How does Alberta Blue Cross travel insurance protect customers who were planning to travel to a destination with a travel advisory warning?

Trip cancellation and interruption

Trip cancellation and interruption insurance will cover trip-disruption costs as long as it is purchased before the Canadian government issues an advisory to avoid all travel or non-essential travel. If the trip disruption insurance is purchased after the advisory is issued,then there will be no coverage provided if the claim is directly or indirectly related to the reason for the travel advisory warning. 

The trip advisory needs to be in effect during the date of travel for you to use it as a reason to claim for any reimbursement.

Emergency medical coverage

If there is a travel advisory in place for no or non-essential travel prior to your departure date, there will be no coverage provided if the claim is directly related to the reason for the travel advisory warning.

How do I prepare for a health outbreak or other unexpected emergencies?

You can’t prepare for all possible events, but there are some steps you can take to keep you, your family and your trip protected.

Buy travel insurance as soon as you book

There is no way to predict a health outbreak on the other side of the world on the exact dates you’re planning to travel, but you can prepare for trip disruptions with trip cancellation, interruption and baggage coverage insurance. We recommend buying trip cancellation and interruption insurance as soon as you book your trip to make sure you’re covered for scenarios like no and non-essential government travel advisories.

Check travel advisories before you book and before you leave

We recommend that you check the travel advisories frequently. But, it’s critical to check before you book your trip and right before you leave. You are responsible to know if advisories are in place. Travel warnings are issued and updated regularly, so make sure you’re checking the Global Affairs Canada site often.

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