Insider Report 8/13/2020

This week we dive into the new international healthcare coverage requirements for travel, updates in international travel advisories, and changes to the Southwest facemask policy.

Welcome to the weekly National Travel newsletter!  This week we dive into the new international healthcare coverage requirements for travel, updates in international travel advisories, and changes to the Southwest facemask policy.   We have our office open 24/7 so if there are any questions or thoughts we can help with feel free to give us a call or an email!


COUNTRIES NOW REQUIRING INTERNATIONAL HEALTHCARE COVERAGE

  In addition to typical entry requirements such as tourist visas or return/onward tickets, some countries are now requiring proof of International Healthcare Coverage, which is entirely separate from your standard health and/or travel insurance policy.  Officials from countries with high tourism rates, such as Aruba and Costa Rica, are requiring the additional coverage in an attempt to protect their healthcare systems from unpaid costs.  Speak with our agents to help navigate these new requirements! 

To learn about which countries are requiring this policy, keep reading here.

UPDATES TO INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL ADVISORIES

  As of last week, the US State Department has lifted the Level 4 Advisory for all international travel and will now be judging each destination individually to determine advisory levels.  Many popular tourist destinations remain at a level 4, such as The Bahamas and the Dominican Republic.   Contact our agents to find what destinations you can travel to and what the requirements may be for each destination!  
Click here to learn more about recent changes to travel advisories

CHANGES TO SOUTHWEST AIRLINES FACE-COVERING POLICY

At the end of July, all major US Airlines agreed to require face-coverings onboard their aircraft.  As of August 8th, Southwest Airlines has modified their policy to clarify what they consider to be an acceptable face-covering.  The policy states that masks must be able to be secured around the passenger’s chin and the airline is not allowing for any medical exemptions.  Bandanas and masks with exhaust valves will no longer be permitted, but the airline will continue to offer appropriate face-coverings for customers at their airport locations.  Southwest’s policy also requires all children over the age of 2 to comply with the face-covering mandate on board.  Passengers who refuse to wear a face mask may be denied boarding, removed from their flight, or could even end up on the airline’s internal “no-fly” list!  Here at National Travel, we want the flight process to be as comfortable and as smooth as possible, so we will continue advising all travelers on these policies for any upcoming travel.  
Click here to learn more about face-covering policies on other airlines. 
FUN FACT OF THE WEEK!
Alaska is both the westernmost and easternmost state in the USA.
Alaska’s Aleutian Islands are actually located west of the 180th Meridian (the line that divides the eastern and western hemisphere), making it the only US state to be partly located in the eastern hemisphere.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for more travel news and information as well as updates on life here at the National Travel Office!  

We also have an Instagram page where you can see some amazing travel photography from all around the world! 

 At National Travel, we too feel that these current conditions are only temporary, and we will be here for you when you are ready to take to the skies again! 

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