Do you have COVID abroad? This service will send a speedboat to the rescue

There is a lot of pent-up demand for overseas travel, but one thing that holds Americans back is the fear of being stranded in a foreign country if they contract COVID-19 while traveling.

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Why is this important: The United States is requiring all arriving air passengers – vaccinated or not, including Americans returning home – to test negative for COVID-19 no more than three days before their trip.

  • Self-isolating for an additional 10 days in a hotel room, even in paradise, can be expensive – not to mention the risks, if you get really sick and need medical attention in a foreign country.

What is happening: A company called Covac Global will send a medical jet, a helicopter or even a speedboat – “whatever it takes,” they say – to rescue COVID patients in other countries and bring them home for treatment .

  • Some holiday destinations are even teaming up with Covac to prevent infections from spreading in their country.

  • The Bahamian government is a client, performing weekly evacuations to transport positive visitors off the island, according to the company.

  • And some hotels, like the Eden Roc in St. Barts, include the evacuation service in their vacation packages.

The context: Most travel insurance policies like the Allianz Travel Protection Plan typically do not cover COVID-19 related claims because a pandemic is “predictable.” They also do not cover the fear of traveling.

  • During the ongoing health crisis, however, Allianz says it will temporarily cover emergency medical care as well as trip cancellation for a traveler who becomes ill with COVID-19.

  • Covac Global is working to bring them home, whether or not they are sick.

The plot: It is not travel insurance, it is a membership based service.

  • Membership for a 15-day trip is $ 675 per person; a 30-day trip costs $ 995. Annual membership is $ 2,400, for unlimited travel up to 90 days each.

How it works: Unlike most insurers, Covac does not require customers to be hospitalized before authorizing medical evacuation.

  • All the business needs is a positive COVID test result and a self-reported symptom, such as a sore throat, cough, or runny nose.

  • Covac medical staff will pick up the patient from wherever they are and bring them back to the United States

  • They don’t have to abide by the CDC’s rules on isolation if the medical team delivers them directly to their homes.

  • “All they have to do is wait at the hotel, and we pay the whole thing, up to a million dollars, to get them home,” CEO Ross Thompson told Axios.

The bottom line: Since launching the service at the start of the pandemic, Thompson says Covac has sold “tens of thousands of subscriptions” and performs “about a dozen” evacuations per month.

The trap : Non-members are also eligible for evacuation service, but it could cost up to $ 250,000 door-to-door, depending on their location.

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