Travel insurance for China

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Covid-19 (coronavirus) – important information

From 17th May 2021, a travel traffic light system is being introduced and trips to green list countries will be legally permitted if you live in England. Strict border control measures will remain in place for your return to the UK.

Before you buy, you should consider the implications of your destination moving from a green list country to amber or red as you may incur additional costs and/or face travel restrictions that will not be covered by your travel insurance.

The traffic light rules only dictate what you have to do on returning to England – so even if a country is on the green list, you still need to check your destination's entry requirements and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice for travelling there. If the Foreign Office has advised against travel to your destination and you still decide to travel, you will not be covered by any travel insurance policy you purchase.

A few insurers do offer cover If you are an essential traveller, however if you are in doubt or have any queries, please check the policy wording, or contact your chosen provider before purchasing.

Until dates have been set to permit non-essential international travel from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland it is important that you follow all the rules that apply to your country of residence.

Do I need travel insurance for China?

The vast country of China, with its teeming cities and remote mountains, attracts adventurous tourists, business travellers, and people visiting family.

Whatever your reasons for your trip, taking out travel insurance before you go is a good idea.

It can be very expensive to be repatriated from China if you are taken seriously ill or need treatment that can only be provided at home.

Repatriation is a standard feature of most travel insurance policies.

Do I need a visa for China?

You need a visa to travel to China on a UK passport - there are different types for business, leisure and family travel. You can get a visa for either short-term or longer-term trips.

Full details are available from the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre

Travelling to Tibet

A trip to the mountainous region of Tibet is high on many travellers’ wish lists. However, due to Tibet’s political status, a visit takes some preparation.

You can only travel there on an organised tour and will need to obtain a permit first from the Tibet Tourism Bureau. Your tour operator can arrange it but allow at least two to three weeks.

In Tibet the political situation is tense and security measures are tight. Your insurance won’t cover anything illegal and will exclude injuries caused by violence (unless it's self-defence).

The British Embassy and consulates in China also warn that they have limited ability to help travellers in Tibet.

Another problem is that the authorities sometimes close areas to tourists with little or no warning, throwing your travel plans into disarray. For that reason, make sure you've got cover for any cancellations or delays.

Finally, Tibet is mountainous and remote. Make sure you have a good level of medical cover to so that in the event of an emergency, you can get airlifted to a good hospital or repatriated back to the UK.

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