More than a third of people say having the best possible insurance that would fully cover them for Covid-19 risks is now a top priority when considering a holiday abroad.

The proportion increases to 51% for the over-55s, according to a poll conducted last week in the wake of the government re-imposing 14-day quarantine restrictions on travellers returning from Spain.

The Covid-19 safety record of a country, the resort and proximity to good medical services abroad have become the crucial decisions that are framing overseas travel decisions.

The research shows that the majority of people (66%) intend to travel in the months ahead, but well-being and safety issues now dominate the priority list.

The top two priorities for those considering a trip abroad revolved around picking a country that had a good record for Covid-19 safety (44%) and secondly assessing the likely risk of a country going back into lockdown (42%).

Concerns about safe travel also emerged, with social distancing on flights now more important (39%) and 29% of people wanting assurance that airports would be safe to pass through.

Thinking about a stay abroad, the state of the health service in the host country (36%) was also a more important consideration.

The national study of 2,000 people by travel insurance firm AllClear found that 36% of respondents said that having the best possible insurance that would fully cover them for Covid-19 risks was now a top priority when considering a holiday abroad.

By age group, the over-55s were more likely to pick a destination based on its perceived Covid-19 safety record (56% vs. 28% of those under 34).

The over-55s were also most likely to want the best insurance cover that fully covered them for a wide range of Covid-19 risks (51%).

AllClear chief executive Chris Rolland said: “Despite the re-introduction of quarantine restrictions, many people still want to travel in the months ahead.

“Particularly among the over-50s, the reasons for travel can be wide-ranging. Some want a holiday, some want to visit family, children and friends – and some have properties abroad.

“The crucial issue at the moment is to help protect people when it is safe to travel.

“Our latest research shows that safety considerations have rocketed in importance, which itself shows that the vast majority of people want to travel responsibly.

“It is also interesting to note the beginnings of a sea-change in people’s attitudes towards travel insurance, with quality taking price off the table.

“Our survey starkly shows that, for those considering a trip abroad, safety dominates the questions being asked.”

Travel/holiday that are now more important to those considering an overseas holiday in the months ahead

What is now more important to you when it comes to travelling safely? %
Picking a destination based on its safety in terms of COVID-19

44%

The risk of the country back into lockdown

42%

Social distancing on flights – not getting on a packed plane

39%

Having the best insurance cover that fully covers me for COVID-19

36%

The state of the health service in the country I’m visiting 

36%

The prospect of having to go into quarantine when I’m back

30%

Comfort that airports would be safe

29%

Avoiding using public transport

27%

Good customer reviews online for the safety of the resort 

26%

Paying more for quality insurance rather than getting the cheapest cover

21%

The country’s track record for expertise in medical conditions that I have

20%

The ability to drive to my destination rather than use a plane

17%

The hotel/resorts proximity to a good hospital 

14%

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