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Patient transport during the coronavirus crisis by air or ground ambulance

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Patient transport during the coronavirus crisis by air or ground ambulance

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Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of British citizens have been infected by the coronavirus. To make matters worse, many of these travellers do not have adequate travel insurance and are still stuck abroad in foreign hospitals where in many cases, the medical treatment is not as good as the medical treatment back in the UK with the NHS. Furthermore, very often local doctors and nurses do not speak adequate English which is undeniably a great barrier between patients and the medical staff on-site. This is not an ideal scenario, particularly in countries that require a traveller to quarantine or self-isolate.

In order to get the best medical treatment available in such difficult times, most of our patients who are infected with the coronavirus (Covid-19), would like to get back home to their loved ones as soon as possible, henceforth requiring rapid and swift repatriation. This may also help them save on significant accommodation costs and medical expenses (if these facilities are not state-provided) in the country they may be stranded in. 

Many travellers who have tested positive to a Covid-19 test and have to quarantine in a foreign country often ask whether "this kind of transport is even possible for travellers infected with Covid-19?" Yes, repatriation is possible! and that, whether or not you have adequate travel insurance. 

If you need urgent patient transport even following a positive foreign covid-related test, contact our experts now, whether or not you have travel insurance. We have significant experience guiding stranded British tourists with a vast array of complicated medical needs to their best repatriation options, even amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

Isolations-System mit Patientin

How do we organise Covid-19 patient transport by air ambulance (with or without travel insurance) during the pandemic?

Since it is impossible to transport an infected covid patient by a commercial airliner due to the high risk of Covid-19 contagion (even if the trip may be deemed as an "essential travel"), the safest and quickest way back home is to transport the patient via a medical air ambulance, an ideal medical flight option amidst this pandemic, particularly for those with pre-existing medical conditions. This option is available whether or not you have travel insurance that does cover Covid-19 related costs (covid-cover)/ adequate medical cover and we follow FCDO advice to ensure that you are protected. You shall only be required to conduct a 'fit to fly' test by our medical experts to know whether you can be given the "all clear" to conduct the repatriation. 

Aboard an air ambulance, an experienced flight doctor looks after the patient, using equipment that is similar to the machines in a modern intensive care ward. Moreover, on board the air ambulance, there is only the patient and a medical team who is equipped with appropriate protective gear in order to prevent the risk of Covid-19 infection for fellow travelers. Furthermore, we will install a modern isolation device, that acts as an in-flight quarantine system, which will guarantee the safety of the Covid-19 patient as well as that of our medical team. Due to the negative pressure inside the device, the virus cannot leak out to the environment. Also, the used air will be filtered so that there cannot be any risk of coronavirus-related infection. The patient lies safely and comfortably in this device and the flight doctor can treat him through ports, if needed.  

Is there a way to transport coronavirus patients by ground ambulance?

In general terms: yes, there is. Our medical vehicles have the same modern isolation device which we use to transport our coronavirus patients in our air ambulances. Think of it as a mobile self-isolation unit. These are valid even for covid patients with pre-existing medical conditions.Thanks to this device, our patients will be comfortable and safe during the complete medical transfer and there also will be no possibility that the Covid-19 virus leaks out to the environment and endangers others.

Please note that you can still travel through ground ambulance despite a positive COVID-19 test, even without travel insurance. It is however always advisable to get in touch with your travel insurer's representative to know whether or not such medical expenses are recoverable for the policyholder. There are some travel insurance companies that offer benefits related to the coronavirus. The insurer also provides cancellation covers in certain situations. That is why it is recommended to liaise with your travel insurance firm to determine whether or now the costs to repatriate you to the UK are covered. 

Similarly, you can carefully review your insurer's policy wording and the travel insurance policy to check whether there is a repatriation cover so that you can maximise financial protection in these challenging times. It should be noted that if your travel insurance company does not cover the repatriation, the cost will be out-of-pocket. 


Since transport via ground ambulance takes longer than via an air ambulance, our medical team decides whether this kind of transport is advisable considering your medical conditions. As it is, those with Covid-19 are weaker than usual. Due to the stress factor during longer trips, patients with severe symptoms will most probably not be transported by ground ambulance. However, for shorter routes, this could still be the perfect way of transportation. If you would like to get free advice, get in contact with our experts now.

What is the lead time for a coronavirus patient transport?

If needed, our experts can organise your transport within a few hours depending on your current location's quarantine policy and whether you are currently based in one of the FCDO's list countries. You only need to contact us, we will advise you following FCDO advice and we will start planning your individual patient transport immediately no matter your insurance policy.

How much would the repatriation of a coronavirus patient cost?

There are several factors that have an impact on the costs of such a patient transport. First of all, the type of vehicle will make a difference when creating a quote. Furthermore, the distance to be travelled is also a very important factor. And lastly, the urgency of the transport can have an impact on the costs. If you have Covid-19 and you wish to get back home, in order to receive a free and non-binding quote, get in touch with our experts. We will let you have a detailed quote within a few minutes.

Contact us

In addition to reading the FCDO's travel guidelines, if you have any questions about the medical repatriation process, or for an offer that is carefully tailored to your circumstances, feel free to contact our 24-hour service at any time. We will clear your doubts whether it comes to FCDO recommendations and we will assist you, whether you have travel insurance or not. You can reach our experienced international team via: