Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

There's a lot of pent-up demand for overseas travel, but one thing holding Americans back is the worry that they'll be stranded in a foreign country if they contract COVID-19 while traveling.

Why it matters: The U.S. requires 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.

  • Isolating for an extra 10 days in a hotel room, even in paradise, can be expensive — not to mention risky, if you get really ill and need medical care in a foreign country.

What's happening: A company called Covac Global will send a medical jet, helicopter or even a speed boat — "whatever it takes," they say — to rescue COVID patients in other countries and bring them home for care.

  • Some vacation destinations are even partnering with Covac to prevent infections from spreading in their country.
  • The Bahamas government is a client, doing weekly evacuations to transport positive visitors off the island, the company says.
  • And some hotels, like the Eden Roc in St. Barts, are including evacuation service in their vacation packages.

Context: Most travel insurance policies like Allianz Travel Protection Plan generally don't cover COVID-19 claims because a pandemic is "foreseeable." Nor do they cover fear of travel.

  • 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 focuses on getting them home, regardless of whether they are sick.

The intrigue: It's not trip insurance — it's 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 trips up to 90 days each.

How it works: Unlike most insurers, Covac doesn't require customers to be hospitalized before it authorizes a medical evacuation.

  • All the company needs is a positive COVID test result and one self-reported symptom, like a scratchy throat, cough or runny nose.
  • Covac medical personnel will pick up the patient wherever they are and transport them back to the U.S.
  • They don't have to comply with the CDC's rules on isolation if the medical team delivers them directly home.
  • "All they have to do is wait in the hotel, and we pay for the whole thing, up to a million dollars, to take them home," CEO Ross Thompson tells Axios.

The bottom line: Since launching the service early in the pandemic, Thompson says Covac has sold "tens of thousands of memberships" and performs "about a dozen" evacuations per month.

  • Most are fully vaccinated travelers who still contracted COVID while abroad, he said.

The catch: Non-members are eligible for evacuation service too, but it could cost as much as $250,000 door-to-door, depending on where they are.

Go deeper

Sep 24, 2021 - Health

Judge denies Massachusetts State Police attempt to delay state vaccine mandate

Photo: Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A Superior Court judge on Thursday denied the request of the union representing 1,800 Massachusetts State Police troopers to delay the governor's state employee vaccine mandate, the Associated Press reports.

Why it matters: State workers who aren't vaccinated in Massachusetts by Oct. 17 will face disciplinary action, including possible termination.

Sep 24, 2021 - Health

Delta asks other carriers to share "no-fly" lists of unruly passengers

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Delta Air Lines wants competitors to release their no-fly lists of banned passengers who have exhibited unruly behavior, CNBC reports.

Why it matters: Flight attendants and pilot labor unions have voiced their concerns about handling hostile passengers at unprecedented rates since the start of the pandemic.

White House says it expects federal contractors to be vaccinated by Dec. 8

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The White House said in new guidance Friday that it expects millions of federal contractors to be vaccinated against the coronavirus no later than Dec. 8.

Why it matters: Companies with federal contractors have been waiting for formal guidance from the White House before requiring those employees to get vaccinated, according to Reuters.