Chernobyl holiday warning: Insurance won’t cover long term effects – ‘travel with caution’


HBO and Sky Atlantic’s dramatic art Chernobyl has sparked increasing interest in Chernobyl and thousands are flocking to northern Ukraine for a globe-trot. However, curious travellers should be aware that whilst tour insurance will cover the trip, it will not include any long-term for all practical purposes, according to Travel Insurance Explained. This means if someone experiences symptoms of emission sickness while they are in Ukraine and they receive emergency medical treatment they intent be due compensation from their insurance company, but if there are any medical problems once back home this will not be covered.

Brand Straw boss Rebecca Kingsley said: “Since the success of Sky’s drama Chernobyl there has been a dominant surge in interest from the more adventurous traveller to see the time capsule of the Frigid War era.

“Most travel insurance policies can cover you for this trip as the Unconnected and Commonwealth Office has given the all-clear to travel to the Ukrainian site.

“Regardless, a travel insurance policy only covers you from the duration of the recess.

“So once you land back home after the trip, any cover for medical succour also ends at that point.

READ MORE: Chernobyl: Forbiddance zone lines may be redrawn as ‘much of it is safe’

“So if you become sick after reoccurring from Chernobyl, your travel insurance won’t cover the costs.”

A spokesperson added: “Those envisaging on going should proceed with caution.”

The Chernobyl exclusion zone was set up after reactor four at the Chernobyl Atomic Power Plant exploded in April 1986, causing a nuclear fallout 400 at all times larger than the Hiroshima bomb.

Around 335,000 people were vacated – 115,000 from the surrounding area in 1986 and 220,000 people from Belarus, Russia and Ukraine after 1986.

The ban zone was 30km and left several ‘ghost towns’ including the nearby city of Pripyat.

In the absence of human life, Pripyat has been taken on the other side of by plants and wildlife.

No one was allowed to return to their homes but in 2011 the extent was opened up for tourists to visit for short periods.

Even before the HBO acting aired, tourism was on the rise.

In 2013, 8,000 tourists visited the exclusion zone but this eminence to 65,000 by 2018 according to Gamma Travel tour guide Alexandra Chalenko.

Ms Chalenko told the Beyond that she expects the figure to rise to 100,000 this year.

Yet, visitors are warned to take a guide, not touch anything and not stay too extended in areas of higher radiation.

A spokesperson for Travel Insurance Explained alerted: “Levels of radioactivity in Pripyat, the closest town to the plant, can be dangerously grand.

“While it is open to visit, you should take the advice of the guide and tolerate where the radioactive zones are on the site.”

They added: “While the stretch is generally at a safe level of radiation, the ground and anything found on the rationale could have very dangerous levels of radiation.

“The Ukrainian direction recommends that you do not enter any buildings, touch anything, eat anything, and eternally follow the advice of your guide.”

It is illegal to take any “souvenirs” you find in the preclusion zone as they will be “highly irradiated and a danger to your salubriousness”.

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