Halting the spread of Coronavirus has become a key priority for countries around the world.  Unprecedented international border closures and other travel restrictions remain in force. 

Our own Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) current advice remains to avoid all but essential international travel, but there are some exceptions giving holidaymakers the green light to begin planning a trip away.

Are you planning future overseas travel? 

Check the Government’s latest advice on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s website if you are thinking of travelling abroad. The country-specific advice gives clear border and quarantine information for potential visitors, as well as information about social distancing and PPE requirements. The local laws relating to Covid-19 protection may result in a different holiday experience to what you expected.  Do a bit more research before you go, so that you know what to expect.   

Are you planning to visit family or friends, or a staycation?

For domestic travel, different parts of the UK have their own public health rules that apply. You can find the latest guidance here from the official tourism boards for EnglandScotlandWales, and Northern Ireland.

Does my travel insurance cover me for Covid-19 related illness? 

Some, but not all, travel insurance policies include cover for emergency treatment of Covid-19 should you get ill abroad. 

Most policies bought or renewed before mid-March provide cover for cancellations, linked to Covid-19.

Carefully check that your policy provides the Covid-19 cover you need, as well as meeting your other travel requirements.

Right now, most travel insurance policies would be invalid for international trips, because the FCO has advised against all but essential travel. But there is a strong indication that this advice will change soon, so keep an eye of the FCO website as you plan ahead.

How can I reclaim my holiday costs?

If you are out of pocket for a trip you couldn’t take, you should first approach your travel or accommodation providers for a refund. Make a list of all the costs you are seeking to recover – not just hotels and flights, but transfers, parking, tours and excursions.

If that doesn’t work, you may be able to claim your bank for credit or debit card transfers.

Insurers will only payout for the costs you couldn’t recover.

If you have already accepted vouchers from your travel provider, you can’t claim from your insurer too.

Should I cancel my trip?

If you don’t feel like travelling, your tour operator may allow you to change your travel dates or your destination. But it may not be possible to get a refund.  And your travel insurance won’t payout on a claim just because you have changed your mind.  

Remember, if you decide to cancel your trip, you still have to pay your cancellation charges even if the tour operator later decides to cancel that trip.   

Published on 01/07/20

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