Holidays have become something of a nightmare topic amid the coronavirus pandemic. Although travel restrictions were eased at the start of the July the government U-turned on its stance at the weekend and issued new travel restrictions. Non-essential travel to Spain is no longer advised and Britons will have to quarantine on their return home for 14 days.
The news – which affects mainland Spain, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands – has sparked concern among jet-setters.
Could the government similarly shut down travel to other popular holiday destinations such as France, Turkey and Greece?
France currently has 220,352 confirmed cases of coronavirus, Turkey has 227,019 and Greece 4,227.
All three countries are currently on the ‘safe’ list and Britons do not have to go into self-isolation when they came back from France, Turkey and Greece.
However, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab warned on Sunday that more countries could still be removed from the list.
He told Sky’s Sophy Ridge: “As we’ve found with Spain, we can’t give a guarantee.”
Raab added: “There is an element of uncertainty this summer if people go abroad.
“I’m not going to tell people what they should or shouldn’t do. They should follow the advice.”
Meanwhile, First Minister of Scotland Nichola Sturgeon has actively warned against foreign travel and said she would not be booking any holidays abroad.
With with so much uncertainty around travel at the moment, how can British jet-setters protect themselves?
Travel insurance is absolutely vital at this time and travellers should be sure to check their policy if they already have a holiday booked.
Martin Martin Nolan, Senior Director, Legal & Public and Regulatory Affairs at Skyscanner told Express.co.uk: “It is advised to ensure that any existing travel insurance policy you have in place covers you for the travel you are looking to book.
“If you bought a travel insurance policy before coronavirus became a known event, then, generally speaking, you’ll be covered.
“The relevant date varies according to the insurer, but March 12 is a good rule of thumb is that’s the date the WHO declared coronavirus as a pandemic, and it became a ‘known event.’”
Nolan warned against booking holidays without the right travel insurance in place.
He explained: “If you are looking for new cover, study the fine print, and again, consider speaking to a representative on the phone or by email to be sure of what you’re covered for.
“If you don’t have cover in place you should ensure you do before booking any future trips, also taking extra care to be sure that the policy covers you for travel to your desired destination.”
The expert continued: “It’s also advisable to check any consular and repatriation agreements between your home country and the country you want to visit.
“In some cases, countries might not have official measures in place to ensure you can return quickly from your place of travel if there is an emergency.”
Another top tip is to check airlines’ policies regarding flexible bookings – these could prove a godsend during turbulent times.
“Booking a ‘flexible’ ticket with a provider could mean that you’re entitled to a free date or destination change if you should need it,” a Skyscanner spokesperson told Express.co.uk.
“It really is worth doing some research into airlines policies around this as you could save on your tickets and be protected should the situation in your origin or destination country change.”
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