TRAVEL WITH CONFIDENCE!
Here is our advice on the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation:-
The UK foreign office has started to lift travel restrictions to certain countries. An up to date list of these countries can be found at:-
Please bear in mind that some of these countries may still have restrictions on UK visitors, such as quarantine and so you should check each particular country you are planning to visit or transit through.
General Coronavirus travel advice from the foreign office can be found at:-
Foreign Office - Coronavirus advice
What happens if I want to cancel my holiday before the departure date?
Leading up to your departure date normal booking terms and conditions apply because in theory government advice could change tomorrow and your holiday could still proceed.
So if you were to cancel your holiday prior to departure (or refuse to pay your balance for example) then you could lose your deposit and/or end up paying cancellation charges.
If the operator has cancelled the holiday though then it's a different story. See below.
What if the operator cancels the holiday?
As your departure date approaches a tour operator may cancel your holiday if the foreign office is advising against all but essential travel. If the operator does cancel your holiday then they are likely to offer you the chance to reschedule your holiday or they might offer you a credit note to use against future bookings. Some operators are offering credits that are bigger than the value of the holiday you booked.
If you have booked a package holiday (eg flights and accommodation) you are within your rights to accept this offer or to get a cash refund for what you paid for the holiday.
What happens if the tour operator goes bust?
If you have booked a package holiday with an ATOL protected operator (which is more than likely) and if you have a booking yet to depart and the operator goes bust, then the government (through the CAA) will refund any money that you have paid.
If the tour operator goes bust while you are overseas then the government will arrange to bring you home at no cost.
If instead of a current booking with an operator you have a credit note for your previous booking then the government and the CAA have also confirmed that these will be covered by ATOL protection.
Will my travel insurance cover me if I cancel because of Coronavirus?
You have to check the small print of your policy very carefully. Some will cover you and some won’t. If it doesn’t, then you may be able to buy an extension to cover it. If they don’t offer an extension then you might want to take out a new policy with another company, cancel your original policy and get a refund for the unexpired term.
It is worth noting that insurance companies may be changing their policies as we write this and so getting the right policy sooner rather than later may be advisable.
Should I be booking a holiday right now?
It's obviously completely up to you and we suggest you should only book a departure date that is sufficiently far in the future to provide the level of comfort necessary for someone in your situation. For people in high-risk categories, we suggest a departure date as far in the future as possible when the virus is under control and perhaps a vaccine has been developed.
For those willing to travel a bit earlier there are some great deals around at the moment and remember if you book a package holiday with an ATOL protected operator then your future booking will be financially protected.