Thousands of holidaymakers face being left out of pocket for trips where they STILL need to quarantine
THOUSANDS of holidaymakers are being urged to check their travel insurance over fears they could be left out of pocket for trips where they STILL need to quarantine.
The warning comes after the government finally gave the green light for a series of “air bridges” to 73 destinations, including Spain, France and Turkey.
For travellers heading to a country on this list, they won’t need to quarantine when they return to the UK.
But the new agreement, which comes into effect from July 10, doesn’t mean Brits won’t have to quarantine when they arrive at their chosen destination.
It effectively means that while holiday-starved families can travel to another country, they may end up spending their time away in self-isolation.
Travellers are now being urged to check the terms and conditions of their travel insurance to see what it means for their trip, with fears growing that thousands of people may not be able to claim any money back.
Countries exempt from quarantine when arriving in the UK
THE following destinations have been included on the government's "air bridge
The government is also exempting 14 British Overseas Territories including The Cayman Islands, Bermuda, and Gibraltar.
Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man already exempt.
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba
- Czech Republic
- Faroe Islands
- French Polynesia
- Hong Kong
- New Caledonia
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- South Korea
- St Barthélemy
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Pierre and Miquelon
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Vatican City
Most travel insurers are unlikely to offer a refund if your holiday hasn’t officially been cancelled by an airline or booking provider.
This could be the case for scores of travellers, as the new “air bridges” mean companies can start offering trips once more – even if your arrival destination still has quarantine restrictions in place.
Resolver CEO Alex Neill told The Sun: "Anyone booking now needs to do their homework and be aware they’re the ones bearing all the risk.
"If you’ve already got a pre-booked holiday you may very well face the situation of being able to go, so the trip isn’t cancelled, but having to quarantine."
It comes as fresh warnings were issued over airlines pulling their schedules at the last minute, due to confusion over the "air bridges".
Several easyJet customers have had their outgoing flights either cancelled or the time changed, reports The Daily Mail.
Which countries still have restrictions in place?
Some countries still have specific travel requirements in place for Brits when they arrive.
At the time of writing, the following places either will not let UK tourists in, or they'll ask you to take a coronavirus test or self-isolate upon arrival.
- Antigua and Barbuda – Tested on arrival, could be asked to quarantine for seven to 14 days
- Australia – 14-day quarantine
- Austria – 14-day quarantine unless you test negative
- Bahamas – Must prove negative test or denied entry
- Barbados – Quarantine while awaiting mandatory test result
- Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba – Not allowed in
- Curaçao – Not allowed in
- Cyprus – Not allowed in if you've been in the UK in the fortnight before travel
- Dominica – Not allowed in
- Faroe Islands – Tested on entry
- Fiji – Not allowed in
- Finland – Not allowed in
- French Polynesia – 14-day quarantine
- Greece – Direct flights banned until July 15
- Hong Kong – Could be forced to quarantine
- Hungary – Must seek online permission to travel and then you'll be asked to quarantine for 14 days
- Japan – Not allowed in if you've been in the UK in the 14 days before travel
- Lithuania – Recommends 14-day quarantine
- Macau – Not allowed in
- Malta – Direct flights banned until July 15, 14-day quarantine after
- Mauritius – Not allowed in
- Monaco – 14-day quarantine
- Netherlands – 14-day quarantine
- New Zealand – Most travellers banned, 14-day quarantine otherwise
- Norway – Not allowed in
- Taiwan – 14-day quarantine
- Turkey – Tested on arrival
- Vietnam – 14-day quarantine minimum
I've got a holiday booked – can I get a refund?
If your holiday hasn't been cancelled
It's unlikely you'll be able to get a refund if your holiday hasn't been officially cancelled by your flight operator or booking agent.
You're also unlikely to be covered by your travel insurance if you choose not to go, but your flight is going ahead, although it's still worth checking the terms and conditions of your policy.
Ms Neill said: "You’re going to need to delve into the terms and conditions of your travel insurance and hope that you’re lucky and it’s covered – but in the case of holidays booked now, it will be unlikely."
Just be aware that if you're able to submit a claim, you'll likely pay a fee known as an "excess" to get a refund.
If you really don't want to travel, it might be worth asking if you can move your trip to a later date.
Whether this is possible will usually depend on if you booked "flexible" dates – check the terms and conditions of your booking for more information.
Some companies may also let you pay a fee to switch your dates.
If your trip is still a few months away, the travel advice may have changed by then, so it's worth keeping an eye on the latest Foreign Office updates as you may not need to quarantine by the time you travel.
It's likely to be case of sitting tight and waiting to see what happens.
If your holiday has been cancelled
For holidays that have been cancelled, you should get in contact with your flight operator or booking provider for a refund.
If you're struggling to get a refund, you can also try claiming your money back through your credit or debit card provider.
Credit card payments between £100 and £30,000 are covered under Section 75 of the Consumer Rights Act.
For holidays booked by debit card you may be able to claim a refund via the Chargeback scheme.
This also applies to credit card bookings of under £100.
What should you look for in a good travel insurance policy?
TRAVEL insurance policies can vary a great deal, but here are some "must haves".
- Medical expenses – A good policy will give cover of £1million or more for travel in Europe and £2million or more for the USA
- Repatriation service – The costs of getting you back to the UK for medical reasons should be covered automatically by your policy
- Cancellation and curtailment – A good policy will cover you for £2,000 or more if you have to cancel or shorten your holiday
- Missed departure – Covers additional accommodation costs and travel expenses up to £500 or more if you miss your flight due to circumstances out of your control
- Delay – You'll usually be covered for £250 or more if your travel plans are delayed due to circumstances out of your control
- Baggage cover – Covers you if your baggage is lost, damaged or stolen. Look for policies that have cover of £1,500 or more.
I've yet to book my holiday – will travel insurance cover me?
Many travel insurers stopped selling holiday cover after the start of the pandemic as travellers rushed to protect their future trips abroad.
While most have started selling new policies again, some have now re-written their cover to exclude Covid-19 or even any future pandemics.
This means you'll want to check the wording of your policy very carefully so you know exactly what you're covered for.
For example, some policies will cover medical expenses if you fall ill from coronavirus abroad – but they won't pay out if your trip is cancelled because of the pandemic.
Some companies aren't accepting new customers at all – we've got a full list of all the latest coronavirus insurance changes here.
The Association of British Insurers told The Sun that new policies which have been taken out after the pandemic are likely to include clauses which protect you from cancelling due to coronavirus.
This is because Covid-19 is now a "known risk" for travellers.
However, if you took out a policy before the spread of coronavirus, or renewed an annual policy, you may be more likely to have some grounds for cancelling – although again, this will depend on the wording of your policy.
Travel insurance will automatically by invalid if you're going to a country where the Foreign Office is still advising against all but essential travel.
Martin Lewis recently revealed this travel insurance loophole that could see some cancel holidays and get refunds.
From travel bans to refunds — how coronavirus could affect your holiday cover.
Full list of holiday destinations NOT on the quarantine-free air bridges list including Portugal, Egypt and Morocco.
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