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Coronavirus - the latest travel advice and information

Travel is still on the cards - at least a little - across Europe. That's why we thought it would be handy to collect together the latest holiday advice and information about how the Coronavirus could affect your holiday or travel plans and what to do if you are returning from travels.

We'll keep you up to date on where you can go on holiday and the quarantine requirements in both the UK and holiday destinations. We'll also outline your options if you have already booked a holiday, safety precautions if you plan to travel and the latest information if you have a cruise planned, will travel by flight or have a package holiday booked

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Can I still go on holiday under lockdown?

The Government introduced lockdown for the second time on 5 November. This has affected many people who had flights and holidays booked. Below we'll answer the most pressing questions surrounding travel and holidays under the second lockdown.

Am I allowed to go on holiday in the UK or abroad during lockdown?

Lockdown rules have made travel for the reason of going on a holiday illegal. That means that no, you're not allowed to go on holiday either abroad or in the UK. If you have a second home in England you are not allowed to travel there and travel in general should be kept to an absolute minimum.

Are flights going ahead through lockdown?

Flights are not automatically cancelled and operators are running at about 30% of their normal schedule. That's because there are many people, including UK citizens, with flights booked back to the UK. Check with your operator whether the flight is going ahead. However, even if the flight is going ahead you are not allowed to fly if you're going for the reason of a holiday.

Can I get a refund for my flight?

That depends. If you booked the flights seperately and they are going ahead then you probably won't get a refund. However, many airlines will allow you to change the flight dates free of charge. Check here for our overview at the different lockdown refund policies of airlines. If your flight is cancelled then you should be entitled to a refund or you can change your departure date. If you've booked a package holiday then it's best to contact your provider directly. 

Where can I go on holiday without having to self-isolate on return? 

If you're wondering where you can currently go on holiday without having to self-isolate, in July, the Government announced countries that the UK could have "air bridges" with, meaning that it's possible and safe to fly there and back without having to quarantine on return. The full list is below. The air corridor list is constantly being updated, mostly with countries being removed, so check back for updates. Crucially for British travellers, popular destinations like Spain, the Netherlands and France were removed from the travel corridor, meaning you will have to self-quarantine on arrival back in the UK. Many other European destinations, like Iceland and Denmark, have been removed from the list in September. 

It is important to note that the Government advises against all non-essential travel for all countries not on this list. That does not mean you will be prevented from travelling there, but it could mean your insurance is invalid.

See here for the latest travel status of countries around the world. 

If you are travelling or returning from holiday in the following countries you do not need to quarantine when you arrive back in the UK, however, many of the countries on the list have local restrictions or requirements for holidaymakers.

Which countries are on the Government's "travel corridor"?

Europe

Estonia, Finland, Gibraltar, Germany, Greek islands of Corfu, Crete, Rhodes, Kos & Zakynthos), Iceland, The Isle of Man, Latvia, Norway, Portugal (only Azores)

Rest of the world

Aktotiri and Dheklia, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Bermuda, British Anctartic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Cayman Islands, Cambodia, Chile, The Channel Islands, Dominica, Falkland Islands Faroe Islands, Fiji, Greenland, Granada, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Japan, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, Mauritius, Montserrat, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands, Qatar Seychelles, South Korea, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, St Barthelemy, St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Singapore, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Pierre and Miquelon, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands, UAE, Vietnam

Countries that have been removed from the air corridor 

25th July: Spain (including Canaries and Balearics) 
8th August: Andorra, the Bahamas, Belgium
15th August: Aruba, France, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Turks and Caicos Islands
21st August: Croatia, Austria, Trinidad & Tobago, Switzerland  (only for Scottish travellers)
4th September: Portugal (travellers from Wales & Scotland), Greece (only for Scottish travellers)
8th September: Greek islands of Mykonos, Crete, Lesvos, Santorini, Serifos, Tinos, Zakynthos
12th September: Portugal (except Madeira and the Azores), Hungary, French Polynesia, Reunion
18th September: Slovenia and Guadaloupe
24th September: Curacao, Denmark, Iceland, Slovakia
3rd October: Turkey, Poland, Turkey, Bonaire, St Eustatius, Saba
18th October: Italy, Vatican State City and San Marino
6th November: Denmark, Germany, Sweden
14th November: Greece (except Corfu, Crete, Rhodes, Kos, Zakynthos)
 

Countries added to the air corridor

On October 9 five Greek islands became the first locations added to the air corridor. They were removed in early September but since have been deemed safe to fly to once again. Below we'll keep track of all the countries that are added to the travel corridor.

10th October: Greek islands of Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Santorini, Zakynthos
18th October: Greek island of Crete (only for travellers from England)
22nd October: Canary Islands, Denmark, Maldives, Mykonos
14th November: Iceland, UAE, Cambodia, Laos, Chile, Qatar, The Turks & Caicos islands, Bahrain

Information is up to date as of 18th November.


Are there local quarantine or other requirements if I go on holiday? 

The government's "air bridge" system contains countries that it is possible for UK travellers to visit without having to quarantine on their return.

However, many of the countries on the list have their own rules and regulations which visitors need to abide by when entering the country. But don't worry, Pirates, we're here to help! We've compiled a full list of everything you need to know before you fly, from paperwork to negative test results, so you can decide where it's safe to go on holiday.

Country

Local restrictions

Czech Republic

No local restrictions or requirements

Estonia

No local restrictions or requirements

Germany

No local restrictions or requirements

Leichtenstein

No local restrictions or requirements

Norway

No local restrictions or requirements

Switzerland

No local restrictions or requirements

Poland

No local restrictions or requirements

San Marino

No local restrictions or requirements

Slovakia

No local restrictions or requirements

Slovenia

No local restrictions or requirements

South Georgia

No local restrictions or requirements

South Sandwich Islands

No local restrictions or requirements

Australia 

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

Canada

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

Bonaire

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

St Eustatius and Saba

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

British Virgin Islands

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

Brunei

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

Cayman Islands

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

Fiji

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

Finland

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

French Polynesia

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

Grenada

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

Hong Kong

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

Hungary

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

The Isle of Man

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

Japan

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

Latvia

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

Macao

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

Malaysia

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

Mauritius

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

Montserrat

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

New Caledonia

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

New Zealand

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

Seychelles

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

Singapore

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

South Korea

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

St Helena

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

St Kitts and Nevis

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

Taiwan

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

Thailand

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

Vietnam

Border closed or 14-day quarantine required on arrival

Antigua & Barbuda

Complete this accommodation form before flying.

Complete a health declaration form (provided on your flight).

Provide a negative Covid-19 test result, no more than 7 days old.

Barbados

Complete this form 72 hours before travel.

Provide on arrival a negative COVID-19 PCR test result that has been taken within the last 72 hours.

Bermuda

Complete this travel authorisation form 48 hours before flying ($75 /£57 fee).

Provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test result within 7 days of flying.

Upon arrival in Bermuda, expect further PCR testing at the airport.

Curaçao

Complete this form before travelling.

Within 48 hours before travelling, fill out this Passenger Locator Card (PLC), and carry a print out of it when travelling as proof.

Have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result and carry a printed document of proof, this test will need to have been taken within 72 hours prior to departure at an accredited laboratory. You also need to upload the negative result here before you depart.

Cyprus

Complete this Cyprus flight pass form 24 hours before arrival, you'll also need to carry a copy of this with you while travelling in order to board your flight and pass through immigration.

All visitors over the age of 12 must provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test result on arrival, obtained within the 72 hours before you travelled.

Denmark

Provide proof of accommodation on arrival for at least the first 6 days of your visit.

Greenland

Provide proof of accommodation on arrival for at least the first 6 days of your visit.

Faroe Islands

Provide proof of accommodation on arrival for at least the first 6 days of your visit.

Dominica

Complete this online questionnaire 24 hours before arrival.

Have a COVID-19 PCR swab test with a negative result taken up to 72 hours before arrival.

A thermal test and antibody blood test will be taken on arrival.

Gibraltar

Your airline will provide a COVID-19 contact tracing form to be completed before leaving your flight.

Greece

Complete this form before travelling.

Iceland

Complete this form before travelling.

On arrival in Iceland, you will need to take a COVID-19 PCR test. This costs ISK 9,000 (£50) if you book it in advance. You must then be tested for a second time four to five days after arrival and follow quarantine measures until the result of the second test is known

Italy & Vatican City

Complete this form before travelling.

Jamaica

Complete this form to receive a 'travel authorisation' before you fly - you won't be allowed to board the plane without it.

You'll be tested for Covid-19 on arrival at the airport.

Lithuania

Complete this form before flying.

St Lucia

Complete this form before flying.

On arrival, you will need to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from within the last 7 days, and you can also expect to be screened and have your temperature checked.

You'll need to stay in a COVID-19 certified hotel for the duration of your visit.

St Pierre & Miquelon, Reunion, Guadeloupe

    All travellers over the age of 11 must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from within 72 hours before departure.

    Provide a self-certified document stating that you have no COVID symptoms and that you have not been in contact with any person confirmed positive within the last 14 days.

    St Vincent and the Grenadines

      Complete this form before flying.

      You'll need to have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from within the last 5 days, otherwise you will have this test done on arrival. If you choose the latter option, you will have to be quarantined for at least 24 hours until the result is ready.

      Turkey

      All arrivals will be subject to a medical evaluation for symptoms of coronavirus, including temperature checks. If you show symptoms, you'll be required to undergo a PCR test.

      What does non-essential travel mean? 

      The FCO is still warning against non-essential travel to all countries not on the travel corridor, including Spain. But what exactly does that mean?

      Essentially, there's no strict definition. What is deemed essential can differ from one person to the next and it is a personal decision. Even the FCO website states that what is essential or not is your own decision. Things like family emergencies or health reasons would be essential to most people. The Government has stated that it wishes for people not to travel, but ultimately, it's your decision whether it is essential or not. Read the latest advice and make an informed decision based on the risks and reason for travel.

      You should bear in mind that once the FCO warns against travelling then you would likely void your travel insurance if you do not take this advice. Check the terms of your provider to make sure your insurance would be valid in this case. 

      Is it safe to travel? What precautions should I take?

      The National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) has published some very helpful general advice for people preparing to travel and how to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus.

      Advice if you are travelling

      • Check the FCO country information pages for the latest status, travel health recommendations and restrictions for your destination
      • If you are elderly or have pre-existing health conditions, you should consider not travelling
      • Consult your travel insurer to ensure you will be covered incase you become sick whilst on holiday. 
      • You can also consult all suppliers, such as the airline or tour operator, for the latest travel information
      • Many airports will have stricter screening methods in-place. This may also be true upon arrival back in the UK and you might be told to self-isolate even if you do not have any symptoms

      Advice to prevent the spread of Coronavirus

      • Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds. Carry a hand sanitiser with you that contains at least 60% alcohol and use it regularly, especially after using public transport 
      • Do not touch you nose, eyes or mouth if you haven't washed your hands
      • Avoid contact with people who are sick
      • Stay home if you feel unwell or are showing symptoms
      • If you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth with a tissue, dispose of the tissue and immediately wash your hands
      • Regularly disinfect heavily used items or surfaces in your home and at work

      What to do if you've just returned from holiday

      If you have returned from any of the countries on the Governments air corridor list then you do not need to quarantine on return. If you are returning from any other country in the world then you will have to self-isolate and quarantine for 14 days. See here for the official Government advice how to quarantine effectively. 

      However, all visitors and UK citizens arriving in the UK must fill out a passenger locator form. The form must be filled out 48 hours before arrival as it must be shown on arrival at a UK airport or border. The only exempt countries are Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. You can find more information about how to complete the form here.


      Where can I go on holiday in Europe? 

      After a summer of travel, cases are picking up once again across Europe. This has led to most European countries being removed from the air corridor list. Check out the current rules for the most popular European destinations below.

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      Can I go on holiday to Spain?

      Spain was initially added to the safe destinations list which caused many UK tourists to jet off immediately. However, since late July Spain, the Canaries and Balearic Islands have been removed from the travel corridor. That means that currently all non-essential travel to Spain is advised against. Flights to Spain are generally going ahead despite the need to quarantine in the UK after your holiday. 

      Here is how the airlines are working along side the new rules:

      • EasyJet have cancelled all packages to mainland Spain, the Canaries and the Balearics but are still running flights.
      • British Airways are still running flights.
      • Tui have cancelled all packages to mainland Spain up until the 28th August and the Canaries & Balearics until 23rd August. If you have a holiday booked between 23-31st August that has not yet been cancelled, you may either cancel or ammend with a £500 incentive. 
      • Jet2 were running their schedules as normal but have now cancelled all holidays to Spain until 17th August.
      • Ryanair are still running flights to Spain. Change fees will be waved for flights for July and August booked after 10th June and flights for September booked after 17th July. Otherwise standard terms apply. 
      • Customers who booked a package through an online travel agent or other airline are advised to contact them directly for updates on your holiday.

      If you have a package holiday booked through any of these operators then you will be entitled to a refund. Hotels and accommodation booked separately may not be entitled to refunds, but you should be entitled to a refund or voucher for the flights. If possible, wait for your operator to cancel rather than cancelling yourself, as this may void some terms. You should be able to choose between rebooking and a full refund.

      Spain has lifted travel restrictions for EU visitors which means that despite the UK Government's warning you can still travel to Spain. Before travelling, you must fill out an online health control form via the Spain Travel Health website or app. You will reveive a QR code which must be presented upon entry to Spain. You will also receive a health check when you arrive. 

      Whilst on holiday in Spain you must wear a mask in public spaces and whilst on public transport but free movement around the country is mostly allowed. Some beaches also may require mandatory mask wearing whilst on the beach, including Andalucia and Galicia.

      Can I still travel to France?

      France has been removed from the air corridor safe travel list after a rise in the number of cases there. This has left many British holidaymakers struggling to return before the quarantine requirement kicks in and ruined the holiday plans of many more. This means that the Government warns against travelling there and you will have to self-isolate for 14 days on return to the UK. If you do decide to travel to France, then it is very likely you will void your travel insurance. 

      Due to this, most airlines have cancelled flights and you will receive a refund. If you have a package holiday booked then you will receive a full refund. 

      However, some airlines are still running flights, such as Ryanair, EasyJet and British Airways. If your flight is still running then the airline is unlikely to offer a refund if you cancel. Speak with the airline to discuss the options, as you may receive a voucher or be able to rebook. If you don't wish to travel, you may be able to get a refund via your insurer, since travelling is against official Government advice. However, this will depend on your insurance and when you took it out. For example, most insurances taken post-March will not cover covid-related flight cancellations. If this fails, you can try a chargeback via your credit card company. 

      A small number of cruise lines are also offering routes as well as the Eurotunnel. Hotels and other accommodations are open to the public whilst beaches and parks have all reopeend. There are limits on the number of people allowed at large gatherings and masks must be worn in many cities. 

      Skis on a mountain at sunset
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      Can I go on holiday to Italy right now?

      Italy was once the hotspot of coronavirus. Despite recoverin well a rise in cases has led to Italy being removed from the air corridor in mid-October.  This means that it is still possible to go on holiday to Italy but you must quarantine once back in the UK. Before arriving, you must also fill out an online form. 

      Italy is also making efforts to encourage tourism as much as possible. However, the Italian Government requires that you complete a self assessment form before arrival and there are also still travel bans for people coming from countries still deemed to have a high number of cases, including most non-EU countries. 

      Italy was a popular destination while on the travel corridor list, but holidays to Greece are also increasing in popularity. Greece and its stunning islands are always popular with UK visitors but the currently is currently seeing an increase in cases. The country reopened to tourists on July 15th but there are also local measures being implemented that could impact your holiday, such as bars closing early. EasyJet and Ryanair are both flying to Athens, Corfu, Thessaloniki and Mykonos, while Wizz, Aegean and British Airways are also operating a number of flights. 

      Many islands were removed from the air corridor in September but all except Mykonos are now once again safe to fly to. Crete was the latest island to return to the air corridor list in mid-October. 

      I have a holiday booked to Tenerife - will it go ahead?

      The FCO has now once again advised against all but essential travel to Spain, including the Canary Islands. The Canary Islands initially remained on the travel corridor despite Spain being removed but were then also removed a few days later. This means that there is a fair chance that the Canaries will once again be added to the travel corridor even if the Spanish mainland isn't.

      Some flights there are still going ahead, but with all non-essential travel warned against, packages are mostly cancelled and you should now receive a refund if you try to cancel. Contact your operator for assistance. 

      Despite the travel warning, you can still travel to Spain and Tenerife, but there are local restrictions and your travel insurance may be voided. Local measures currently include bars closing early, so be aware that your holiday plans could be strongly affected whilst there. The high season is typically October in Tenerife and hotels are remaining open for now. However, in Majorca for example, some hotels are starting to close for the season due to the lack of guests. Check the news of your hotel if you have something booked for later in the summer incase of closure.

      Some colourful houses in Tenerife
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      Coronavirus' impact on summer travel: Brits still go on holiday despite the challenges

      British travelers have continued to find ways of taking a summer holiday despite the challenges of the ongoing pandemic. In a new survey, 63% of British respondents travelled this summer despite the ongoing lockdown uncertainty, and 50% will travel again in 2020

      63% of those surveyed went on holiday this summer even though 45% of this group had some of their holiday plans cancelled. 

      Meanwhile, among the 37% who did not travel at all this summer, 42% just postponed to travel later. A quarter of respondents don’t want to travel anytime soon. 

       

      66% of Brits hit the road this summer as 55% of respondents holidayed within the United Kingdom. 33% went on holiday by plane, whilst 9% took the train.

      And the most popular spot this summer for British travelers was the seaside with 56% having decided to go to the coast in July and August. This has also been a good season for the countryside with 30% of British holidaymakers making the trip, while 26% just enjoyed spending some time with family. City breaks attracted 19% of travelers and the mountains 11%.

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      Flights & flight cancellations - what you need to know

      USA suspends flights from Europe

      On 11 March President Trump announced that flights from Europe to the USA would be suspended for 30 days. Initially this did not include the UK and Ireland but it has since been extended to include the UK and Ireland. If you're a national of the countries in the Schengen area, or have been to any of these countries recently, you will not be allowed to enter. These countries are: 

      Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

      Can I cancel my flight and get a refund?

      It is best to check first whether your booked connection is still active with the airline. To do this, log in with the booking code on the airline's website. You can currently have flights to China cancelled with most airlines free of charge - if they have not been cancelled already anyway. For Hong Kong or Macau, this may not apply to all airlines.

      For flights to other Asian countries, it depends on the connection booked and the respective entry conditions. Flights without a change in China can usually only be cancelled within the normal ticket conditions. With the cheapest tariffs you usually only get reimbursed taxes and fees.

      However, if you have booked a transfer connection via China, it primarily depends on whether you can still enter your travel destination despite the stop. If this is not possible, you may be able to cancel free of charge. If the flights are booked as part of a package tour, the organiser is your contact

      Can I rebook my flights?

      The airlines are quite accommodating at the moment, even if it will take some patience on your part to reach customer service. A transfer to a later date is of course difficult, as it is currently not possible to predict how the situation will develop. In that case it is better to cancel and book again later.

      If you want to go on holiday, but the originally booked connection no longer works due to the entry conditions or official instructions, you should best contact the airline with an alternative connection within the same alliance in mind. Chances are that you will be transferred to an unaffected partner airline.

      For flights in the context of package tours, the responsibility lies with the tour operator.

      What if my flights get cancelled?

      If you have your flight to china or Asia cancelled by the airline they will reimburse you the price of your cancelled ticket in full. 

      Most airlines, including British Airways, will allow you to rebook instead of receiving a refund. Contact your airline to discuss rebooking options. However, you should bear in mind that rebooking options are limited and that rebooking may also take some time. It really depends on your circumstances whether rebooking would be a better option. It's impossible to tell what things will look like in a few months.

      For example, British Airways are planning to resume limited flights to China from April 18. But this could easily change! Flight schedules are being changed constantly at the moment and simply delaying your departure date might prove to be even more of a headache.

      Cancelling & rebooking flights - The latest policies from airlines

      Many airlines have offered to waive cancellation or booking fees. If you're considering changing your departure date or cancelling, check out our table below for the latest rebooking and cancellation policies from some of the major airlines. 

      AirlineCurrent cancellation & rebooking policy
      American Airlines

      No change fees: tickets booked before 1 March & travelling through 30 April and tickets booked 1 March - 31 March travelling through January 2021


       
      British Airways

      Refunds available for certain flights. No change fees for bookings made between 3 - 16 March

      Aer LingusNot affected as yet
      Delta Airlines

      No change fees for bookings made between 1 - 31 March

      easyjet

      If your flight is cancelled a full refund will be offered or a change of flight. No change fees on all flights

      Emirates

      No rebooking fee on bookings made before 31 March

      Etihad Airways

       Free date change or refund if flights affected

      Eurowings

      One time no change fee applies: until 31 December for flights leaving before 30 April & for new bookings until 31 March

      Iberia

      Currently contacting customers to inform of rebooking options

      Jet2Normal conditions apply at the moment
      JetBlueChange & cancel fees suspended on bookings between 6 March - 31March with departure date upto 8 September 2020 and for bookings between 27 February - 5 March with departure date upto 1 June 2020
      Lufthansa

      No change fee for bookings before 5 March & travelling through 30 April

      Norwegian

      No change fee for certain flights

      Qatar AirlinesCustomers with affected flights get refunds or can rebook their flight. 
      RyanAir

      Affected flights will be refunded or can be rebooked without a fee

      KLMNo rebooking fee
      Tui Airways

      Contacting customers if affected

      Turkish AirlinesOne time no change fee for certain flights
      United Airlines

      No change fee for bookings made from now through to 31 March for the next 12 months

      Virgin Atlantic

      No change fee for bookings made between 4 - 31 March

      Wizzair

      Affected customers will be contacted and reaccommodated


      Is it safe to go on a cruise?

      If you’ve got a cruise booked, or are thinking about booking one, we’ve collated some information below to help you make an informed decision about what to do next. What’s important to remember is that cruise lines take passenger safety extremely seriously and will always prioritise that over anything else.

      The cruise industry has been heavily hit by the crisis. Many countries are now banning liners from docking, including Italy, Greece and Portugal in Europe, and more across the world. The FCO has advised over 70s  and people with pre-existing health conditions not to travel on a cruise.

      President Donald Trump called for many cruise lines to halt operations and most now have. That means that services are now heavily disrupted. Carnival has stated that it temporarily pausing services between 14 March and 14 April. If you had booked with Carnival, you are entitled to either a full refund or rebooking at no extra cost. See our table below for a list of affected operators and their refund policy.

      Cruise lineCurrent statusRefund policy
      Viking CruisesAll cruises suspended until 1 MayFull refund or voucher worth 125% of the original booking
      SagaAll cruises cancelled until 1 MayFull refund or credit voucher
      MSCMajor cancellations (MSC Opera cancelled, all Gulf region cruises cancelled)Various refund and rebooking options. Contact the provider
      Princess CruisesAll cruises suspended until 30 MayFree rebooking to a future cruise with extra credit
      The Scenic GroupAll river cruises suspended until 30 AprilFull refund or credit worth 125% of the original booking valid for 2 years
      Disney CruisesAll cruises suspended until 12 AprilFull refund or credit towards a future cruise
      Virgin VoyagesInitial departure delayed to 7 AugustFull refund plus 25% credit or 200% credit i you choose to rebook
      Royal CaribbeanJewel of the seas sailing cancelledGuests can cancel up to 48 hours before departure for full credit to be used on any 2020 or 2021 cruise
      NorwegianCruises suspended until 11 April Full refund or credit worth 150% of the original booking to be used by 31 December 2022
      CarnivalCruises suspended until 14 AprilFull refund or free rebooking with extra credit to be used on bookings between 31 December 2020 and 31 December 2022
      A cruise ship in the ocean
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      The cruise itinerary has changed - can I cancel? 

      In most cases the answer will be no. Cruise operators have always reserved the right to change their itineraries and reroutes can often happen due to unforeseen circumstances. This usually just means spending a day at sea or avoiding a certain destination. 

      However, like with some airlines, some cruise lines are being more flexible with their cancellation policies. While you're very unlikely to be able to cancel and get a refund, you may be able to rebook. Some are waiving cancellation or rebooking fees, so we advise contacting your provider to check what your options are. For example, Norwegian Cruise Line is currently allowing passengers to change their departure date. Norwegian's current policy does have some restrictions though. The new date of departure must be on June 30 or before and you have to make the changes 60 days before the original sailing date. You will also have to pay any fare difference. 

      Operators' cancellations plans are changing almost daily so check their websites or call their customer service numnbers if you need specific information. 

      Are there any boarding restrictions?

      All operators have stepped up screenings prior to boarding. Most are also implementing restrictons based on where passengers have previously travelled. This depends on the liner, but generally, you may not be allowed to board if you have travelled from these destinations in the last 14 days:

      • China
      • Hong Kong
      • Macau
      • Iran
      • South Korea
      • FCO listed areas in northern Italy

      You will also not be allowed to board if you have been in contact with anyone who has the Covid-19 virus. Screenings will also test your temperature before boarding and this may be used to prevent you from boarding. For example, Norwegian Cruise Line states that any passenger with a temperature above 38C will be denied board. Most operators state that you will receive a full refund when you show proof of travel if you are denied boarding. If you meet any of the above criteria, we recommend you contact the cruise line directly to discuss before embarkation. 

      What happens if my cruise is cancelled? 

      All cruises from China and many from other parts of Asia have been cancelled outright and customers who had booked will receive full refunds. If you are affected, contact your cruise line directly to discuss procedure. If you have any issues, see our information on travel insurance below. 

      Many cruises are now cancelled for around a month so see the table above for your provider's current cancellation policy.

      If your cruise goes ahead then there will be increased security measures onboard as well as the additional screenings preboarding. You can expect to see staff cleaning and disinfecting common areas more frequently, servers at buffets and a lot more sanitizer stations. Many liners have recommended passengers to use their own private bathrooms rather than public ones where possible. Reminders and recommendations will likely be announced throughout the trip.

      A number of cruises that went ahead have been denied calling in certain countries. This is a developing situation and more and more countries are now denying docking. You could still check your itinerary and whether you are planned to stop in any of these countries and contact your provider to discuss options.


      Package holidays - the essential information

      So you have booked a package holiday and are unsure of your rights? Below we'll go through some of the most frequent questions concerning the coronavirus and package holidays. We will keep updating this page with any new information and advice so check back if you have more questions. 

      As we mentioned above with flights, check the FCO website to see if your travel plans are affected. The FCO currently advises against all but essential travel to many countries across Europe and the world. With the current state of things, it's very likely your holiday plans are affected.

      As a traveller you are advised to read the FCO travel advice for the country you are travelling to, and be advised that health screening procedures have been put in place at arrival and departure airports in many countries.

      Some of the world's biggest tour operators are now suspending operations altogether. TUI has suspended cruises, hotels and package holidays indefinitely as a measure to ensure the safety of its customers. Jet2 Holidays, the second biggest tour operator in the UK behind TUI, has cancelled all its flights to Spain

      Intrepid Group has also cancelled all of its Intrepid Travel and Peregrine Adventure tours between 16 March and 30 April. Intrepid Group has said that customers will receive a voucher worth 110% of the original cost that is valid for up to 2 years. Intrepid Australia tours are currently the only package going ahead. 

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      My travel plans are affected - what are my rights?

      If you have booked a package holiday to any of the destinations listed on the FCO website, or if the FCO advice changes due to coronavirus, you should contact your travel agent or tour operator (unless you’ve heard from them already).

      Terms and conditions will differ between different travel companies, but they should offer to either reimburse the cost of your holiday, offer alternative travel dates, or offer an alternative travel destination

      It should be noted that this generally applies when you are due for ‘imminent travel’ – meaning that your package holiday is due to depart in the next few days. (Tour operators will decide on an ongoing basis how far in advance they’ll begin offering alternative arrangements/providing refunds.)

      Tour operators seem to currently be contacting people based on how imminent the travel is. For example, Love Holidays are prioritising customers with a departure date within the next 48 hours. If this applies to you, you'll get an SMS with a link to a dedicated customer service representative. After that, customers who travel in 8 days or more should receive information via email.

      Airlines and operators are obligated to follow official FCO travel advice. Now that the FCO warns against travelling to major holiday destinations like Spain, Portugal and Italy, you are much more likely to receive a full refund or rebook without charge.

      However, this may just be for the flights. Many operators have maintained their policy that cancellations made for reasons outside of the operator's control - such as a virus outbreak - are not reason for compensation. If you are looking to recoup hotel costs talk to your provider and travel insurer for your rights. Most package operators are allowing customers to rebook their accommodation at a later date. If you want to do this, rearrange your flights and then contact your supplier or edit the details in the manage my booking section online. However, with the situation developing daily, it's impossible to say when countries will lift entry bans.

      Can I still cancel my package holiday?

      Currently only holidays to the destinations listed on the FCO website are subject to changes/refunds. If you still want to cancel you – in most cases – won’t be eligible for any compensation. Contact your package supplier directly for their specific policies.

      What if my flights have a stop-over in China or any of the affected areas?

      If you have a connecting flight through any of the affected areas, you should contact your holiday provider or airline to get re-routed to an alternative flight. This should usually come at no extra cost, however if there is a fee to be paid your travel insurance company might cover this.

      What if I have booked a holiday to Tenerife?

      Spain is now on the FCO's list of high risk areas. Flights to Spain are still allowed to operate but they are serverely reduced. You have the right to cancel and will definitely receive the cost of the flight back. Contact your supplier to discuss refunds for hotels and other costs.

      What about summer holidays?

      If you are worried about your summer holiday it is still too early to determine whether your holiday can go ahead as planned or not. It is therefore better to wait until further notice, and to keep up to date with the FCO site to see if the travel advice changes. If you cancel early you may have to pay cancellation charges. Some suppliers are allowing you to rebook at later dates without paying fees. Contact your provider directly and they will take you through the options.

      Contact your travel insurance provider

      If you are unable to claim any costs from your tour operator you should check with your travel insurance provider. Some companies will offer to cover for cancellation if the FCO advises against travel to your travel destination. As outlined above it should be noted that cancelling due to the fear of getting the virus (or any other illness), is generally not covered. If you decide to travel against the advice of the FCO, your policy will most likely be void.

      We'll go through the important information related to travel insurance below. 


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      Does my travel insurance cover Coronavirus cancellations?

      Generally, travel insurers will only issue compensation under specific circumstances. These are:

      1. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office explictly advises against travelling to a booked destination 
      2. Your insurance policy includes Travel Disruption Cover
      3. You have already attempted to arrange a refund or change dates with the booked airline or provder

      The FCO has now advised against any travel whatsoever and this makes things a little simpler for those with existing travel insurance packages. You should be entitled to a refund from your insurer in line with their terms and conditions. Most insurers will require you to have travel disruption cover in your package.

      Most travel insurers exclude epidemics or pandemics from their packages. That means you're most likely not entitled to a refund simply due to fear of travelling because of the virus. There are always exceptions and you should always read the small print of your travel insurance policy. If you have an existing health condition or a weak immune system then you may be entitled to a refund. Consult your doctor and provide a doctor's note to your insurer. Another important part of most insurance policies is that they cover for unexpected events. That means that if you take out insurance for a destination after a Coronavirus outbreak or after the Government advises against travelling to, then claims will probably not be considered

      Some insurers are offering special considerations due to the outbreak. Some will cover hotel and other costs if your flights have been cancelled. If this is the case, you should first approach the airline and accommodation providers for a refund. If you receive no refund or a partial refund, you can then contact your travel insurer. See our information on flights below.

      Here's the latest information on travel insurance from some of the biggest suppliers. This information is subject to change and you should contact your insurer incase of questions or concerns. This also applies to existing packages.

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      Axa

      • Axa has lifted the neccessity of having Travel Disuption Cover in your package. You can claim for cancellation on all trips due to depart up to or before 30 April (to destinations the FCO warns against travelling to).
      • The policy is valid if you travel to an area that the FCO warns against only if your travel is deemed essential. Consult Axa for their definition of essential travel.
      • If your flight is cancelled you can claim back hotels and other costs if your package has Travel Disruption Cover.
      • Hotel cancellations are dealt with on a case by case basis. Contact Axa for advice.
      • Axa will also consider claims if you are in a compulsory quarantine and will miss your flight. This depends on the circumstances, so contact Axa directly for advice.

      You can keep up to date with the latest info from Axa here.

      Co-op travel insurance

      • Only in cases of essential travel to FCO blacklisted areas will Co-op's insurance remain valid. Check the terms and conditions for the Co-op's definition of essential travel.
      • Refunds will be issued if you have booked to go to areas where the FCO advises against travel only if you bought the insurance before the the official FCO warning.
      • Other costs, like hotels or car rentals, can be claimed back if your flight has been cancelled, depending on the circumstances.
      • Flight and other costs cannot be claimed for if your hotel cancels your stay.
      • If you are currently abroad and unable to return to the UK, the policy will be extended until you are able to return, up to a maximum of 30 days.

      You can read Co-op's latest information and policy here.

      Aviva

      • Your policy is still valid if you travel to an area the FCO has warned against travelling to
      • You may be entitled to travel, accommodation and other costs if the FCO advises against travelling to your destination but only after you've bought the policy and if you have the Travel Disruption Add-on. You also cannot cancel more than 7 days before your departure date.
      • Flight and other costs cannot generally be claimed if the hotel is cancelled. 
      • Some additional expenses will be covered if your hotel is put into lockdown. The policy will extend for 30 days and any medical treatment required would be covered. Contact Aviva or check your policy to see which expenses are covered.

      Read Aviva's latest information here.

      Which travel insurers have stopped offering corona protection?

      With Covid-19 now classified as a pandemic by the WHO many insurers have changed the status of their policies. Coronavirus is now considered a known event by most insurers and this changes your coverage. If you are considering taking out travel insurance now, you should be aware that you are unlikely to be covered against coronavirus related disruptions.

      LV became the first big travel insurer to stop selling travel insurance policies because of the Coronavirus outbreak. Many other big providers have since followed. Admiral, Aviva, Churchill and Direct Line have all paused new policies.

      The Post Office has also said that it will not provide cover for Coronavirus related claims on policies bought after 11 March. InsureandGo and AXA have also introduced the same policy as The Post Office, meaning cancellation or disruption due to Coronavirus will not be covered on new policies. Virgin followed on the 13 March and if you book something after this date or take out a policy with Virgin then corona related cancellations will not be covered.

      This means that anyone who doesn't currently have travel insurance but is looking to buy should pay special attention to suppliers' most recent policies. Check out the table below for the changes travel insurers have made

      Travel insurerStill selling policies?Will new policies cover corona disruptions?Are existing customers affected?
      AAYesNoTrips booked after 3pm 13 March will not be covered in case of coronavirus related cancellations
      AdmiralNoN/ATrips booked after 19.30pm on 17 March will not be covered in case of coronavirus related cancellations
      AvivaNoN/ATravel disruption add is no longer available for purchase
      AxaYesNoHolidays booked under existing policies will not be covered in case of coronavirus related cancellations
      Direct LineNoN/ANo
      ChurchillNoN/ANo
      InsureandGoYesNo (after 11 March)All Trips booked after 13 March will not be covered in case of coronavirusrelated cancellations. 
      LVNoN/ANo
      The Post OfficeNoN/ANo
      Virgin MoneyNoN/ANo
      M&SYesNoNo

      Travel insurance - Tips and advice

      1. Book your travel insurance asap - Most people usually wait until very close to their holiday to book travel insurance. However, most insurers will only cover cancellations if you had your policy before the FCO advises against travelling to a destination. 
      2. Opt for Travel Disruption Cover - Airlines are now cancelling flights which means you might not be able to reach your destination. Flight costs should be covered by the airline, but what about other costs, like hotels and care hires? Travel insurers can cover these costs but usually only if you purchase an add-on often called Travel Disruption Cover. 
      3. Check when your annual cover expires - Make sure your annual policy doesn't expire before your departure date. You can either renew your current policy or take out a single trip policy that will cover you until you can sort out a new annual policy. 
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      What is Coronavirus?

      Coronaviruses are actually a strain of viruses that are transmitted from animals to people. The current virus is a novel coronavirus (nCoV) meaning that it is a new strain called Covid-19. The first case was reported from Wuhan in China on 31 December 2019. Covid-19 affects the lungs and respiratory systems and symptoms include fever, a dry cough and tiredness. There may also be headaches, a runny nose, a sore throat and diarrhea. However, some people who are infected will not develop any symptoms, which has made tracking the spread of the virus more difficult.

      Since the virus is new there is currently no vaccination or medication for it. However, current data suggests that one in six people will get seriously ill. Those most affected are older people or those with pre-exsting medical or respiratory problems, like high blood pressure, diabetes or heart issues. Many of those infected will be able to stay at home until the infection is over but those with serious symptoms may require hospital care

      The World Health Organization (WHO) provides regular, up to date information and resources on Covid-19. Currently, the WHO has not advised on any travel restrictions. It advises travellers to avoid highly affected areas and to follow the proper hygiene recommendations.