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Travel Rights; Coronavirus

Travel has become a very fluid topic as countries take action to protect their citizens against spikes in the number of Coronavirus cases abroad.


We’ve tried to put together some relevant topics, common questions and some practical advice that will help you make your future travel plans. 




3 Considerations when choosing a destination

  1. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issues information and advice on travel safety and other issues such as quarantine requirements upon your return. We recommend that you visit their web page because their advice may affect your refund or insurance pay out eligibility. To visit for advice; FCO
  2. Returning to the UK from certain countries may determine that you begin a quarantine period. You can view all the latest advice via; EnglandScotlandWales and Northern Ireland.
  3. We would also recommend that you visit the equivalent web site of the country you are planning to go to. Why? Because the FCO covers re-entry into the UK but may not tell you if you need to quarantine when you arrive at your training camp destination.



You have booked to travel but restrictions are reimposed 

Your travel company cancels your flight or package holiday.

  • You are entitled, by law, to a full refund.
  • Flights are subject to EU flight delay rules; you are entitled to your full refund within 7 days.
  • Packages holidays are subject to Package Travel Regulations; you are entitled to your full refund within 14 days.


You have booked your hotel direct

In the event your stay is cancelled by the hotel, there is currently no regulation governing whether you will receive a refund. You will probably have to rely on “local” laws. 


The travel company does not cancel your flight and/or package

  • In this event, flights would probably be going ahead so you will not be eligible for a refund.
  • Package holidays are covered by the Package Travel Regulations so you should receive a full refund within 14 days.
  • You may be able to reclaim some/all of the non-refundable items via your travel insurance but this will depend on the policy you had in place at the time of your booking.
  • In these times, many of the airlines are offering alternative options like; allowing you to rebook and/or offering you a credit note.


In general, if a service that you have booked is not provided, you are eligible for a refund. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) or also known as the competition “watchdog” clearly support this view. However, if you have booked with a company abroad, they may be operating under different laws than the UK. 





The country of your destination bars your entry or reimposes quarantine regulations

  • The FCO may say you are OK to travel but your country of destination could be saying something different. It is advisable to check your country of destination’s own government web sites for information.
  • When you arrive at your country of destination and you discover you need to quarantine, you will probably find that airlines and hotels will not offer refunds because their services are still available. 
  • If the services are available, you will not be able to claim against your credit or debit card protection.
  • If you decide not to go you will need to check your travel insurance policy to see whether you are covered 


You have booked for next year but your destination has travel restrictions reimposed now.

  • The recommended strategy is; do not cancel your trip until the last possible moment. If the travel company and/or the airline cancel, you will be entitled to a full refund.
  • FCO guidance on travel and quarantine rules may change by the time you travel so your trip will go ahead.  


Can you travel if the FCO is advising against it?

  • Yes, but be very wary doing so
  • Most Insurance companies will not cover you if the FCO is advising against non-essential travel your country of destination.
  • If you do go, as a minimum make sure you have a valid EHIC. If it is out of date you can apply via;  EHIC website, or the NHS website. But note that the EHIC may well not be valid after the end of 2020 because of Brexit.
  • There are some “Specific” Insurance companies who will cover you for destinations not recommended by the FCO. These can be found via the British Insurance Brokers’ Association website 


You need to quarantine when you come back to the UK

  • Officially, you are not entitled to statutory sick pay
  • You will need to talk with your employer as soon as possible to discuss your options and agree a plan of action
  • You can see details of these options via your Employment Rights


Please Note: These are difficult times for both employees and employers and compromise and discussion are the best way to address issues which may be arising for the first time in the experience of either party. If in doubt, we suggest you contact the Citizens Advice Bureau for further information.


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