In response to a number of spikes in the COVID-19 infection rate across Spain, the Government since issued a warning on the 25th July against all but essential travel to mainland Spain. Shortly after, the Foreign Office (FCO) then issued the same warning for the Balearic and Canary Islands. This is due to Spain currently “presenting an unacceptably high risk for British travellers,” according to the FCO. This now means that all holidaymakers who have been in Spain over this period are required to self-isolate for between 10-14 days on their arrival back to the UK.
I’m currently on holiday in Spain, is my Travel Insurance still valid?
If you are currently in Spain, your Travel Insurance will still cover you as normal, but it will not include curtailment if you wish to return home early due to the increased risk in the country. Your insurance will not cover any financial impact of quarantining on your return to the UK. However, if you enter Spain now after the FCO advised against it even if it’s via another country other than the UK, you will most likely invalidate your Travel Insurance.
I have a holiday in Spain booked, what should I do?
Things are changing all the time and there’s no telling when and if the air bridge between the UK and Spain will be restored in the near future. If you have a holiday booked several months down the line, you can either wait and hope that it will be safe to travel to Spain at that time or you can amend/cancel your existing flights and hotel.
For those who are due to travel to Spain in the coming weeks and booked before the 26th July, as the Foreign Office has now stated that holidaymakers should not travel to mainland Spain, you could potentially get your money back. If your airline cancels the flight, you may be offered a refund directly from them however if you choose to cancel, you will likely not be recompensed for this directly by the airline.
The Association of British Insurers issued advice surrounding this issue, saying:
”Customers looking to change or cancel their travel plans should speak with the airline provider, tour operator or travel agent in the first instance.”
”If you booked your trip or took out your travel insurance after Covid-19 was declared a pandemic, you may not be covered for travel disruption or cancellation. In either circumstance, we’d advise checking with your insurer.”
If you still choose to travel to Spain despite the advice issued by the FCO, the AIB has warned that this will likely invalidate your Travel Insurance. This would mean that if you suffered from sickness or an injury, loss of documents or something else while abroad, you will not be covered for the financial impact.
Can I still travel without insurance?
We would highly recommend that you do NOT travel without valid insurance. While you are legally entitled to do so, the cost of something going wrong can quickly mount up and it’s not worth risking this for a break in the sun.
I’m not travelling to Spain but worried about whether this will happen to another country – should I take the risk?
As it stands, the Government are closely monitoring the situation and no other countries have been removed from the air bus list at present. As mentioned previously the situation can change quickly so there is a possibility that something may change while you’re away.
However, if you do choose to cancel your holiday to a country which hasn’t been flagged by the FCO as high risk, it’s unlikely that you will be due a refund from your airline or hotel or via your travel insurer. Your policy isn’t intended to cover scenarios where you simply choose not to travel, but in specific circumstances, such as if you or a member of your family have been advised not to travel, you may be able to claim back some non-refundable costs. This will all depend on your circumstances and your specific policy.
If you have any questions about your existing policy or want to talk through your options with one of our trusted advisors, just get in touch on 01509 274000.