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Posts from 2021-05-05

Covid: What are my money-back rights for holidays abroad?

The government is expected to lift some restrictions on overseas holidays in the next few days.

But with Covid still widespread, tourists will have to think carefully about their financial protection.

Where will I be able to go on holiday?

England will soon release a list of "green list" destinations, where people can travel without having to quarantine on their return (although they will have to take tests).

All other countries will be rated amber or red, and travellers will still need to quarantine after visiting them.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have not said when they might allow foreign travel.

Can I cancel my holiday if I would need to self-isolate?

There is always a risk that a green-list country could move to the amber or red list, although the government says it will give notice.

If that happened you would need to quarantine after the holiday - something that could be difficult for many people.

Operators do not have to refund you if this happens and you unexpectedly have to self-isolate on your return.

It is best to study their policies before booking, or see whether they can offer some support if you have already booked and want to cancel.

Will I be refunded if my holiday is cancelled?

If the government announces that travel to a particular country is not advised, then airlines and travel companies are likely to cancel any pre-booked flights or holidays there.

If this happens, you are entitled to a full refund, and you can choose to receive that refund in cash.

An airline should refund the money within seven days, although some people have had to wait longer.

A package holiday should be refunded, in full, within 14 days.

What if I make a decision that it's too risky to travel?

This is far less clear-cut. If you cancel, rather than the travel provider doing so, then you have no automatic right to a refund.

In this situation, it is worth contacting the airline or holiday provider to see what options you have.

Some may allow you to transfer to another date or destination, they may give you a voucher, or they may allow you to cancel and get a refund.

Will travel insurance cover me if I get Covid?

Travel insurers are offering different levels of cover. In part, this depends on how much you pay for a policy.

The majority will pay out if you test positive for Covid and have to cancel before you travel.

In most other Covid-related scenarios, only a minority of policies will give you financial cover, according to analysis by data specialists Defaqto.

For example, if a positive or missed Covid test stops you from boarding a flight back to the UK, only about one in 10 policies will cover you for costs.

If the Foreign Office advises against travel to a country, then all but a handful of travel insurance policies would be invalid.

Graphic - travel insurance policy cover during Covid

Why is this so complicated?

The rules are going to be fairly complex, given that the risk of Covid varies so much between different countries.

The government says it will publish a charter "that clearly sets out consumer rights and responsibilities when booking travel while Covid-19 measures remain in place".

It also says it expects travel operators to be "flexible" with customers given the circumstances.

 

source:https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-51615412

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