If you contract coronavirus on holiday you won't be entitled to a refund - according to travel insurance companies

By Finlay Greig
Monday, 6th July 2020, 11:23 am
Updated Monday, 6th July 2020, 11:24 am
Travel insurance companies will likely not pay out if a holidaymaker is forced to self-isolate (Shutterstock)
Travel insurance companies will likely not pay out if a holidaymaker is forced to self-isolate (Shutterstock)

Holidaymakers have been warned that they will not qualify for a refund if they self-isolate while overseas.

Package holiday firms and insurance providers would be highly unlikely to pay out  anyone who cancelled a trip away due to developing coronavirus symptoms.

CEO of complaint resolution company resolver.co.uk told BBC that tourists should be aware of the risks.

She warned: "It is likely that new travel insurance policies won't cover you if you develop symptoms before going on holiday - and if the flight or packaged holiday isn't cancelled then you have no automatic right to compensation," she said.

"While it's important to the economy to support the travel industry, at this time it's the customer who is bearing all of the risk."

'Driving consumers to do the wrong thing'

The warning comes as England removes its requirement to quarantine on arrival from over 50 countries, while blanket restrictions on non-essential travel have also been lifted.

The loosening of restrictions resulted in an "explosion" of bookings.

The government have said it is a citizens civic duty to self-isolate if they experience coronavirus symptoms, but there are fears that consumers could reject advice due to travel insurance policy.

Ms Neil told the BBC: "most people would behave responsibly even if that meant losing their holiday, but I would also expect holiday and insurance companies to show a little compassion in these circumstances."

"Driving consumers to do the wrong thing can't be an unintended consequence of opening back up from lockdown."

Quarantine rules

New arrivals to England had been required to quarantine for two weeks from June 8, but now France, Spain and Italy are among the countries which can be travelled to and from without the need to quarantine.

Travel Secretary Grant Shapps celebrated the move saying: "Today marks the next step in carefully reopening our great nation.

"Whether you are a holidaymaker ready to travel abroad or a business eager to open your doors again, this is good news for British people and great news for British businesses.

"The entire nation has worked tirelessly to get to this stage, therefore safety must remain our watch word and we will not hesitate to move quickly to protect ourselves if infection rates rise in countries we are reconnecting with."