As the number of new COVID cases fell for a sixth consecutive day on the 26th July, there is hope that this is a sign the recent surge in infections driven by the spread of the Delta variant may have passed its peak.  However, as most of the legal restrictions around COVID were lifted in England on 19th July, the numbers are being closely watched for another surge.

The news that the daily case numbers are falling does give us hope that we may still manage to sneak in a quick holiday abroad this summer, but BBC news has reported that the trade group, Airlines UK, have said bookings had failed to recover due to the “frustrating” traffic light system and costly testing requirements.  It also added that consumer confidence would remain weak without change.

There is no doubt that it is a very confusing time for people trying to book a holiday abroad, at the same time, ensuring that the money they spend on their holiday is financially protected should things go wrong.  So, with our experience, we want to offer some advice for those trying to book a holiday abroad this summer.

With regards booking the actual holiday, while things are so fluid in the travel sector due to the pandemic, we do advise booking a package holiday with a company that offers both ABTA and ATOL protection.  The reason for this is, most travel insurance policies do not offer cancellation cover due to a change in government advice related to Covid-19.  However, if you book a package holiday you will have financial protection under the European Package Tour Regulations which protects customers both from the cancellation of a trip, as well as from a company going bust. As the legislation states: “The Package Travel Directive (2015/2302/EU) protects European travellers’ rights when booking package holidays, for example in terms of cancellation, liability, repatriation, and refunds. It applies to both European and foreign traders selling travel packages to European travellers, be it directly or via a retailer.”

We also advise that you buy your travel insurance as soon as possible, preferably the same day you book your holiday.  Doing this will give you protection should you need to cancel the holiday due to your personal circumstances before you depart.  The pandemic is throwing up lots of new risks which could cause you to cancel our holiday, such as catching COVID before travel, being asked to isolate as you’ve been in contact with someone with COVID or failing your pre departure PCR test, all of which would be a cause to cancel your holiday, so it is best to have that protection in place as soon as the holiday is booked.

Travellers must be aware that not all travel insurance providers offer the cover mentioned above. Therefore, we strongly suggest that anyone looking to book a trip, shops around for their travel insurance, checks the policy wording, and makes sure they’re fully aware of the cover included and their specific needs, before they purchase a policy.

Check out our ‘Coronavirus – Everything you need to know!’ page, it should answer all your travel insurance questions, but if you have a question we haven’t answered, please drop us an email