Earlier this week the government amended its travel advice asking those living in areas with high rates of the Indian Covid-19 variant to avoid non-essential travel out of their region.

The eight areas worst-hit by the new variant include Bolton, Blackburn, Kirklees, Bedford, Burnley, Leicester, Hounslow and North Tyneside. The advice also recommended that Brits avoid travelling in to these areas.

The messaging came as a surprise to many, particularly as it came out in the media and not directly from the government. The travel advice also caused a lot confusion for those living or planning to visit areas affected by the advice ahead of the bank holiday and half term holidays next week.

However, within 24 hours the government had backtracked its advice and amended the guidance to instead ask people to “minimise” travel out of the eight most affected areas – not to completely “avoid”.

So, where does this leave those living in the one of the affected areas if they have a holiday elsewhere next week? Additionally, what’s the travel insurance stance for anyone with a staycation planned in one of the areas advised against visiting?

Well, as the government have not formally placed Bolton, Blackburn, Kirklees, Bedford, Burnley, Leicester, Hounslow and North Tyneside into a local or regional lockdown, and only told people to “minimise” travel to and from these destinations, in most cases, anyone with a staycation or holiday abroad booked should still be covered to travel by their travel insurer.

Of course, this provided that if they are travelling from one of these destinations to somewhere abroad that the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) do not advise against travel to this destination. Additionally, that the government doesn’t formally place any of the above areas into an official local lockdown.

As always, travel insurance policies vary from provider to provider and the cover included in standard policies for international travel may differ from specialised ‘staycation’ policies. Therefore, we would recommend checking your policy wording to make sure what the exclusions are when it comes to government advice.

Additionally, if you are unsure about the cover included in your policy, we would recommend getting in touch with your travel insurance provider directly and discussing any concerns with them.