The Home Affairs Committee has recently called out government ministers for being slow to implement quarantine restrictions, at the start of the pandemic, for those entering the UK. Adding that the British government had underestimated the threat of importing the virus from not only Asia, but Europe too.

Quarantine restrictions were implemented to anyone arriving in the UK on June 8th, 2020, 83 days after Britain officially went into lockdown.

As the number of Covid-19 cases around the world, and in particular Europe, became manageable, quarantine restrictions were eased for certain countries and air bridges were formed with the UK, enabling many to head off on a much longed for holiday abroad. Creating the air bridges has meant those arriving in Britain from one of the destinations detailed on the government’s ‘safe list’ would no longer have to self-isolate for 14-days upon their arrival.

However, in the last week, the government changed their travel advice again, advising Britons against all but essential travel to Spain and enforcing a sudden 14-day quarantine restriction for anyone returning from the Spanish Islands.

This abrupt shift in advice has undoubtedly left British tourists with a lot of concerns over what happens if the Foreign and Commonwealth (FCO) guidance changes and quarantine restrictions are suddenly imposed to the country they are holidaying in.  In particular, there seemed to be a bit of confusion around travel insurance and cover provided should FCO guidance suddenly change. So, we thought it might be useful to clarify the general stance.

If the FCO changes its advice while you are abroad, your travel insurance policy should remain valid until you return home, providing that you did not travel after the date the advice changed.

If you are on an extended holiday (which is longer than 28 days), and the FCO changes its advice to the country you are in, you would be expected to make every effort to return home as soon as possible. Those who fail to do so risk voiding their travel insurance. Anyone who finds themselves in this situation should contact their travel insurer to discuss their options.

It’s also worth being aware that if you are forced to quarantine upon your arrival back to the UK, and as a result unable to go to work, you will not be able to claim for a loss of earnings through your travel insurance policy.