The UK government has added new destinations to its “green list”, giving British tourists more options for a summer getaway this year.
The destinations recently added include the Balearic Islands (including Ibiza, Menorca, Majorca, and Formentera), Malta and Madeira, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat and Turks and Caicos Islands, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, and Pitcairn.
However, all new additions to the “green list”, apart from Malta, are part of a newly introduced “green watchlist”. This means that countries on the “green watchlist” are more at risk of turning amber if there is an increase in infection rates. As a result, Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has warned anyone looking to travel abroad that the rules could change at short notice.
With holiday destinations at risk of changing at the last minute, how can travellers desperate for a break ensure their trip is protected?
Our advice would be to book a package holiday with a reputable tour operator. That way, if your holiday destination is removed from the “green list” and the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office advises against travel, it is the tour operators’ responsibility to either move your trip or offer you a refund. Therefore, you won’t, in most cases, be left out of pocket.
And while most travel insurance providers don’t offer cover to cancel a trip due to a change in government advice related to Covid-19, they will continue to provide cover if the advice were to suddenly change while you were away.
For example, say you were on holiday in Ibiza for two weeks and on day 10 of your trip the government removed Ibiza from the “green list” and the FCDO advised against travel to the island, most travel insurers would continue to cover you until you returned to the UK. The only exception to this would be if you were on a trip that exceeded 30 days. In this case, you would need to discuss cover with your insurer. In most cases, travellers with cover for failed pre-departure tests would also continue to be covered for any additional accommodation and transportation expenses incurred as a result of testing positive for Covid-19 and having to legally isolate abroad. However, be aware that this cover is not standard on most travel insurance policies, so if this is something you require protection for, please check the policy you are buying carefully.
The other thing worth being aware of is, should the travel guidance change while you are away and require you to isolate on your return, no travel insurers will cover claims related to loss of earnings due to being unable to return to work as planned, or for costs if you have to isolate at a hotel on return to the UK.
We completely understand that travel advice can sometimes be a little confusing. Therefore, you if have any concerns that you think we might be able to clarify, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try our very best to help!