Over the last few days, thousands of people have been protesting across Catalonia following the violent scenes that took place during Sunday’s referendum. The referendum, in respect of Catalonia’s desire for independence was declared illegal by the Spanish Government and Spanish police were granted permission to fire rubber bullets, seize ballot boxes and forcibly remove voters. As a result, almost 900 people were injured. Although there has been no violence since, protests are expected to continue.
So, is Barcelona safe to travel to?
Barcelona is one of the most popular destinations for British Holidaymakers, but following recent events many may be thinking of going elsewhere.
Whilst the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has not advised against travel to the country, it has informed tourists to be vigilant when travelling around Barcelona. Further protests are expected over the next couple of days and although they are anticipated to be peaceful, there are warnings it may escalate.
Holidaymakers should also be aware that should Catalonian residents go on strike, local services and transport may be disrupted.
What will my travel insurance cover?
As the FCO has not advised against travel, your travel insurance policy is unlikely to accept a claim for cancellation for disinclination to travel.
Should a riot or civil war arise we recommend you read your policy wording carefully before travelling as most policies will not provide cover in this circumstance as standard – the only exception being if you need emergency medical treatment.
If your travel insurance policy includes cover for force majeure, the travel insurance company may provide cover for additional travel and accommodation expenses if you cannot return home as planned, be sure to read your policy wording carefully as there may be some exclusions.
Following on from this, if you have purchased your policy since Sunday, force majeure cover will not apply as travel insurance policies do not cover a ‘known event’ – something worth bearing in mind for future policies.