Despite the Spanish government lifting all restrictions for UK residents earlier this week, British travellers are not permitted to enter mainland Spain or the Balearic Islands, unless for essential reasons.

Spain is currently on the government’s “amber” list, and, at present, the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) advises against all but essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic Islands but excluding the Canary Islands.

This means that anyone who travels to Spain without an essential reason will generally not be covered by their travel insurance provider, as they will have travelled against the FCDO’s advice, which is a common exclusion in most policies. Unfortunately, a holiday is not classed as an essential reason for travel.

The FCDO does, however, not advise against travel to the Canary Islands. This means that a holiday in one of Spain’s Canary Islands is an option for anyone looking to get away for some sunshine.

While travellers, in most cases, will be covered by their insurer to visit the Canary Islands for non-essential reasons, it’s worth being aware they will still need to quarantine at home for 10 days upon their return to the UK as well as take a PCR test on day 2 and day 8 of their isolate period as the Canary Islands fall under Spain and therefore are categorised as “amber” on the traffic light system.

Additionally, it has recently been highlighted that some travel insurance providers are offering cover for British nationals to travel to destinations against the FCDO’s advice, for example mainland Spain.

However, anyone planning on purchasing this type of cover must be aware that these types of policies typically lack protection against any Covid-19 risks in the event travellers need to submit a claim.

For example, while you may be covered to travel against the FCDO’s advice, in the small print it may state that any claims related to Covid-19 are excluded. Therefore, if you were to travel against the FCDO’s advice and test positive for Covid-19 on your pre-departure test, it will be your responsibility to arrange and pay for new transportation and accommodation costs to isolate at your holiday destination. Your travel insurer will not contribute to any additional costs incurred.

Additionally, if you were to travel to a destination that the FCDO advise against and that particular destination was decided to ban all flights to and from the UK, it would be your responsibility to get yourself back home again. The government would not send planes out to pick up British nationals as they did at the start of the pandemic, as the FCDO advised against travel there in the first place.

Here’s an example of what happened to a British citizen last year when they travelled against the FCDO’s advice.