Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, recently revealed that the UK government aims to give holidaymakers at least two weeks’ notice if a country is at risk of being removed from the ‘green’ list. The news comes as Shapps updated MPs on the latest travel data.

Giving two weeks’ notice of any possible changes to destinations aims to give holidaymakers more certainty when it comes to booking a trip abroad. It is also expected to help tour operators plan for any changes and avoid any chaos as a result of last-minute country removals – similar to the travel industry’s experience last summer when countries were removed from the ‘corridor list’ with just days’ notice.

While the government has revealed a limited list of 12 countries currently on the “green” list, it is anticipated that more will be unveiled in the next three week review.

At the time of writing, no travel insurance provider offers cover for cancellation as a result of a change in government advice related to Covid-19. Therefore, we would strongly urge anyone looking to take advantage of the new traffic light system, and book a holiday abroad, to book with a tour operator that is financially protected by ABTA or ATOL, and offers flexible cancellation terms and conditions.

That way, should a destination be removed from the green list, and the holiday is protected under the Package Travel Regulations Act, travellers will not lose out financially as the tour operator will be responsible for providing a refund for the trip or moving the holiday to a new date.

However, it is still advisable to purchase travel insurance on the day of booking your holiday as there is a lot of cover available for various Covid-19 scenarios on travel insurance policies. Below are just a few  examples of the different types of protection available:

  • Cancellation cover if you or a member of your travelling party catch Covid-19 before your trip and have to isolate.
  • Cover for medical and repatriation expenses should you catch Covid-19 while abroad.
  • Cover for additional expenses should you test positive while abroad and be required to isolate abroad.

Remember, this type of cover is not automatically included in all travel insurance policies, so we would strongly recommend that you shop around for your travel insurance and read the policy wordings before buying.