Coronavirus Travel Advice Update
With the coronavirus pandemic situation developing regularly, we created this page on the 30th January as a dynamic resource. We aim to provide all relevant and up-to-date information relating to how COVID-19 is affecting travel insurance and travel in general.
The Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advise that British nationals should avoid all non-essential international travel. However, on the 4th July a list of countries exempt from this was published – available on the FCO website. This is under constant review, and each country’s status could change at any time.
From the 1st September, separate nations within the UK began their own lists of exemptions. Click the following links for details of exemptions for persons arriving in Wales, and for exemptions for residents and visitors to Scotland.
Changes to FCDO travel advice and travel corridors
5th September – Residents of, and visitors to, Scotland from Portugal and French Polynesia will need to self-isolate on arrival. This applies after 04:00 BST.
4th September – Persons arriving in Wales from Portugal (except the Azores and Maderia), French Polynesia, Gibraltar, and the Greek Islands of Mykonos, Zakynthos, Lesvos, Paros and Antiparos and Crete will need to self-isolate on arrival. This applies after 04:00 BST.
3rd September – Residents of, and visitors to, Scotland from Greece will need to self-isolate on arrival. This applies after 04:00 BST.
For convenience, previous changes to the exemption list are summarised below. Please see the FCDO travel corridors page for more details.
4am, 29th August – Czech Republic, Jamaica and Switzerland removed from the exemptions list.
4am, 22nd August – Croatia, Austria, Trinidad and Tobago removed from the exemptions list. Portugal added to the exemptions list.
4am, 15th August – France (including Corsica), Malta, the Netherlands, Monaco, Turks and Caicos and Aruba removed from the exemptions list.
4am, 7th August – Andorra, Belgium and The Bahamas removed from the exemptions list.
4am, 30th July – Luxembourg removed from the exemptions list.
4am, 28th July – Spain, including the Canary Islands and Balearic Islands, removed from the exemptions list.
If a travel provider intends to run any trip as planned, we would urge the policyholder to insist that the dates are moved. We cannot provide cover if travel is made while the FCO advises against non-essential travel.
Opening Hours – due to the social isolation measures put in place by the UK government, we are now operating remotely, maintaining full availability from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. We will endeavour to maintain the same high level of service to you even during these challenging times.
We have prepared some FAQs to guide you through how the developing situation will impact travel insurance:
Update from UK Foreign Travel, as of Tuesday 17th March:
- The FCO advise British nationals against all but essential international travel.
If you are in a country affected by travel restrictions
- You must follow the advice of the local authorities.
- Limit your movements to those necessary to return to the place where you live.
- If you wish to leave the country you are in, contact your airline or travel company and your insurance provider as soon as you are able, and keep up to date with the latest developments.
- Call the local emergency number if you believe you have symptoms. English speaking operators may be available.
If you are quarantined while you are abroad
- If the local authority where you are proposes to quarantine you for your own protection, you should follow their advice.
- If there are suspected cases of coronavirus where you are, you may need to remain in your hotel room or accommodation for 14 days, move to quarantine facilities, take tests for coronavirus and, if positive in some cases, be hospitalised abroad.
- You should also contact your airline or travel company, and your insurance provider as soon as you can. We only organise assisted departure in exceptional circumstances.
Our general advice to policy-holders at this time is:
- To take guidance as provided by the FCO and adhere to its advice.
- See the latest information and advice for the public on the outbreak of coronavirus from the Department of Health and Social Care
- To not travel contrary to any travel restrictions as may be advised by any government or public/health authority.
- To speak with your travel provider regarding any possible change(s) to your travel itinerary.
- To continue to monitor any further advice as may be provided.
- The National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) has also produced general advice on preparing for foreign travel and how individuals can help reduce the spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 outbreak.
More information about travel and the Coronavirus:
We will continue to monitor the situation and provide further updates as they become available.