Coronavirus advice if there’s an outbreak while you’re on holiday

Coronavirus outbreaks are occurring around the world, including popular holiday destinations such as Italy and Tenerife.

There's plenty of travel advice for Brits who have holidays planned, but what if you're already on a holiday and an outbreak occurs at your destination?

Your first step should be to check the FCO advice on your destination. This will include guidance and advice for Brits already on holiday there, not to mention the FCO's advice has a significant impact on what happens next during your holiday.

If there's an outbreak but the FCO does not change its advice to be against travel to your destination, your holiday can continue as normal.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has advice on how to protect yourself from the virus.

If you decide to travel back earlier than planned, it's unlikely that you will get compensation. It's worth getting in touch with your tour operator but they're not obligated to help you come back home. You can also check your travel insurance policy as some providers do offer cover for exceptional cirumstances.

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However, if the FCO advice changes during your holiday to advise against essential travel, then the rules are different.

Your first point of call should be your tour operator or travel firm. They can advise of alternative arrangements, or help cover the costs of your return to the UK.

If for some reason they are unable to cover the costs, it's worth checking your insurance policy, as some providers cover for 'disruption to travel' which includes a change in FCO advice.

In this case, they can cover you for out-of-pocket losses, but you'll need to prove that you were unable to get assistance from another source.

Unfortunately in this scenario, ATOL protection – the protection that saw Thomas Cook customers brought home – does not apply. This is because ATOL protection is specifically for when a travel firm or airline goes bust.  

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