Martin Lewis and the Money Saving Expert team have provided updated advice for Britons who may be concerned that the UK’s new mandatory quarantine could ruin their holiday plans. The government is enforcing a 14-day period of self-isolation for anyone entering the UK from overseas.
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Under current guidance, anyone arriving from overseas will be asked to provide an address for where they plan to self-isolate for the two week period, and could face fines of up to £1,000 if they fail to follow the rule.
Authorities are said to have the power to check up on Britons at any time.
However, along with being slammed by travel industry insiders for its potentially detrimental effects on the industry, Mr Lewis and his team of financial pros have also suggested it could result in financial losses for would-be holidaymakers.
The financial team say they have been contacted by Britons who are worried about this possibility and whether they would be entitled to a refund.
“We’ve been asked by several users if they’ll be able to legally get a refund on travel abroad (for example, a flight or package holiday) if they were unable or unwilling to quarantine for two weeks on their return, and therefore were unable to take the trip,” explains the MSE website.
Alas, they say: “The short answer is no, as the company would not have to refund you for your disinclination to travel.”
This may vary though, as the experts also say that “some firms may agree to help out.”
Most travellers need not worry about this scenario at the moment, as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) continues to advise against all non-essential travel, meaning all holidays are likely cancelled by the provider.
However, speculation that the rules may be scrapped could see the quarantine becoming a “more pressing concern”.
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“Yet a few flights are still running, airlines are planning to restart more within weeks and there’s speculation the Foreign Office may revise its warning in due course, so if that were to happen but quarantine measures remain in place, it could become a more pressing concern,” adds the MSE website.
The quarantine rule has been criticised by airlines, including Ryanair.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said: “I want the travel quarantine overturned because it is irrational, ineffective and unimplementable.”
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He continued: “An effective quarantine can work but the problem with the UK Government is they have been late to every party.
“They were late to lockdown, they were letting people in for Cheltenham and European football matches.
“They have been late at almost every hand’s turn and now they are introducing a quarantine that is clearly a political stunt.
“Simply because it is not a quarantine, it has no medical effect and if you do fill in the form on arrival today, all you give is your mobile number.”
The UK government is reportedly working to try and establish “air bridges” which could see Britons being allowed to travel to “low risk” countries without the need for quarantine.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps explained to the House of Commons that air bridges would “enable people from other areas and countries who have themselves achieved lower levels of growth virus infection to come into the country”.
Countries which have been listed as likely to have routes established include Turkey and Portugal.
However, Spain has said it will not consider these “air bridges” for Britons.
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