coronavirus

FeaturedTravel Tips

Latest Travel Updates Due to Coronavirus

shutterstock_1659688534-compressor

Latest Travel Updates: Ireland adopts EU ‘traffic light’ system. Airport testing now in place. Spain requires negative PCR test to be provided on arrival.

 

I will be updating this post regularly with travel updates due to coronavirus, so bookmark it and make it your go-to post for the latest travel information. If you have queries in relation to airline refunds and vouchers,  these posts might also be of interest:

How to get a refund if your flight is cancelled

 
 
Instagram
 
Ireland adopts new EU traffic light system:

Ireland has adopted the EU ‘traffic light’ system for travel, which provides for regions across the EU to be categorised as green, orange, red or grey, on the basis of the risk levels associated with COVID-19. A combined indicator map will be published each week by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), based on agreed criteria, including the 14-day cumulative incidence rate, testing rate and testing positivity rates.
 

 

 
The categorisation of ‘regions’ instead of ‘countries’ is significant, as popular hot spots such as the Canary Islands has seen significantly lower incidence rates than the rest of Spain. Arrivals from other countries outside Europe including USA and Canada will be treated in the same way as Red countries, and it is possible to reduce quarantine times by obtaining pre or post departure tests, which must be arranged and paid for privately.
 
Read: My step by step guide to the EU traffic light system for travel
 

 

 
Airport testing now in place in Irish airports from €99

COVID-19 testing facilities have opened in Dublin Cork and Shannon airports as well as various locations around the country. Prices start at €99 for PCR tests in Dublin Airport, and €129 in Cork and Shannon. The testing facilities are fully open to the public, whether they require a test for travel, or for another reason.

Many countries now require proof of a negative PCR test for tourists arriving from high risk countries. Spain recently introduced this requirement from 23rd November. A negative PCR test taken with 72 hours of arrival, must be shown on entry.
 

 

 
Ireland currently advises against non-essential travel overseas, other than to countries that are part of the EU ‘traffic lights’ approach, where the advice is to exercise a high degree of caution.  

coronavirus

Travel Restrictions may apply to Irish people visiting selected countries in EU and around the world:

It is important to note that many countries require negative Covid PCR tests to be produced on entry, if you are arriving from a high risk country. Ireland is currently considered Amber (19th November ), but can change on a weekly basis, so it is important that you check Ireland’s status on the traffic light system, and the requirements of the country you are travelling to, before you travel. 
 

 

 
Spain will require a negative PCR test for all visitors from high risk (red/grey) regions the 23rd of November. This must be certified by health authorities within 72 hours of their arrival. A PCR test with certification is currently available from Randox at a cost of €99.

The Canary Islands have a separate regulation and require a negative antigen test to be taken on arrival for ALL visitors staying in tourist accommodation. An antigen test can be arranged locally and costs €25. However if you are travelling from a high risk region, and have a proof of a negative PCR test on arrival, this will suffice.

 

 

 
It is imperative that you check the entry requirements with the country you are due to travel with before you fly. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs website:

“Inclusion on the list does not imply the absence of any restrictions on arrivals in those locations. Citizens should be aware that countries continue to announce new restrictions on arrivals from abroad, including the requirement to quarantine on entry. This can include restrictions on arrivals from Ireland. The situation will continue to evolve quickly. Citizens who are considering travel to particular locations are advised to monitor news and information from the public authorities in their destination. The list and our Travel Advice is under regular review, based on ECDC data and advice from experts, and will be updated on a regular basis.”
 

 

 
Read: Top 10 tips for travelling during Covid-19

Read: Make sure to fill out Passenger Locator Forms before you travel overseas 
 

This website is a handy source to have, it shows you the number of Covid-19 cases in each European country, and may be useful if you wish plan overseas to a country with a lower infection rate than our own.
 

 

 

What if you don’t want to travel?

If you do you wish to travel, but your flight is operating, you are not entitled to a refund, regardless of your health situation. You should be able to change your travel dates, but if you cancel because you do not want to fly, that is seen as your own personal decision and no refund will be due.
 

 

 
Ryanair announced that cancellations up to end of July have been processed and all passengers notified. Therefore if you have not received any notification that your flight is cancelled, it is more than likely operating. They are currently NOT waiving change fees for existing bookings, so if you choose to change dates, you will have to pay the appropriate change fees. 

cancelled flights

Aer Lingus will allow you to change your dates without paying change fees for all departures up to 31st December. 
 

 

 
If the government advice is still in place against non-essential travel to the destination that you are due to travel to, then you may be able to claim on your travel insurance. You will need to have had a policy taken out with travel disruption cover or government advice, before the advice came into effect.
 

 

 

Refunds and Vouchers:

Many airlines are offering vouchers instead of refunds and there has been a lot of confusion across the travel industry. The Irish government has recently backed a new refund credit note that can be used by travel agents and tour operators to give to customers instead of a refund – note this is not applicable to airlines. These credit notes will be guaranteed by the state in the event that the travel agent or tour operator ceases trading. It will be issued with a future redeemable date, and on that date it can be exchanged for its cash, or can be used to book another holiday. According to Shane Ross, ‘the refund credit note aims to strike a balance between preventing sector-wide bankruptcy (with associated immediate job losses) and consumer rights.’
 

 

 
 While Ryanair and Aer Lingus are ‘officially’ offering refunds for cancelled flights, they are actively trying to get passengers to accept vouchers or change their departure dates. Other travel companies are not offering refunds at all. I have full list of my most popular questions answered, and the links to apply for refunds in these posts:

How to get a refund from Ryanair

How to get a refund if your flight is cancelled
 

 

Face masks are mandatory with most airlines:

Like many airlines, Aer Lingus and Ryanair have confirmed that face masks are now mandatory. While social distancing is not possible on board aircrafts, there will be extra distancing measures in place in airports, and in-flight services will be reduced. 

Read: Top 10 tips for travelling during Covid-19
 

 

Cruise lines & Tour Operators latest updates:

  • MSC has cancelled all sailings for UK & Ireland residents until 31st October. They will have a reduced number of ships in both the East and West Mediterranean from 15th August for Schengen residents only, (not UK or Ireland passengers).  Guests booked on a summer cruise can, up until 31st October, take advantage of the MSC Cruises’ Flexible Cruise Programme which allows guests to reschedule their cruise to a future departure date through to 31 December 2021. Guests affected by cancellations will receive a Future Cruise Credit of the value of 125%. If you are not in a position to take a Future Cruise credit, MSC Cruises will refund 100% of the balance paid on Cruise only and Fly Cruises.
  • Princess Cruises cancel all operations until the 15th December. Passengers can request a full refund or receive 125% cruise credit.
  • Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Azamara and Silversea have cancelled most sailings until 31st October. Passengers can request a full refund, a 125% cruise credit or can change existing cruise to 2021 at the same cost – see more here.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line have cancelled all sailings until 31st October. Passengers can request a full refund or receive 125% or 150% cruise credit, depending on departure date. Cruise credit is valid until December 2022.

 

 

 

US bans travel from Europe including UK & Ireland.

President Donald Trump has amended the US travel ban to include Ireland and UK effective midnight 16th March.The ban applies to anyone who has been in Europe within 14 days prior to their arrival in the US. This does not apply to US citizens, however they will have to undergo health screenings on arrival.
 

 

 

Travel Insurance to exclude Covid-19 for new policies issued. 

With effect from 6pm on Monday 16th March 2020, a general exclusion for Covid-19 (Coronavirus) will apply to all new Blue Insurance travel insurance policies issued by travel agencies. This general exclusion will apply to all sections of the policy document. It is likely that all insurance companies will follow suit. Schedule Airline Failure and Third Party Supplier Insolvency will also be temporarily withdrawn. 

Coronavirus: What travel insurance covers:

 

Book Insurance Here
 

 

 

Note: This post is being updated constantly but travel advice and updates are changing on a daily basis. It is important to check with the company / airline you are booking with before taking any steps to cancel or travel abroad.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.

 

 

Other related posts on the blog:

Coronavirus: What travel insurance covers:

Why you need to add travel disruption cover to your travel insurance policy

 
Like travel tips? See more here.
 

 
Sarah

The Travel Expert
 

 

 

Travel Tips

Coronavirus: What Travel Insurance Covers – Your Questions Answered

shutterstock_269392691-compressor

I have all your travel insurance questions answered below, as well as some top tips to make sure you are adequately covered for future travel plans.

 

 

Before you think of booking or cancelling a holiday due to coronavirus, you should check the travel advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs website. They ultimately decide against non-essential travel to a particular region (FCO website in Northern Ireland and UK ). All airlines, travel agencies and travel insurance companies use the advice of the DFA before making any decisions about whether to cancel or alter flights, or allow refunds to be authorised. If the DFA advise against travel to a specific country or region, flights should be cancelled. 

Instagram

I also recommend downloading the Travelwise app. You can set alerts for the destination you are travelling to, and you will receive notifications if there are any status updates.

 

Read: Latest travel updates due to coronavirus 

 

 
I have received numerous emails and messages from travellers asking what travel insurance covers in relation to coronavirus. I decided to ask Ciaran Mulligan, Managing Director of Blue Insurance and Multitrip.com to answer your questions. Of course, all insurance policies are different and these answers will not apply to every individual case, but hopefully most of your questions are answered below.
 

 

 
Note: This post is published on 11th of March 2020. Answers are correct as of today, but cover can change at any time and it is important to check your own individual policy to confirm cover.

what does travel insurance cover with coronavirus
 

 

 

If the Department of Foreign Affairs announces advises against non-essential travel to a particular country or destination, will my travel insurance cover me for cancellation?

If you have Government Travel Advice on your policy – standard with Blue Insurance policy booked via a travel agency and blueinsurance.ie, yes you will be covered for cancellation. Note this cover only comes into effect 14 days prior to departure. Premier Cover has a limit of €500 per person and Premier Plus has €750 per person. Note: new bookings will NOT be covered against Covid-19 to a country deemed as unsafe to travel to.
 

 

 
If you have Travel Disruption added to your policy this will increase to €1000 per person. Insured persons who have premier plus cover with Travel Agents selling Blue Insurance, will have Travel Disruption included automatically. Travel Disruption is also available at Multitrip.com

Read: Why you should add travel disruption cover added to your travel insurance policy
 

 

 
What happens if my holiday cost €2000 per person – will I get all my money back?

No. The level of cancellation cover varies from €500 – €1000 per person, depending on the type of policy you have.
 

 

 

If I am due to travel to Spain in a few months time, can I cancel now and get a refund?

No. You must wait until 14 days before departure to see if the Department of Foreign Affairs travel advisory is still in place. However, many airlines and cruise lines are waiving change fees, so it may be possible to postpone your trip to a later time. Some hotels have small cancellation fees, so you may find all is not lost, should you decide to cancel.
 

 

 

If I have booked to go to a sporting event or concert that has been cancelled, will I be reimbursed for my concert tickets?

If you have tickets booked to a sporting event which is cancelled, but there is no advisory against non-essential travel in place, then you would not be covered for cancellation of your holiday. Example: The Ireland-France rugby match is cancelled, but flights are still operating to Paris, so no refund of flights, hotels etc, would be given. 

travel insurance coronavirus
 

 

 

If I have booked flights and a non-refundable hotel, and the airline changes or cancels my flights, will my travel insurance cover me for the hotel cost? 

This will only be covered if you have Travel Disruption cover added to your policy and the Department of Foreign Affairs advise against ‘all but essential travel’ to your destination.
 

 

 

Is it too late to take out travel insurance now?

No. Travel insurance can be taken out at any time, however a 7 day moratorium will be in place. If you are due to travel on holidays during the summer months and you book insurance now, it will come into effect in seven days time. 

Book Insurance Here
 

 

 

If I contract Covid-19 while I am away, am I covered for medical expenses and repatriation?

Yes. However, if you are travelling to a country where there is a travel advisory against non-essential travel, you would not be covered. 

coronavirus and travel insurance
 

 

 

If I make a claim, how long will it take me to get my money back?

At the moment claims are averaging a three to four week turnaround. It is important to note that you need to apply for refunds from your travel agent, airline or hotel before submitting a travel insurance claim. Claims will only be dealt with once all other avenues have been tried.
 

Book Insurance Here
 

Listen to the podcast here:

 


 

 

 
Note some of the links in this post are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.

 

Like travel tips? See more here.
 

Sarah

The Travel Expert
 

 

 

 
Travel

Coronavirus: Travel Companies Waive Change Fees

Aer-Lingus-A330-Render-View44B-HR-Sml-compressor

Many travel companies are waiving change fees for a limited time. If you have a holiday booked but don’t want to travel now, simply change your dates to travel later in the year.  

 

We all want a holiday to look forward to, but unfortunately coronavirus Covid-19 is affecting our travel plans. Many of us are afraid to book summer holidays in case the virus spreads to our chosen destination. Thankfully, the airlines and travel companies have realised our frustration and have waived change fees for new bookings. While this won’t appease people who have already booked flights and may wish to change their travel plans, it will certainly give peace of mind to those who have yet to book a holiday.

Read: Latest travel updates due to coronavirus

book your holiday now with no change fees if you need to change your date
 

 

 
For example: If you decide to book a holiday to Spain in July, you can now do so knowing that if you need, or wish to change your date or destination, you can do this free of charge. Please note that you will need to pay the difference in airfare, if there is one, i.e if you are booked to go to Malaga and change to New York, you will obviously have to pay the difference in price.

Instagram
 

 

 
It is also important to be aware that airlines policies may change. At the moment many airlines have specified that this will only apply for a short period of time – most are applicable for new bookings made before the end of March. So if you see good value airfares for your chosen destination, I would advise you to book them now – you can always change the date or destination later if necessary. 

airlines that are waiving change fees due to coronavirus

 

 

 
Not all airlines and travel companies have the same policies on waiving change fees, so I have listed those that I am aware of below. It is important to check the terms and conditions of each airline or travel company before making your decision. I will update this list as I receive notification, and I ask any travel companies that I have omitted from this list to contact me. I also urge any travel companies or airlines that have not yet taken this approach to waive change fees, to do so immediately.

Read:  What to do if you have booked a holiday and are worried about Coronavirus

Read: Coronavirus: What travel insurance covers

Read: Why you need to add travel disruption cover to your travel insurance policy
 

 

 

Airlines Waiving Change Fees:

 

Aer Lingus:

Aer Lingus are waiving change fees for ALL bookings effective 13th March at 3pm. The waiver applies to all fare types, all destinations and all travel departing in March, April or May.
 

 

 

Air Canada

Air Canada are waiving change fees on new bookings made from 4th March – 31st March 2020. Air Canada will allow you to make a one-time change to your flight up to 14 days before travel. 
 

 

 

Air France / KLM

Air France and KLM are waiving change fees for new bookings effective 6th March. This is valid for bookings made before 31st March for flights departing up to 31st May 2020. If you wish to travel after 31st May 2020 a non-refundable voucher will be offered in lieu, that will be valid for one year and can be used on Air France or KLM flights.

Air France waive change fees due to coronavirus

American Airlines

If you purchase a new Non-Refundable Fare ticket between the 5th March and 31st March 2020 and need to change your travel plans, American Airlines will allow you make a one-time change before your original departure date and waive the change fee. Tickets can purchased for travel up to 30th January 2021.
 

 

 

British Airways

British Airways have waived change fees on all new bookings made from 3rd March until 16th March 2020. You can change to any date in the next 12 months. 
 

 

 

Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines are waiving all change fees on flights purchased between 1st March and 31st March 2020, for travel up to 25th February 2021. Tickets can be changed one-time only and must be re-issued before 28th February 2021. You may also cancel your flights and apply any unused value of the ticket toward the purchase of a new ticket for a period of one year from the original issue date – applicable change fee and fare difference will apply for new travel dates and will be collected at the time of booking the new ticket. 

Delta are also allowing customers who have booked flights before 1st March 2020 to travel during March 2020 to change their flights to travel no later than 31st May 2020.

delta airlines waives change fees due to coronavirus

 

 

 

Emirates

Emirates are waiving all change fees for all new bookings made between the 7th and 31st March 2020. Customers can change their booking to any date for travel within an 11-month date range in the same booking class without change penalties. Difference in fare, if applicable, applies.
 

 

 

Ethiopian Airlines

Change fees are no longer applicable for tickets issued anytime for travel from 01 March 2020 to 30 June 2020. Customers rebooking must travel on/before 31 December 2020. Full Refund is also authorised for travel dates between 01 March 2020 and 30 June 2020. Refund can also be made free of charge by issuing a voucher of equal amount to be used within one year of issue.
 

 

 

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways’ Travel With Confidence Policy will allow customers to change or delay their travel plans for all bookings with a travel date before 30th June. Changes must be made no later than 3 days before departure. 

 

 

Ryanair:

From today 13th March until Tueday 31st March, Ryanair will waive the flight change fee for customers who wish to change their travel plans due to the current Covid-19 outbreak. This policy applies to all existing and new bookings.

 

 

 

Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines are waiving change fees (first change only) on new tickets purchased between the 6th of March to 24th March 2020. This is valid on all departures up to 31st December 2020, changes must be made 5 days prior to departure. Domestic flights in Turkey and to/from Ercan Airport are not included.

turkish airlines

 

 

United Airlines

United Airlines are waiving change fees on all flights due to depart before 30th April 2020, regardless of when you booked. Passengers are allowed to change to a flight of equal or lesser value up to 12 months from the original ticket issue date. If the new flight is priced higher, the customer may change for no fee but must pay the fare difference. If the new flight is priced lower, the customer may change for free but no residual value will be given. If the customer decides to cancel their flight, they can retain the value of the ticket to be applied to a new ticket without fee for travel up to 12 months from the original ticket issue date.

If the customer decides to cancel the flight they booked between March 3 and March 31, 2020, they can retain the value of the ticket to be applied to a new ticket without fee for travel up to 12 months from the original ticket issue date.
 

 

 

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic is waiving change fees for new bookings made from 4th March to 31st March 2020 for travel up to 30th September 2020.
 

 

 

Cruise Lines Waiving Change Fees:

 

MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises is allowing all customers to reschedule their cruise if booked to travel before 30th June 2020, to travel any time up to December 2021. Cruises must be changed within the same geographical area, for example a Med cruise for a Med cruise, and Caribbean for a Caribbean cruise up to the value of their current cruise. If the new cruise is of higher value, customers can pay the difference.

You must have paid your cruise balance in full before changes are applied. If you have not paid your balance in full, you are not eligible for the Flexible Cruise programme. However, you can still participate once you pay your balance in full as per your payment terms.  

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert) on


 

 

 

Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises is pausing all cruises for 60 days, effective immediately until 11 May, 2020. Princess Cruises cancellation policy varies by departure date and is valid for cruises departing up to 31st May. Guests can transfer 100% of the money paid for their cancelled cruise to a future cruise of their choice. To add a bonus incentive for guests to accept this offer, the company will add an additional generous future cruise credit benefit which can be applied to the cruise fare. The future cruise credit can be used on any voyage departing through May 1, 2022. If the future cruise credit option does not work for some guests, they will be able to complete an electronic form on Princess.com to request a cash refund. 

 

 

 

Royal Caribbean International / Celebrity Cruises / Azamara and Silversea Cruises

Royal Caribbean is now allowing guests to cancel cruises as late as two days before departure and this policy applies to new and existing bookings. Their “Cruise With Confidence” policy ensures guests will receive a full credit for their fare, usable on any future sailing in 2020 or 2021.  This policy applies to all cruises departing before 31st July 2020.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert) on


 

 

 
Norwegian Cruise Line

From March 10th, guests who have booked to travel up to 30th September can cancel their booking up to 48 hours prior to departure, and receive a 100% future cruise credit to be used up to December 2022.

 

 

 

Travel Companies Waiving Change Fees:

 

The Travel Corporation

For all Insight Vacations, Luxury Gold, Trafalgar Tours,and Costsaver Tours bookings departing after the 1st April 2020 and all cruises for Uniworld Boutique River Cruises and U River Cruises departing after 01st May 2020, customers can avail of a waiver for the cancellation penalty until 30 days prior to departure, should guests wish to change their dates or travel to a different destination. Uniworld have also cancelled all cruise sailings up to 23rd April. 

uniworld waive change fees due to coronavirus

 

 

 

Camino Ways

Camino Ways will allow customers one free date change up to 30 days before departure on all bookings, regardless of booked date. New departure date must be within 12 months of original travel date.
 

 

 

Travel Agencies:

Many travel agencies including Atlantic Travel and Click&Go.com are also waiving change fees on existing and future bookings. During this unprecedented time, I would strongly advise everyone to book with an ITAA bonded and licensed travel agent.  If coronavirus escalates and you do need to change your booking at a later stage, you will have the security of dealing with a bonded and licensed travel agency and have a friendly accesible voice at the end of the phone. 

 

Like travel tips? See more here.
 

 

 
Sarah

The Travel Expert

 
Travel

What To Do If You Have Booked A Holiday And Are Worried About Coronavirus

coronavirus-shutterstock-compressor

Holidays booked and worried about the Coronavirus? This guide might help.  

 

Coronavirus, COVID-19, is now a global pandemic Many people still believe we should keep travelling to non-affected areas, as we can catch it at home as well as abroad. In fact some countries have not recorded any cases yet. This website is a handy source to have, it shows you the number of cases in each country. I have also compiled a list of the latest travel updates from Ireland, with travel advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs as well as updates from various travel restrictions that are in place.

Read: Latest travel updates due to coronavirus

what to do if I want to cancel my flight because of coronavirus
 

 

 
However, for many people, especially the elderly or those with ill-health, travelling at this time can still be a bit daunting. I have received numerous emails and messages from people who have holidays or flights booked asking should they travel, and are there any additional precautions they should take. I should point out that while I like to think I am a Travel Expert, I am not a medical expert, nor have I any idea how likely or unlikely that Coronavirus will spread to more countries.

Instagram
 

 

 
I have answered your questions below to the best of my knowledge, but bear in mind that my answers may not be correct in all cases. It is imperative that you consult your airline, travel agent and insurance company to find out the impact of your own individual case. Many cruise lines have changed their cancellation and change fee policies, however most airlines have only waived change fees for new bookings only.  

Read: Latest travel updates due to coronavirus

 

 
I will update this post as soon as I receive any further information, but in the meantime, I have compiled this guide on what to do if you have booked a holiday and are worried about the Coronavirus.
 

 

 

Make The Department of Foreign Affairs Your Go-To Website. 

Regardless of where or how you booked your flights or holiday, all airlines, travel agencies and travel insurance companies use the advice of the DFA before making any decisions about whether to cancel or alter flights or allow refunds to be authorised. They also have an app which you can download called Travelwise. If the DFA advise against travel to a specific country or region, flights may be cancelled. Usually these are only announced up to 14 days in advance.

 

 

 

For instance, if you are due to travel in August, flights will still be scheduled, and normal cancellations or change fees will apply if you decide that you don’t want to go. As at 11th March 2020, DFA is advising against non-essential travel to China, South Korea and Spain. The DFA has DO NOT TRAVEL advice in place for Italy.

 

 

 

If you happen to be booked to travel to Italy within the next 14 days, where there a Do Not Travel advice is in place, airlines will cancel flights and you should be entitled to a refund. However, if you are due to travel to Spain where the advice is against Non Essential Travel – you may not automatically get a refund from the airline if your flight is still operating,
 
screen shot dfa
 
However, if you do not get a refund from your travel agent or airline, you should be able to claim from your travel insurance company, depending on the level of cover you have. However if you are due to travel to Italy or Spain in August, normal cancellation policies apply.
 
Visit DFA Website
 

 

 

Make sure you have Travel Insurance and Travel Disruption Cover.

In many cases, if you have travel insurance it should cover you if you are travelling to an affected area and need to cancel – within 14 days of your travel date. If you have not taken out travel insurance yet, do so now. It is possible that Covid-19 will not be covered on travel insurance policies in the future, so my advice is book a yearly or even two-yearly policy now. However, a moratorium will apply and the insurance will only be valid once this moratorium is over – usually 7 days. Note: new bookings will not be covered against Covid-19 if there is a travel advisory in place advising ‘all but non essential travel’ – i.e Spain or Italy.

Book Insurance Here  
 

 

 
There is an additional insurance cover that you can take called Travel Disruption Cover. I recommend you add this to your existing insurance policy immediately.  If you happen to be travelling to an area with no known Coronavirus cases yet, you can add this to your existing policy and the additional cover will be in place after seven days.

travel insurance coronavirus

 

Read: Why you need to add travel disruption cover to your travel insurance policy

Read: Coronavirus and what travel insurance covers

 

 

What to do if you have booked with a travel agency:

If you have booked a holiday via a travel agency, you are in a more fortunate position. Your travel agent should be up to date with the latest travel advice and should be able to help you if you wish to change or cancel your booking. Bear in mind that your travel agent will only be able to cancel or change your booking in accordance with the advice from the DFA and what the airlines / tour operators are allowing them to do.  

lake garda coronavirus
 

 

 

What to do if you have booked flights and hotels independently?

If you booked flights directly with the airline and a hotel via a hotel booking site, you will have to deal separately with the airline and hotel. This may not be straightforward, as there will be instances where you could be flying into an airport where there are no cases of Coronavirus recorded, but staying in a hotel where there is, or vice versa.
 

 

 
You need to understand that the airline and hotel may not be empathetic to your predicament. If you have not already taken out travel insurance, I would do so immediately, (moratorium will apply) and also add Travel Disruption Cover as mentioned above.

aer lingus coronavirus

 
 

 

 

What happens if Coronavirus is not in the country I am travelling to, but I want to cancel anyway?

Unfortunately if you don’t want to travel because of coronavirus, the tour operator, airline or travel agent is not obliged to give you a refund. It is also unlikely that your travel insurance provider will cover you because you don’t want to travel. 
 

 

 
TOP TIP: However all may not be lost! Check the cancellation fees on your booking. You may have paid more than the required deposit and maybe entitled to some refund. You may also be able to defer your booking to a later date or change the destination and pay a small amendment fee.

paris 

 

 

What precautions can I take to prevent me from getting Coronavirus?

 

The HSE and World Heath Organisation have both released statements on precautions that you can take.  It is worth noting that elderly people and those with ill-health are most at risk. 

  • Travellers should practice cough etiquette -maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing.
  • Wash hands frequently, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment
  • Avoid close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections
  • Avoid close contact with live or dead farm or wild animals

coronavirus precautions
 

 

 

What happens if you contract Coronavirus when abroad?

While I can not say what may happen to any individual, I can assure you that providing you are not travelling to a country where the DFA have advised against all but essential travel, your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses if you contract Coronavirus while abroad.
 

 

 

Other useful websites:

 

Multitrip.com – Travel Insurance

European Air Passenger rights:

RefundMe.ie

AirHelp.com

FlightRights.ie
 

 

Note the above information are guidelines only. Please refer to your airline, travel agent and travel insurance provider for individual cases.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert
 

 

 

Travel Tips

Why You Need To Add Travel Disruption Cover To Your Travel Insurance Policy

cancelled

Last year massive travel companies like Thomas Cook and WOW Air ceased trading, thousands of flights were cancelled over strikes, and currently the Coronavirus is causing havoc for travellers in 2020. If you don’t already have Travel Disruption Cover – get it now!

 

Insurance is one of those purchases that unfortunately you only really value when something goes wrong.  I always book my travel insurance with Multitrip.com and just renew it each year without asking any questions. However in light of recent events, I like many of you, found myself asking what exactly am I covered for?
 

 

Read: What to do if you have booked a holiday and are worried about Coronavirus
 
Most insurance policies will not cover you for ‘acts of God’ like hurricanes or volcano eruptions, or for airline strikes or closures. Remember the Icelandic ash cloud? 100,000 flights were cancelled and many people were left stranded for weeks. Multitrip.com however, have a Travel Disruption Cover which can be added to all policies from as little as €10 (single trip policy) and €17 (annual policy) and will provide you with additional cover in the event of adverse weather conditions, airline cancellations and even strikes.

 

Book here

 

travel disruption cover

 

 

 
Like all insurance policies however, you can’t purchase Travel Disruption Cover after something goes wrong… Once you have added it to your policy it will be effective seven days later. So don’t wait until you hear that a case of Coronavirus has been reported in the country you are going too – add it to your policy now.  Note: new bookings will not be covered against Covid-19 if there is a travel advisory in place advising ‘all but non essential travel’ – i.e Spain or Italy.

Travel Disruption Cover offers extended cover under delayed departure, missed departure and accommodation sections, should your flight be cancelled or delayed as a result of strike or adverse weather conditions.
 

 

 

    • If your flight is cancelled or delayed for more than 12 hours it covers additional accommodation and travel costs up to €1,000.
    • If your flight is cancelled or delayed for more than 12 hours then you can claim back up to €1,000 for irrecoverable unused travel and accommodation costs should you cancel.
    • Claim back up to €1,000 for accommodation if you have to be moved from your current location or cut your trip short because of flood, earthquake, volcanic eruption etc
    • Covers cancellation or curtailment charges should the Foreign & Commonwealth Office or World Health Organisation advise against travel to the country or specific area you are travelling to.
    • Gives you control of the situation and the added security that you have sufficient cover should an airline cancel, delay or redirect your flight after take-off.

 

 

 

 
Book Travel Insurance Here

 

Note some of the links in this post contain affiliate links,where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.

Related articles on the blog:

Cancelled Flight? – What to do when things go wrong.

Flight cancelled with Ryanair – You may be entitled to compensation and expenses.

Top tips for booking travel insurance.
 

 

 
Sarah

The Travel Expert

 

 

 

 

Pin It on Pinterest