Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Last updated: 04 April 2020 09:30




Coronavirus advice for customers

https://www.abta.com/news/coronavirus-outbreak

COVID-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice

Today the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has advised against all non-essential international travel, initially for a period of 30 days. This advice takes effect immediately.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/travel-advice-foreign-secreatary-statement-17-march-2020

We operate under official advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), meaning we’re up to date with the latest developments in our featured destinations.

Some countries have imposed restrictions on entry and travel. If you’ve recently travelled overseas, your holiday plans may be affected. We strongly recommend monitoring the FCO travel advice for your destination to ensure you meet the entry requirements for your holiday. FCO travel advice can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

We advise all of our customers to take out a valid travel insurance policy from the point of making a holiday booking.

We recommend that customers check their policy to ensure that it is appropriate for their chosen travel itinerary.


Coronavirus Q&A

Updated 02 April 2020

Please see below for a Q&A for customers who are planning to travel. For full information relating to the Coronavirus outbreak please visit the Government website for more information on the risks and advice on the preventative measures.

If you have a booking with us travelling up to and including 16th April
The FCO advises against all but essential travel. A member of our team should have already been in touch with you to discuss your options. If you have not been contacted, please e-mail escalations@bluebaytravel.co.uk
If you have a booking with us travelling from 17th April onwards and you have been advised of a hotel closure.
A member of our team will be in touch with you shortly. Please be patient as we will be contacting our customers in date of departure order
If you have a Tour Operator package holiday booked travelling from 17th April e.g Sandals, Tui, Kuoni, Jet2 Holidays, Red Sea Holidays
These suppliers are making contact with us in departure date order. We’re contacting our customers as soon as we receive notification from the suppliers, so thank you in advance for your patience.
All other bookings travelling from 17th April onwards.
Your booking is currently unaffected. Should this change, please be patient. A member of our team will contact you in departure date order.
If your holiday balance payment is due to be paid.
Please contact us via e-mail escalations@bluebaytravel.co.uk or on live chat to discuss your options. You can chat to us here
What happens if the FCO advice against all travel is extended?
Please be patient. A member of our team will contact you in departure date order to discuss your options.
What happens if my travel plans are affected?
Your travel plans may be affected in different ways, depending on FCO advice. If the FCO advises against travel to a destination and your holiday arrangements have been affected, your travel provider will get in touch and advise you of the options open to you.
The safety of travellers is a priority for travel companies, and their decisions will follow Government advice, which is based on their objective assessment of risk.
Travellers are advised to read the FCO travel advice for the country they are travelling to, which includes a link through to the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) TravelHealthPro website that provides specific travel health advice for countries. The Foreign Office also has a specific page with more information on Coronavirus.
Where the Foreign Office advises against travel to a country or a specific resort or area of a country does my travel company have to refund the full holiday price?
This depends on how you booked your holiday and what the terms and conditions say. If you have booked individual services from different companies you should contact the travel companies concerned to see what alternatives or options they can offer. Whether you are entitled to a refund if you do not use the services will depend on the specific terms of each company. If you have booked a package holiday, tour operators can offer alternative holidays if they are able to. You should also check with your travel insurer to see whether you have any cover available under the policy.
What if I want to change my travel plans?
If you have concerns about your summer holiday, it is too early to say that your holiday can’t go ahead as planned. Therefore, customers with future departure dates will need to wait to find out whether the advice changes and their holiday can continue as planned. If you cancel early you may have to pay cancellation charges.
There is no legal definition of “imminent travel” and each company has their own process for managing future departures; however imminent travel is generally considered to be within the next few days. Customers should monitor FCO advice and updates and ensure that your travel provider has up to date contact details so they can get in touch.
Some travel companies are choosing to offer more flexible booking policies as a result of customer concerns over coronavirus, so check the terms with your travel provider.
Remember too that customers with an existing package holiday booked, and those considering making plans, can have confidence that there are protections in place for package holidays should the travel advice to your destination change.
If I cannot follow my initial travel plans due to the Coronavirus outbreak, am I entitled to compensation?
You won’t be entitled to any compensation, as the reason for the holiday not continuing is outside the control of the tour operator.
What if I'm unsure about going on my holiday?
Most destinations do not have any British Government advice against travel as a result of Coronavirus, and of course a number of cases have been reported here in the UK. The Government advice is based on its objective assessment of risk and will always put the safety of UK citizens first. The Government will advise against travel to a destination when it judges the level of risk to be unacceptably high. If there is no Government advice against travel to your destination, you’re free to make the choice not to go, but there's no obligation on your holiday company to give you a refund. Normal cancellation charges will apply.
It is highly unlikely that you will be able to claim any cancellation charge on your insurance as there isn’t normally cover for disinclination to travel but you can check the terms of your policy.
The safety of travellers is a priority for travel companies, and their decisions will follow British Government advice – so people can book their package holiday with confidence, safe in the knowledge that they will be looked after should the FCO travel advice change in the destination they are planning to go to.
I have a pre-existing medical condition and do not want to travel – can I get a refund if I cancel my holiday?
As with the above advice, you’re free to make the choice not to travel, but if the FCO are not advising against travel to your destination then there is no obligation on your travel company to give you a refund. Normal cancellation charges will apply.
If your GP has advised that you do not travel, and provided you with official documentation to confirm this, then you will need to check the terms of your travel insurance policy to see if you can claim any cancellation charge back