New guidance requiring travellers returning from Spain to self-isolate has thrown holiday plans into disarray for thousands.
Holidaymakers already abroad, and those planning to travel, may or may not be entitled to refunds depending on individual circumstance.
What are my rights if I’m currently in Spain?
If you arrived in Spain before the government announced the fresh quarantine measures, your insurance should cover you as normal.
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You’re unlikely, however, to receive any compensation from your travel insurer for enforced quarantine upon your return home.
Check your insurance policy carefully to see what your individual entitlement is.
What are my rights if I’ve got a holiday to Spain coming up?
Package holiday providers and airlines will likely cancel trips to Spain given the Foreign Office has now advised against all but essential travel to the country.
In this case, you are entitled to a refund, and should seek this from the company you booked with.
If you can’t get a refund this way, your travel insurance provider may pay out if the policy covers you for a change in government advice, and was taken out before the FCO guidance for Spain was changed.
If your holiday provider has not cancelled your booking and your travel insurance doesn’t cover you for change in government advice, the situation is a bit trickier.
In this case, it may be best to request to rebook your holiday for later dates - though holiday companies are under no obligation to fulfil this request.
Will my insurance be valid if I go to Spain regardless?
As the UK Foreign Office is now advising against all but essential travel to mainland Spain, it is likely your travel insurance will no longer cover you if you decide to go ahead with the trip regardless.
Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert, has advised holidaymakers to very carefully consider whether any upcoming trips to Spain are worth it in light of this situation.
He told The Mirror:
"You wouldn't have travel insurance cover, it's not worth it.
"You trip over, you bang your head, you need treatment, you're in hospital, you need flying back, it's not worth it, things happen”.
Since the guidance has changed, it’s very unlikely you’ll be able to find an insurance policy able to cover you while abroad in Spain or any other “red list” country.
What if my trip hasn’t been cancelled, but I don’t want to go?
Unfortunately, if your holiday provider or airline hasn’t cancelled your trip, it can be difficult to obtain a refund.
In this case, you would again have to look at your insurance policy.
If you booked your travel insurance and flight pre-pandemic, you should be covered.
However, if you booked after FCO guidance changed in mid-March, there are few insurance policies that would cover cancellation on your terms, rather than cancellation by your accommodation or flight provider.
With restrictions changing daily, make sure to stay up-to-date with the latest advice on travel, and always check the wording of your insurance policy carefully to see what you’re entitled to.