Solicitors answer coronavirus questions on travelling to affected areas, working from home and caring for relatives with the illness

As coronavirus continues to spread around the world, here are the answers to some of your main concerns around work and travel.

By Sophie Brownson
Sunday, 8th March 2020, 3:19 pm
Updated Sunday, 8th March 2020, 4:32 pm

The advice comes after outbreaks of coronavirus in these areas and have been put in place to ensure protection and prevention of further spreading.

I am due to travel to an area affected by coronavirus, will my insurance cover me?

Travelling against official government advice makes your travel insurance void, in most cases solicitors advise.

This will mean that you are unable to make any claims against your insurance policy, whether it is related to coronavirus or not.

If you travelled to an affected destination before the travel advice changed, it is best to contact your insurance provider as soon as possible.

Electronic board on the A194 at Jarrow, giving advice on the Corona Virus

My flight has been cancelled due to coronavirus, what am I entitled to?

Airlines that have cancelled flights due to COVID-19 outbreaks in destinations should be offering refunds to all passengers affected.

Alternatively, if you have booked through a travel agent you should be able to make alternative arrangements to change your itinerary.

Travellers staying in private accommodation such as an Airbnb, should review what the local authorities at your destination are advising.

If you are using an Airbnb, and your destination is affected by coronavirus, you may be entitled to cancel your booking without charge if you request to do so.

Will I lose my holiday entitlement because of coronavirus?

If you have travelled from an area with a coronavirus outbreak you may be asked to self-isolate.

If you are feeling well, yet have to be quarantined, you are entitled to your usual pay if you are able to complete your work from home.

Customer facing employees, such as hospitality workers, who are asked to self-quarantine face a more complicated process around being paid, Naughtons’ legal team warns.

If you are not sick, but are unable to go to work because of coronavirus, you are not entitled to statutory pay.

Employers may pay you at their own discretion, however most customer facing workers are having to use their holiday pay.

My employer told me to stay off work, but I do not have any symptoms?

Your employer has a duty of care to its staff and customers, for this reason you may be asked to stay home if you have travelled from an affected area.

However Naughtons’ solicitors say you may be entitled to pay if your employer’s concern does not match official government advice.

However, if you have recently been to an area suffering from a COVID-19 outbreak, current self-quarantine regulations may not cover your pay.

I am caring for a family member with coronavirus, what about work?

If you are caring for a child, relative or friend with coronavirus, your employers are under no obligation to pay you.

In order to be paid for emergency time off when you are looking after someone with coronavirus, you will need to use your holidays, unless you can work from home.