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As the global situation around COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) develops, we want to reassure all our customers that we are monitoring official guidelines very closely with FCO, ABTA & GOV.

Travelsoon will continue to take all necessary measures to support your health and well-being.

Please note that we are currently experiencing a very high volume of calls to our administration team therefore we ask that If you aren’t due to travel in the next 3 days please bear with us whilst we contact our clients in immediate priority order.

If the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has not yet advised against travel to your destination, your holiday will continue as normal. If you have concerns we ask that you do not call us but rather send an email to enquiries@travelsoon.com and we will be in contact.

If the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is advising against travel to your destination, we will contact you immediately to discuss your options however If you are due to travel in the next 3 days please send an email to admin@travelsoon.com stating your, booking reference number, departure date & best contact number.

If you are considering changing your holiday, please send an email to admin@travelsoon.com stating your reference number, full name & best contact number.

Here are the official coronavirus Q&A provided by ABTA

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.

Q: Should I travel abroad?
A: While there is, generally, a low risk of contracting the virus when abroad, and there are increasing cases being reported in the UK, it is important to follow FCO and public health authority advice.  

Q: Which countries is the Government advising against travel to?
A: The FCO currently advises against all but essential travel to:

  • Spain
  • USA
  • Italy
  • Portugal
  • Czech Republic
  • Vietnam
  • Poland
  • Denmark
  • Norway
  • Archipelagos of Madeira and the Azores (Portugal)
  • Malta
  • Albania
  • Lithuania
  • Morocco
  • Mainland China
  • Sri Lanka
  • Vietnam
  • Peru
  • Argentina
  • Philippines
  • Jamaica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Some Island Resorts in the Maldives (Kuredu, Vilemendhu, Batalaa and Kuramathi)
  • San Marino
  • Cheongdo in South Korea
  • Indonesia
  • Myanmar
  • Mongolia
  • Liberia

The FCO also advises against all travel to Daegu in South Korea. 


Q: What happens if my travel plans are affected? 
A: 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.  

Q:  What are my options for postponing a trip?
A: As a result of the extraordinary situation and customer concerns over coronavirus, many travel companies and airlines are doing all they can to offer more flexible booking policies at this time, such as giving customers the option to change their travel date should they wish to postpone their holiday. In certain circumstances this may not be possible.  Customers should speak to their travel provider to discuss what their options may be.

Q. 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?
A: 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. Talk to your travel provider if you’ve booked a package holiday. They may be able to offer an alternative holiday or departure date. Alternatively, you may be entitled to a full refund of the package price. You should also check with your travel insurer to see whether you have any cover available under the policy.

Q: When am I not entitled to a full refund? 
A: The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice is in relation to imminent departures and if you have booked a package and are not due to travel imminently, tour operators will decide on an ongoing basis how far in advance they’ll begin offering alternative arrangements or providing refunds. 

Q: What if I want to change my travel plans? 
A: The situation is changing rapidly so it is too early to say whether or how your holiday may be affected by Coronavirus. 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.

Q: Can I still transit through a country or a specific resort or area of a country?
A: Where the FCO’s “all but essential travel” advice applies, it advises that you do not transit through a country or a specific resort or area of a country, for example, mainland China, whilst this is in place.

Some countries are not permitting entry to travellers who have transited through certain destinations. For example, UK citizens and residents who have been in Schengen Area countries at any point during the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival to the United States are subject to travel restrictions. 

Customers should keep up to date with the latest FCO travel advice updates for the destination they are travelling to, as restrictions can change at short notice.


Q: If I cannot follow my initial travel plans due to the Coronavirus outbreak, am I entitled to compensation?
A: You won’t be entitled to any compensation, as the reason for the holiday not continuing is outside the control of the tour operator. 

Q: I’ve booked a flight to a country where the Foreign Office currently advises against all but essential travel to a country or a specific resort or area of the country, what are my rights?
A: Speak to your airline or travel provider to check what the airline’s policy is. You should also check your travel insurance to see if this will cover any additional costs.

Q: What if I'm unsure about going on my holiday? 
A: 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.
 

Q: I have a pre-existing medical condition and do not want to travel – can I get a refund if I cancel my holiday? 
A: 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. 

Q: Countries are introducing entry restrictions and enhanced screening procedures – will this affect me?
A: Some countries are not permitting entry to travellers who have visited certain destinations within 14 days of their arrival. Customers should keep up to date with the latest FCO travel advice updates for the destination they are travelling to, as restrictions can change at short notice. Should any restrictions directly apply to you or members of your party then speak to your travel company to discuss your options.

As a precautionary measure enhanced health screening procedures have been put in place at arrival and departure areas in many countries. Travellers should comply with these processes and take relevant preventative measures to reduce the risk of exposure.

Q. If I’m over 70 or have a pre-existing medical condition and have a cruise booked, what should I do?
A. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises British nationals aged 70 and over and those with pre-existing health conditions against cruise ship travel at this time. This is based on the government Chief Medical Officer’s advice. Please read the FCO advice here.

Where the cruise is continuing, passengers aged over 70 and those with pre-existing health conditions, will need to decide whether or not to continue with the cruise and should speak to their doctor.

If passengers do not wish to travel they should speak to their travel company to see what their options are. Companies may be able to offer alternative departure dates or holidays. As the cruise is continuing, passengers are not entitled to a refund from the travel company. Passengers should contact their travel insurer to see if they can recover any cancellation charges under their policy.

Q: My child is due to go on a school trip – what should I do?
A: The government has advised schools that they should not undertake international school trips at this stage. Please see Government advice here.

This is due to concerns that the schools would face significant challenges in making arrangements to ensure children’s welfare should adult supervisors or children be required to self-isolate. 

Schools will decide how to act upon this advice, so you will need to liaise with them directly to see how this will affect any upcoming planned trips. 

Currently the Government is not advising schools to stop trips within the UK and schools can proceed as planned if they wish.

Q: There are a number of public areas and attractions that have been closed in the destination that I am travelling to – can I get a refund if I cancel my holiday? 
A: This would not normally give you the right to a refund. If excursions or attractions that are included in the price of your holiday are closed or can’t go ahead, and this significantly changes your package holiday or impacts your overall experience, then you might be entitled to a refund. If you are aware of such limitations, then speak to your travel company to discuss your options. 

Q: What should I do if I have a trip booked to a sports event and the event has been postponed or cancelled?
A: This depends on how you booked your holiday and what the terms and conditions say. If you have booked your tickets as part of a package holiday and the cancellation of the event means a significant change to your holiday overall then you will be entitled to a refund. If the event has been postponed, you should speak to your travel company about rearranging your trip once the new date has been confirmed. 

Q: I’m seeing reports of people being quarantined in their hotel, what does this mean?
A: Local health authorities may decide to impose restrictions on hotel guests while they conduct investigations or carry out tests. These are preventative measures aimed at containing the spread of the virus and customers should comply with instructions given by the health authorities.