The Coronavirus has devastated travel around the globe, and brought overseas holidays to a halt resulting in millions of cancelled holidays and future travel plans put on hold. When the coronavirus outbreak first spread, the Foreign Office began gradually warning against travel to certain countries, and between March and July it advised against all but essential travel to all overseas destinations.
Since 4 July the FCO have lifted travel restrictions for dozens of countries. Travel restrictions to Spain, amongst other countries, were initially lifted. However, it has since been reinstated due to a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country. People returning from Spain must now quarantine for two weeks upon returning home.
Luke Pollard MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport said:
“My approach throughout the crisis has been to work constructively with the Government. In countries where the ‘R’ number is rising rapidly, The Government is right to put protective measures in place. However, they have given those holidaying abroad no time to plan for quarantine by bringing in the new rule overnight.
I have heard from many people in Plymouth that how the decision has been communicated is causing them stress and anxiety. The Government has said people quarantining for two weeks after returning to the UK are not entitled to statutory sick pay. There is a whole raft of people who cannot afford to isolate because of the circumstances of their employment. If it comes to a choice between putting food on your table and feeding your family or losing your job, you’re going to put food on the table. Even if that means you’re spreading the virus.
People in Plymouth want to do the right thing, but if the advice is changing, Ministers will need to provide much more detail and more precise guidance.
There is a lot of misinformation out there regarding your rights as a consumer. If your journey has been cancelled, then you are protected by E261, enforced in the UK by the CAA. This regulation simply means passengers must be offered the choice of a full cash refund within 7 days, or re-routing (alternative flights) either at the “earliest opportunity” or a later date to suit the passenger. We have seen travel firms dragging their feet over refunds and pushing customers towards getting a voucher instead, but you are absolutely entitled to a refund in this situation.”
If you have a trip abroad planned or are already away and worried about precautions to take on returning home, The Government’s official website can be viewed here.
If you require more information about your rights as a holidaymaker, MoneySavingExpert offers you lots of information, and you can click on the link here.