Martin Lewis appeared on This Morning to give coronavirus travel advice to worried Britons. Many are wondering if it is sensible to be booking holidays at the moment, and the money saving expert gave his opinion.
Phil asked: “Would you be booking a holiday right now? Would you be booking to go anywhere you didn’t need to go?”
Martin responded: “People who work for travel companies are very upset when I answer this question.
“But I think the answer is – first of all, forseeability. I wouldn’t be booking to go away in the next two or three months, because I think certainly, that’s going to be the peak of this, and the peak of the worries about it.
“Would I book a holiday for October? Well, you might well get a cheap price, I’d make sure I had my travel insurance in place, and I would consider doing that.
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“Based on my personal vulnerability, as a man under 50 with no underlying health conditions and with a family who is young, yes I would.
“If I were 65/70, and I had some vulnerability to coronavirus I wouldn’t be booking anything at the moment.
“I would be risk averse, and that means I wouldn’t book. People who work in the travel industry, they were very upset when I said this last week – my job is to help consumers, I understand the difficulties business is in right now – all types of business, travel, retail, restaurants, it’s going to be a tough time.”
Martin also spoke about the USA travel ban, and said he predicted it would soon affect the UK too.
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Martin siad: “We’ve heard today that the United States has said travellers from the Schengen area, which is travel within the EU, are not going to be allowed to go to the US.
“Britain is not included in this but there are other countries which are stopping British travellers going to an extent.
“You have Israel, which is now saying unless you have somewhere to self-isolate that’s not a hotel for two weeks, you can’t go. India is stopping visas.
“I think it is likely we are going to see much more of travel bans. At the moment the US is saying Brits can go – I don’t think we can guarantee that there won’t come a time when they say Brits can’t go, and other countries lose their borders.”
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Martin issued further travel insurance advice as holidaymakers face cancellations due to the pandemic.
He said: “Last week I covered your travel insurance rights when it came to Coronavirus. Yet as this is a fast-changing situation with new developments daily, I’m constantly receiving huge number of questions from more concerned travellers. So, I’m going to address two of the most common new questions asked.”
Booked a ticket for an event, if it is cancelled, can you get your hotel and flight costs back if you decide not to go?
“Many events around the world, including sports (both watching and participating), festivals and more are being cancelled or postponed.
“When events are cancelled you should get the ticket money back. But the issue is if you’ve flights and hotels linked with it.
“Sadly, even if that was the primary purpose of your trip, if the Foreign Office hasn’t issued an advisory against travel to that country, then if you booked your flight, hotel and event ticket separately it’s very unlikely you’ll be covered for any costs.
“However if you booked it as a package, then there’s a chance you may be able to get a refund from your tour operator, as arguably the event being cancelled has caused a significant change to your package and you aren’t obliged to go.
“So, if you don’t have a free cancellation option for the hotel or flight, you’re probably best to wait rather than cancel straight away.
“This is because the FCO advice may change later to say you can’t go and this would trigger a travel insurance pay out. If you cancel before the FCO advice changes you won’t be able to get your money back.”
For more information from Martin Lewis on coronavirus, check his handy guide here.