While it is certainly a blow for those currently on holiday, there are also concerns for travellers who are now faced with ruined future plans.
The good news is, there are some instances in which holidaymakers will be entitled to a full refund.
Rob Gower, the founder of travel website Dragonfly Traveller, spoke to Express.co.uk to provide some clarity for concerned Britons.
“If a traveller has a ‘Package Holiday’, for example, flights + accommodation or flights plus car hire, booked to Portugal via a travel company with ATOL protection they will be entitled to a full refund for their holiday.
“If travellers booked their flights and accommodation directly as long as they booked these items together as per the Package Travel Regulations Act they too will be entitled to a refund.”
READ MORE: Holidays: Portugal removed from UK’s ‘safe’ list
“It is important to realise that many airlines are flying to countries even if there is a Foreign Commonwealth Office ban on all but essential travel to a destination.”
Though many airlines are not offering refunds, some will offer to move the date of travel or provide a “refund credit” which can be used towards a future holiday.
One thing travellers are urged not to do, however, is to take matters into their own hands and cancel their trip without consulting their operator first.
This could result in huge financial losses, as Nicky Kelvin, Head of Content for The Points Guy UK, explained.
“The recent spike in cases in Portugal has created a lot of uncertainty for holidaymakers who are considering if they should cancel their trips to a number of destinations currently deemed by the FCO as unsafe,” he said.
“It’s always best to wait for your operator to cancel rather than doing it yourself.
“If this happens, you are legally entitled to a refund.
“You may be offered travel vouchers, a change of holiday or a Refund Credit Note instead of a cash refund, so make sure you pick what choice is best for you.”
Travel insurance, of course, is another option for holidaymakers who prepared in advance.
“Make sure to double-check your travel insurance before you travel – most policies have changed since the pandemic began to exclude situations like these,” continued Nicky.
“If you wish to cancel a holiday that is still running, and the FCO isn’t advising against travel, you are not automatically entitled to claim on your insurance if you have to abandon your trip, so it’s worth checking how flexible the policy is with your travel company.
“Also remember, in the case the FCO advises against non-essential travel, your travel insurance will likely be invalid whilst on your trip if you do decide to travel, and in the case something goes wrong, you may be paying out of pocket.”
However, Mr Gower warns only some policies will payout.
“Most personal travel insurance will not cover changes to ‘travel corridors’ taking place,” he said.
“Personal Travel Insurance is there to protect travellers for health and lost baggage and will rarely cover anything else.”
Source:Daily Express :: Travel Feed