Lockdowns and holiday travel rights

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

If you have a holiday planned in the next couple of weeks and you live in  Wales, Liverpool, Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire or any part of the island of Ireland, then you are not supposed to travel.

What are your holiday rights if a local lockdown occurs?

Consequently your flight, hotel or other accommodation will need to be cancelled.

Can you claim a refund from the supplier?

Can you claim on your travel insurance?

The short answer seems to be no unless you have found a travel insurance policy that includes local lockdowns. I don’t know of one and even Battleface which does offer COVID-19 insurance certainly doesn’t cover you for local lockdowns.

Your best bet would appear to be roll you trip of holiday forward because many companies will allow you to change dates with a financial penalty.

Four of the big companies, British Airways, easyJet, Jet 2 and TUI have announced they won’t charge change fees.

At the moment, companies are more concerned with keeping the business they have gained from you so contact them and ask to alter the date of travel.

However if your holiday is outside the times of the lockdowns that have been introduced you stand less chance of moving your trips. In Ireland the lockdown is six weeks, in wales, 17 days and in Northern Ireland until the 13th of November.

But the Northern Irish government hasn’t explicitly forbidden travel as the Welsh government has, it is just not recommended. This is why holiday suppliers are unwilling to issue refunds.

In Scotland, the situation is even more confusing as to whether you have any rights especially as the country will switch to a tiered situation like England has this coming Friday. Until those rules are announced you can only second guess what the reaction of the travel trade will be to you wanting to cancel or postpone.. Once again talking to your supplier as early as possible is the best option.

And because the UK government hasn’t issued explicit travel advisories against travel overseas, airlines and tour operators consider travel to be possible.

In England tier three areas are advised not to travel into or out of the area but this is “advice” and isn’t mandatory as it is in wales. Therefore, people wishing to postpone their travel should speak to their suppliers but the supplier can say no and pocket your cash.

But in that case they will never get business from you again and you will tell others and inform the world on social media so most will accept a no-charge alteration.

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