Caronavirus: what the holidaymaker should know

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

It wasn’t only health officials that were asked questions about the impact of coronavirus yesterday. We here at Just about Travel had some as well.

The virus began in Hubei province in China

And the answers we give are the best we can give at the time of writing and you should check with professionals if you are affected and not rely on what we might say as being the final word.

If you go on holiday and are subject to restrictions because of coronavirus and miss your return flight through no fault of your own you airline has a duty of care and will return you to the UK provided that you have an ATOL certificated holiday. If you have just bought a flight then contact your airline for their view.

If you had a holiday booked and it is to an area where coronavirus has caused restrictions and you decide not to travel, the chances are that you will be unable to get a refund. Some tour operators are switching customers to other packages at no cost but you will need to speak to your provider.

If you have been to an area near to where there is an outbreak eg the ten villages in Lombardy in India, then the guidance is not to do anything differently unless you develop a cough, a high temperature or generally feel unwell. Some however are self-isolating for a period just as a precaution.

Public Health England says that for the virus to spread a person should be with a few metres of someone who is infected and be there for about fifteen minutes.

The incubation period is thought to be 14 days within an infected area but if you leave that area after fourteen days it is just possible you might pick it up as late as the 14th day and that is presumably why some countries are putting their citizens into isolation on their return.

If, after a holiday, you return and have to undergo a 14 day self-isolation period and are unable to go to work or school then your employer is not under a duty to pay you. Statutory sick pay should be available to make up some of the cost of lost pay.  You need to discuss this with your employer.

If you have school-age children, schools won’t look at it as truancy or that you have a child out of school in term-time. They would rather the child be at home than infecting a whole school.

To repeat, we believe this is accurate at the time of writing but do check as views are constantly being refined as more knowledge is leant about coronavirus.

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