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Traveling soon and you have doubts because of corona? This is what you need to know

7 Apr 2020
by Willy van Knippenberg

You have the planned a holiday to Tenerife (or another place affected by the corona virus), what should you do? As long as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not issued a red or orange code, there is actually no reason not to go. If you are unsure, you can always cancel. Just keep in mind that this can cost you money, even if you have cancellation insurance. A virus outbreak is not a valid reason to cancel with most insurers. Only a single insurer offers this, but only in the most extensive cancellation insurance, the so-called all-risk policy.

What if the government issues negative travel advice?

In that case too, the cancellation insurance offers little relief; Just as with a virus outbreak, a negative travel advice is not covered by most insurers, unless it concerns this comprehensive policy. Fortunately, there is (a little) good news for the affected traveler: in case of negative travel advice, you can contact your travel organization. When the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against traveling to a certain destination because a code has been issued in red, or if the trip is no longer actually feasible, for example because an airport is closed, you can rebook or cancel your trip free of charge. The good news applies only to those who have booked a package holiday.

Anxiety is no reason to cancel

What if an outbreak occurs during your holiday, such as recently at the hotel in Tenerife?
The local authorities then determine what happens. It is possible that guests are quarantined in the hotel, such as in Tenerife. Your government or the tour operator has no control over this.

Are travelers who are in a quarantine hotel reimbursed for the extra costs?

Hold on: the tour operator will only cover the first three nights. Those extra nights, the return flight, the extra meals or other costs are all for the account of the customers. And then it is to be hoped that people have travel insurance.

What happens if negative travel advice is announced while you are just at that destination?

If you are already traveling and the travel advice has just changed to code red, the travel organizer must provide help and assistance. The tour operator must arrange everything in a package (flight and accommodation). For those who have booked a single ticket and hotel themselves, they have to pay the cancellation costs themselves or can therefore claim on their travel insurance. This also applies to all costs incurred if you are forced to stay longer somewhere.

Maybe better to wait a while before booking your trip for the summer holidays?

Because of all the corona issues, travel companies are stunting with prices. For example, you can book a 9-day trip with a flight and hotel in Brazil for less than 400 euros. Whether it is wise to do that, everyone must of course decide for themselves.

Before travel, the advice of travel organizations to customers is to inform themselves well about the destination and to keep an eye on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If you are going on a trip, look at the conditions when taking out your travel and cancellation insurance and look for extensive coverage that covers negative travel advice. Note: few insurers offer such coverage and, moreover, the insurance must have been taken out before the negative travel advice was published.

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