Brits who have booked holidays this year could lose money if told to self-isolate via a “test and trace” app.
Holiday companies Loveholidays and Travel Republic told Which? they can’t garantee a refund for any customer who is advised not to travel after coming into contact with someone who has COVID-19, and they may not be able to rebook either.
Expedia and On The Beach said they would “do [their] best to help” but didn’t confirm whether they would allow rebookings.
Lastminute.com did not reply to a request for comment.
“The package travel regulations do not cover the situation where a customer in the UK is told to self-isolate under the test and trace system,” Loveholidays said.
It would depend on whether the airlines, hotels and other parts of the holiday agreed to reschedule, it said.
“In the circumstances that these suppliers do not offer free amendments for the customer, their normal cancellation terms will apply and the customer would be advised to check if they can recover these amounts from their travel insurance provider.”
However, many travel insurance policies will not help in these circumstances either.
“Self-isolation may not be covered if there are COVID-19 exclusions in policies,” the Association of British Insurer told Which?
Almost all policies sold since the beginning of lockdown have had COVID-19 exclusions.
And many insurers won’t cover you for anything — from lost bags to life-threatening injuries — if you choose to go on holiday while the government is still warning against all “non-essential travel” to outside countries.
Nine insurers still offering policies — AllClear, Boots, Ergo, Esure, JS Insurance, NFU Mutual, Saga, Sainsbury’s and Staysure — will not cover you if an “all but essential” warning is in place, even if you deem your trip to be essential, separate research by Which found?
However, some said they would make exceptions in “exceptional circumstances.”
Brits who are asked to self-isolate when they are supposed to be on holiday may end up losing thousands.
Holiday companies refusing customers the option of changing their dates could end up spreading COVID-19, Which? warned.
Since self-isolation is voluntary, potentially infected customers may decide to travel rather than lose their money, putting other passengers and people at their destination at risk.
Only in the last week has COVID-19 cover been available for the first time – from brands Cedar Tree, Cover For You and Outbacker.