It’s a difficult time for the whole world. Our lives will be changed from now on and entire industries will have to adapt to the new situation. The travel industry is among the most affected because of the Coronavirus pandemic and we prepared a series of answers for your most frequent questions.
Should I be traveling right now?
The realistic answer is no. Now is not the right time to travel, no matter your destination. Stay at home, protect yourself and your loved ones and follow government advice. Avoiding your future journey means being responsible and it is an essential measure in the current context.
Restrictions continue to be put in place worldwide. Yesterday the US State Department issued guidance advising Americans to reconsider overseas travel. For the next 30 days all travel has been suspended for non-US nationals coming from 26 European countries to the US, including if you transit through the Schengen zone. Ireland and UK are excluded. In addition to this, India announced that from 14 March it is suspending all visas, effectively halting inbound travel to the world’s second-most populous country. The situation is changing rapidly, hence the seismic developments. Other restrictions remain in place in China, Italy and Iran.
What if I have booked travel to a destination that is not currently on the restricted list?
The answer you are looking for is this: Travel insurance will not cover any disinclination to travel, even in the current circumstances. However, some carriers are offering flexible options for changing tickets. You won’t face extra change fees, given the situation. As usual, the level of flexibility depends from carrier to carrier.
Some carriers took the decision to cancel their flights, while others continue to operate. All in all, you will generally not be able to get a refund if you decide not to travel.
Booking a trip now: bad or good idea?
Given the fact that we don’t know when the situation will improve and nobody can predict the evolution of things, we would advise you to wait and analyze the situation. You have greater flexibility now if you haven’t already booked a trip.
Tour operators will be expecting a wait and see approach from customers, so will be preparing incentives for the point at which the immediate crisis has passed.
What about travel insurance? It is valid?
You should check the coverage and make sure you are covered if you have a policy. But keep in mind you are responsible for your own actions. You should not travel to a destination where you have travel restrictions. The fact is that the majority of the policies were sold before the Covid- 19 spread and it is unlikely they cover the Coronavirus issues.
The operator is refusing to allow me to cancel. What do I do?
If you booked a trip in the summer, for example, the operator might refuse your cancel request because they will also be planning for business operations to recover. Therefore they are unlikely to relax their policies for the summer if they do not have to.
Do you have extra questions regarding the Coronavirus and travel? Share them with us!