Strict quarantine rules for people entering the UK from overseas are likely to prompt more people to book staycations here this summer once lockdown rules are eased.
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office is advising against all but essential travel to all countries overseas indefinitely, and from 8 June, anyone coming into the UK from abroad, including returning holidaymakers, must self-isolate for two weeks.
Nearly a third (30%) of people are hoping to take a post-lockdown trip within the UK, according to research by travel insurance provider Allianz Assistance, with 69% keen to take a holiday sooner rather than later, or as soon as it’s officially confirmed as safe to do so. Currently people are not supposed to stay overnight anywhere other than their homes, but campsites, B&Bs, self-catering accommodation and hotels could start to reopen in England from the beginning of July.
Salman Haqqi, personal finance expert at financial website money.co.uk, said: “As more details emerge on government plans to quarantine people flying into the UK, it adds even more pressure to the already struggling airline and holiday industry. Preventative fines, aimed for travellers breaching two-week quarantine rules, mean the UK is essentially closed this summer to inbound holidaymakers.
“But, for the UK domestic tourism industry it is a different story. A significant rise in staycations will mean seaside towns which rely on tourism, as well as hotels, Airbnb hosts and local attraction owners, will be hoping to welcome an influx of visitors as the restrictions ease further.”
Travel insurance for UK breaks
If you’re hoping to buy travel cover a UK break, bear in mind that many insurers have stopped selling travel insurance temporarily, and some comparison sites have suspended their travel insurance comparison services. This is because if anyone books a break and ignores FCO advice that only essential travel should go ahead, and UK government instructions not to go on holiday, their travel insurance will be invalidated and they won’t be able to submit a claim. If you buy cover and travel restrictions are lifted, then the terms and conditions of your policy will apply. Bear in mind that you won’t be able to buy travel insurance that includes cover for coronavirus-related claims and cancellations.
If Government advice changes and allows UK holidays, then you should take out travel cover at the same time you book your break. Even though you won’t be protected in the event of coronavirus-linked claims, travel insurance should provide cover if you have to cancel your break for another reason, or if your personal belongings are lost or stolen when you’re on holiday. If you have home content insurance, this might include protection for your valuables when you’re away from home, but make sure you read your policy small print carefully so you’re clear on which of your possessions are covered and which aren’t.
If you are planning to book a UK break this summer, it’s worth checking the cancellation policy of the hotel or other accommodation provider you’re hoping to use, to make sure you can get a refund if lockdown rules aren’t relaxed by the time you’re due to go away. You should also pay any deposit that might be required by credit card, as this will provide you with financial protection if the place you’re supposed to be staying at runs into financial difficulties and has to go into administration.
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