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UK quarantine rules for travellers returning from Spain
Posted 30 August 2020

Following the announcement by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) on 26th July 2020 advising against all non-essential travel to mainland Spain due to COVID-19, tifgroup would like to outline what steps are available to policyholders.

The UK Government have also made it a requirement that all travellers returning to the UK from Spain (including the Balearics and Canaries) will need to provide their journey and contact details and also must self-isolate for 14 days.

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Where should I go in the first instance if my holiday is cancelled or if I cannot commit to the 14 day quarantine on my return?

Package travel regulations (PTR)

If a customer has booked via a travel agent or tour operator or has booked more than one thing, that must include;

  • Flight
  • Accommodation
  • Transfer

Then the trip is considered as packaged and the below applies:

  • Trips cancelled due to FCO advice would therefore fall within the remit of PTR and be eligible for a refund.
  • Trips where access is restricted or public life is subject to significant limitations (closures of tourist attraction etc..) should give passengers the right to cancel their trip with refund via PTR.
  • If passengers have a medical condition for which exposure to the COVID-19 is particularly dangerous, current advice is they should have the right to cancel their package travel contract if the risk of contamination with COVID-19 at the travel destination or its immediate vicinity is declared high by the competent authorities.





Flight company and Air Passenger Rights

Flight companies are regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority. If your flight operator cancels or can’t fulfil your flight then there is protection available under something called the ‘Montreal Convention’. Some airlines are going over and above their requirements and so it is important to contact them in the first instance to find out what support they can give you.

Flight cancellations by the airline need to be claimed directly from them, your insurer will not consider a claim unless you have sought a refund from your airline in the first instance.

All around the world, passenger rights for international flights are protected under the Montreal Convention. Essentially, this piece of law states that the airline is responsible for you if your flight is cancelled and/or you are left stranded at an airport waiting for a flight. These measures of care include:

  • Meals and refreshments
  • Communication to the outside world (two occasions)
  • Hotel accommodations when necessary
  • Rerouting to your final destination

In countries like Canada, Israel and the Member States of the European Union, your rights are protected even further.

Like any piece of law, it is complicated and not that easy to read! But below is a link and if you google CAA and Montreal Convention then you will find some useful information online that may help you.


Existing Policies – changes

My trip has been cancelled. I don’t need to claim but I want my insurance premium refunded.

You will need to visit the website or email the company you bought your policy from with your policy details, reason for the refund request and confirmation that you are not intending to claim, or that you have not had a previous claim on your policy and the team will be able to refund your policy premium in line with the cancellation terms in your policy wording. They may be taking longer than usual to respond to queries but they will get back to you.

Can I change the travel date on my current travel insurance policy?

  • For Single Trip policies that have not yet started, we are happy to shift the dates to a trip which is within a year of the date you purchased the policy. Please note that this may be subject to a premium adjustment if the new trip is to a different geographical area and/or different duration to your original dates.
  • If you wish to move your policy to trip which is more than 1 year ahead of when you purchased your original policy, this may also be subject to a premium adjustment due to having cancellation cover for an extended period of time.
  • We are not able to amend the start dates of a Multi Trip Policy or any policy where the start date is in the past.

Currently abroad

I am currently travelling abroad, is my policy still valid?

If when your trip started there was no FCO advice against all but essential travel, then your policy is still valid. Please check the advice on the FCO website for all relevant information in your destination (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice).

If you choose to ignore this advice, then we will be unable to continue insurance coverage beyond the date that you were physically able to return back to the UK.

How do I get home?

You would need to urgently speak with your booking agent in order to get a flight back to the UK.

Please note: We are not be able to assist in getting you home unfortunately, unless this is due to your injury or illness, and this has been agreed by our assistance team. It is important to note that medical repatriations are currently being prioritised to ensure the safety of those who are unwell and the assistance team will not be able to support you with returning back to the UK due to FCO advice.

Are the costs of returning home early covered under my travel insurance policy?

This type of situation is not usually covered under travel insurance policies. We understand however that many transport providers are offering ticket changes at little or no cost to customers affected by change in FCO advice.

In the first instance, we would recommend that you contact your tour operator/travel agent to see if they are able to re-arrange your return travel for you. If you are travelling independently from a tour operator/travel agent, you should contact your airline/transport provider to see if they are able to alter your return ticket. There are some details further down the page as to who you can approach to support you before submitting a claim to our team.

You will need to evidence that you have approached and been refused a refund for these costs before we will consider a claim.  You should also check that you purchased a policy which covers curtailment due to FCO advice changes.

You can look at the curtailment (cutting short your trip) section of your policy wording to see if a change of FCO advice is covered.