Will I get a Jamaica refund? The Holiday Guru answers coronavirus-related travel questions
The Holiday Guru is always on hand to answer your questions.
This week his advice includes issues around flight refunds and European Health Insurance Cards.
Q. My partner and I were due to go on our honeymoon in November in Jamaica, which currently has a quarantine on return. Sandals, with whom we booked our hotel, have been great and given us a refund already as Jamaica is under curfew. However, BA says we can’t get a refund or voucher. What can we do?
Ashley Willmott, via email.
Missing out: Holidays to Jamaican resorts such as Ocho Rios, pictured, may be difficult this year
A. If you booked the flights between March 9 and now, you are eligible for a voucher or to change the flight to another date (paying any increase in fare) under BA’s Book With Confidence scheme: see ba.com/confidence. Bookings made before March 9 are under usual terms and conditions: if you do not choose to use a flight, you lose it. For Jamaican travel advice, see visitjamaica.com.
Q. My European Health Insurance Card expires next month and I do not plan to go abroad again until next year. However, given that Brexit discussions seem to have been overwhelmed by problems, would it be worth renewing the card just in case withdrawal of entitlements is delayed?
Linda Graves, via email.
A. My crystal ball is not infallible. However, applications are free of charge for this state-provided health care in the EU and Switzerland (www.ehic.org.uk), and you never know, you may squeeze in another trip after all. There is also a chance a deal will allow EHIC cards to work into 2021.
Q. We are due to go to Malta for a month in November and I understand Covid is increasing there. My wife and I are worried as we are in our 80s.
John White, via email.
A. Contact the airline and hotel to rearrange your trip. This week, there were 79 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in Malta. If you visit, you must quarantine on return. See gov.uk and maltairport.com/covid19.
Cancelling a package trip on the grounds that you fear the quarantine policy may change would be regarded as a ‘disinclination to travel’ by tour operators and insurers
Q. My husband and I booked a package holiday to Portugal last November for travel earlier this month. But we have not been able to go as my husband is a self-employed construction worker and could not afford to risk self-isolating for 14 days on return. Anything we can do?
Christine Spruce, Ainsdale, Merseyside.
A. You were right to be cautious as a quarantine-on-return for Portugal was subsequently brought in on September 12. However, cancelling a package trip on the grounds that you fear the quarantine policy may change would be regarded as a ‘disinclination to travel’ by tour operators and insurers.
This is one of the frustrations of the yo-yoing with quarantines. It is also why a test-on-arrival system for Britons returning from abroad would be much better.
One reader cancelled a trip to Portugal, pictured, over fears the air bridge would vanish
Q. I have a holiday booked for Cyprus in November and know that a negative test for Covid-19 is required. Could you advise me of reputable firms offering this test in the North-West?
Anthony Hock, via email.
A. Yes, you do need a negative test result taken within 72 hours of arrival. You could try Bupa, which has regional medical centres and tests from £65 (bupa.co.uk/health/payg/covid-testing).
WE’RE HERE TO HELP
If you need advice, the Holiday Guru is here to answer your questions. Email them to [email protected]