The FCO has changed its travel advice for Spain, advising against all but essential journeys to the mainland.
Anyone travelling into the UK from Spain (including the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands) will now have to self-isolate for 14 days, effective immediately.
This has thrown holidaymakers’ plans into chaos, as thousands of Brits are now faced with a mandatory two week quarantine they didn’t plan for.
Many are unsure if their flights are still going ahead, whether they’re entitled to a refund, and what happens if they’re already on holiday in Spain.
Here’s what you need to know:
Is my holiday going ahead?
Package holidays to mainland Spain will not go ahead, as the FCO currently considers it too dangerous.
The FCO does not advise against travel to the Canary Islands or the Balearic Islands, so holidays to these locations may still proceed as planned.
However, holidaymakers returning from the Canary or Balearic Islands will still have to quarantine for two weeks.
You should check with your operator to find out if your package holiday is going ahead – and what happens if you no longer want to travel.
What happens if your flight is cancelled?
While TUI has suspended all Spanish flights, other airlines (including EasyJet and British Airways) are continuing to operate as normal.
You should contact your airline to find out your options if you no longer wish to travel.
If you ignore the FCO advice and go to Spain anyway, your insurance will be invalidated and you will be forced to self-isolate for two weeks when you get back.
EasyJet has released a statement, and is allowing customers who no longer wish to travel to Spain to transfer their flights without paying a fee, or receive a voucher for the value of their booking.
What happens if you ignore FCO travel advice?
The FCO currently advises against all but essential travel to mainland Spain.
If you ignore this advice, and go on your holiday to Spain anyway, your travel insurance will not be valid and you will not be covered in the event of an accident or emergency – even if it’s unrelated to coronavirus.
I’m already in Spain – do I need to return to the UK?
According to government guidance, if you are already in Spain you do not need to cut your holiday short.
You will, however, have no choice but to quarantine for 14 days upon your return.
As long as your trip started before the FCO advice changed (on Saturday 25 July), your travel insurance should still be valid.
Will I be able to get a refund?
This depends on what type of holiday you have booked.
Package holidays to mainland Spain will be cancelled, and you will be offered either a refund or the opportunity to rebook.
If you have only booked flights, you should check your airline to see what they are offering.
As hotels in Spain are currently open, you will probably not be able to get a refund on any hotel bookings.