The coronavirus outbreak is causing disruption to international travel. Has it affected your plans? We explain your rights.
Since the UK Foreign Office advised against all but essential travel to mainland China, we’ve been getting lots of questions about what this means for your travel plans.
We’ve put together this Q&A to answer some of the most common concerns.
— Foreign Office 🇬🇧 (@foreignoffice) January 28, 2020
At this stage, you’ll only need to cancel your trip if you were planning on visiting mainland China.
Some airlines, including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, have cancelled flights to the country and are refunding passengers.
There are no other travel restrictions in place at the moment, so most travellers going abroad can get on with their trips without problems.
Some airlines operating across Asia are running reduced services. It’s worth checking your flight is still going ahead if you’re due to fly internally across Asia.
There may also be some delays at airports because some are screening passengers for the virus as they arrive.
If you have any other questions, ask them in the comments below and we’ll do our best to get back to you.
I’m meant to be travelling to China soon, what should I do?
The UK Foreign office has advised against all travel to China until further notice, so unfortunately you’ll need to cancel your plans if you’re due to travel in the next few weeks.
We don’t know how long this advisory will last, but you can check the foreign office website for updates.
You should get a full refund from your airline or travel company in this situation if you’re forced to cancel.
You won’t be entitled to any compensation though, because a travel advisory due to a disease outbreak is considered an extraordinary circumstance.
I’m about to travel to another country that has reported cases of coronavirus. Can I still go?
Other countries that have reported a number of cases of the virus include Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea and Japan.
The UK Foreign Office hasn’t advised against travel to any other region so far, so it’s still considered safe to travel to these destinations.
My connecting flight was cancelled due to the coronavirus, am I entitled to a refund?
If your flight starts or ends in the UK, your airline should reroute you or refund your full fare.
My internal flights in Asia have been cancelled or delayed because of travel restrictions due to coronavirus. Can I get my money back?
It will depend on the airline’s policy, but you should be refunded if a flight has been cancelled.
Check the airline’s policy for how they deal with delays – not all of them have the same protections as EU departing or returning flights.
I’m from the UK and currently living and working in China. Will my travel insurance be affected?
Because the official advice is to leave China, your travel insurance will be invalid if you choose to stay.
You’ll need to find another insurance policy that will cover you in this situation, or arrange medical cover locally.
I’m due to travel abroad soon but I’m worried about catching the virus. Can I cancel my travel plans?
Unless you’ve booked to travel to, or via China, you won’t be able to cancel or get a refund on any other travel arrangements.
The risk of picking up the virus outside mainland China is still low according to the World Health Organisation.
If you were due to travel through China on a connecting flight, contact the airline or travel agent you booked with. You should be able to arrange to be rerouted.
Has the coronavirus outbreak affected your travel plans? Have you had any issues cancelling or amending your bookings?