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Coronavirus travel ban - what does it mean for your trip?

Coronavirus - what does it mean for your trip?

The rapid spread of the coronavirus has resulted in school closures and strict nationwide travel restrictions. 

On 5 April, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advised British nationals against all non-essential international travel for an indefinite period, though this could be repealed at any time. The indefinite nature of the ban means that we must check the FCO advice on a daily basis to confirm that restrictions are still in place.

Information for leisure groups

This guidance is for group leaders and group members concerned about the travel ban.

  • If your trip is due to depart imminently

If the FCO advises against all but essential travel to your destination and you are due to travel imminently, defined by ABTA as the next few days, then in the first instance we would work with you to postpone the trip to a later date. If that proves impossible, then we will refund the cost of the trip.

Visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice for the latest advice.

  • If your trip is not due to travel imminently

If you wish to cancel a trip which isn’t due to depart imminently, then normal cancellations charges apply. This is because the FCO guidance could be repealed by the time your trip is due to depart. So if your group is thinking about cancelling, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can talk you through the options and help you decide which is best for your group.

Click here to view our terms and conditions for leisure groups.

ABTA offers helpful advice for customers looking to cancel a trip due to coronavirus on their website.

information regarding educational trips

The information below is specifically for schools and colleges with educational trips affected by the government guidance.

The government advises against any overseas or domestic trips for children under 18 organised by educational settings. On 5 April, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advised British nationals against all non-essential international travel for an indefinite period, though this could be repealed at any time. 

  • If your group is due to travel imminently

If the FCO advises against all but essential travel to your destination and you are due to travel imminently (defined by ABTA as the next few days) then in the first instance we would work with you to postpone the trip to a later date or switch the trip to an alternative destination. If that proves impossible, then we will refund the cost of the trip.

  • If your educational trip is not due imminently

If you wish to cancel a trip which isn’t due to depart imminently, then normal cancellations charges apply. This is because the FCO guidance could be repealed by the time your trip is due to depart. However you may be able to claim against your school or college insurance or risk protection arrangement and we will provide you with a Cancellation Statement to support your  claim. The information below gives more information about this.

help Contacting your insurer

The Outdoor Advisors Panel (OEAP) and The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC) has been working to help schools to claim from their commercial insurance for trips which they are not able to take due to government advice. They issued the following statement which has been signed off by the Department for Education:

For domestic visits and visits abroad, which have had to be cancelled as a result of government advice, the advice from the DfE is to contact your insurer. For those schools who have committed to educational visits which can now not go ahead, the government’s advice issued is sufficient and will allow schools to make an insurance claim against their policy. This includes more complex overseas expeditions, where the duration of school closure and the subsequent lack of organisational and preparation time with the students may mean that a future expedition has become unviable for a school to undertake safely even after the school re-opens.

Outdoor Advisors Panel and the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom
Joint statement 25 March 2020

 

Academies and state maintained schools with RPA

The risk protection arrangement (RPA) is an alternative to commercial insurance for academies and some state maintained schools in England. The RPA includes cover for school trip cancellation. For more information click on the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-risk-protection-arrangement-rpa-for-schools 

Further information for school and college groups

Click here to view our terms and conditions for school and college groups. 

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has also produced information on travel insurance and school insurance implications following the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. If you have any further questions about your cover or would like further reassurance, you should contact your travel insurance provider.

The government’s travel guidance for educational settings can be found here.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-advice-for-educational-settings/coronavirus-travel-guidance-for-educational-settings

For foreign and commonwealth travel advice:
https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice