Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis has issued an urgent warning to anyone travelling to Spain after the Government made a sudden decision to pull the holiday destination from the safe travel list.
It means anyone coming back from Spain will have to quarantine for 14 days.
The rule comes after a spike in coronavirus cases in Spain, reports The Mirror, and could be rolled out to other countries with Italy, France and Greece all reported to be at risk.
Speaking after the decision at the weekend, Martin said: “Do think very carefully before going to Spain. Even though I know some people are arguing, rightly, that there are some areas of Spain badly affected and there are other areas that aren’t.
“Well the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is advising against all but essential travel to mainland Spain.
“You wouldn’t have travel insurance cover, it’s not worth it.
“You trip over, you bang your head, you need treatment, you’re in hospital, you need flying back, it’s not worth it, things happen.”
Martin has also issued advice for people whose flight is set to go ahead – but they don’t want to go.
Airlines easyJet and British Airways have both confirmed that their schedule is unchanged.
But TUI cancelled all flights in line with its pledge to not take holidaymakers to countries where they have to self-isolate.
But if your flight does go ahead, it will be tricky to receive a refund, Martin has warned.
He said: “I’m afraid you don’t tend to have any rights. What you would look too is your travel insurance company.
“Now this is where it gets difficult, you will be covered if you booked your travel insurance and your flight pre-pandemic, you are likely to be covered.
“So you can go and talk to them, not all of them but most.”
But he warns that if your holiday or travel insurance was booked after the Foreign Office advice changed in mid-March, you are unlikely to be covered.
He said: “All the policies we’ve checked won’t cover you, the only one that may cover you is if you have a Nationwide Flex Plus package account that you pay for each month.”
Brits booked to head to the Canary Islands or The Balearic Islands may also be in trouble if they don’t want to go.
Martin said: “It is worth remembering that you are allowed to go to the Canary Islands and Ibiza.
“The Foreign Office says you can go but just have to quarantine when you come home.
“Again that’s even worse in some ways if you don’t want to go, as even old travel insurance policies won’t cover you as it’s a disinclination to travel.
“Their issue isn’t that you have to quarantine on the way back.”
Martin has warned that many holidaymakers set to travel to Spain could lose money.
He said: “I remember in March saying at the time that there are going to be substantial circumstances when people lose money on travel.
“And those people who booked a holiday recently to go to Spain, even if you have travel insurance, you’re not going to be covered in most cases if the flight and hotel is still on.
“They would say that’s your issue. I would be trying to take advantage of any opportunities to move your flight for free.
“Because a refund is unlikely. I’d also be taking advantage of any ATOL credit notes which are now backed by the government.
“I’d be talking to the hotel about trying to move your booking to the future as you’ll struggle to get a refund.
“Of course, ask them for one but if you’re getting a blanket ‘no’, don’t expect your travel insurance to cover you.”
A UK government spokesman said: “The Joint Biosecurity Centre together with Public Health England have updated their coronavirus assessments of Spain based on the latest data.”
“As a result, Spain has been removed from the lists of countries from which passengers arriving in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are exempted from the need to self-isolate.
“Both our list of quarantine exemptions and the FCO travel advice are being updated to reflect these latest risk assessments.”