Greece: Crucial steps to protect against holiday losses amid changing travel corridors

Late on Monday evening minister for Transport Grant Shapps made the announcement that seven of Greece’s islands are to be axed from the UK travel corridor list. It comes amid a surge in holidays to Greece and its islands following the initial addition of the nation to the travel corridor list.

Yet in recent weeks a number of coronavirus cases linked to holidays in the country sparked Scotland and Wales to remove both nations from their lists.

Following some deliberation, England has followed suit, wreaking yet more havoc on holidays, both for those currently in Greece and others with impending plans.

Now, travel experts are sharing their top tips for Britons in a bid to help them ease financial losses as a result of shattered plans.

“The latest FCDO announcement about the Greek islands of Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos being removed from the travel ‘safe list’ is understandably going to make a lot of people apprehensive because from 04.00 BST on Wednesday the FCO advice will change to all but essential travel to these islands, which means that the vast majority of travel insurance will become invalid,” explained Tommy Lloyd, the managing director of Medical Travel Compared.

Though the FCDO nonessential travel advisory does make some travel insurance policies invalid, this does not mean that Britons should skip out on the purchase altogether.

“The first piece of advice I would give people travelling to any destination whether it’s on the quarantine exemption list or not, is to make sure they have travel insurance and then secondly check that the travel insurance covers them for coronavirus related incidents,” said Mr Lloyd.

“There are some COVID-19 specific travel insurance products on our panel that will cover you should you contract COVID-19 either before or whilst on holiday as well as provide cover should your holiday be cancelled.”

However, the timing of purchasing travel insurance is imperative, according to the expert.

“This ever-developing situation is a good example of why it is essential to purchase travel insurance at the time of booking a trip anywhere,” he continued.

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“Generally, if you booked travel insurance right now for an imminent holiday to the affected Greek islands it is likely you would not be able to claim for a cancellation.

“However, your holiday provider or airline should provide you with a refund as FCDO advice is now in place and claims should be pursued through them in the first instance.”

It is also important holidaymakers are aware of the intricacies of their insurance policy.

“If you are already in these countries your travel insurance should still be valid, but as ever, individual policies vary, I would advise making a call to your insurance provider to check,” urges Mr Lloyd.

“It is important to have a conversation with your insurer if you have any concerns, particularly because if they advise you of something, they are bound by that, so it is worth taking note of all conversations you have to clarify elements of your policy.

“Travel insurance is a hugely important part of a holiday and is often overlooked or an afterthought.”

With so many changes happening at a rapid pace, holidaymakers looking to book a vacation in the future may find themselves rethinking their decision.

“We expect to see UK travellers react rapidly and adapt travel plans,” said Jo McClintock, director of global brand for Skyscanner.

“Greek islands have been one of the standout choices for travellers this summer, but as with the introduction of restrictions for travel to France, we anticipate travellers will reconsider their travel plans.

“Travellers are opting for last-minute trips and flexible policies to reduce the impact of these changes on their ability to travel.”

The latest restriction means that anyone returning from the group of Greek islands listed to England will have to self isolate for 14 days.

Mainland Greece remains on the travel corridor list.

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