Coronavirus holidays: can you get a refund if you cancel your holiday over coronavirus?

On Thurday March 5, the first Brit died from the virus, and she had not been abroad recently. More and more people in the UK are catching coronavirus, with the total number of infected people doubling to over 100 in two days. There are currently 98,440 confirmed cases of COVID-19, which is proving to be a nightmare for holidaymakers and the travel industry. How can you get a refund if you cancel your holiday over coronavirus?

Can I get a refund if I cancel my holiday?

The bad news is you can’t claim on your travel insurance because you are choosing not to go.

If the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have advised against going to the area you had planned to go to, you might be in luck.

You’re likely to get your money back if this is the case, so get in touch with your travel provider and see what they can do.


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Where has the FCO advised not to travel to?

Currently, the FCO have warned against travelling to the following countries due to coronavirus:


  • All of mainland China


  • Bertonico
  • Casalpusterlengo
  • Castelgerundo
  • Castiglione d’Adda
  • Codogno
  • Fombio
  • Maleo
  • San Fiorano
  • Somaglia
  • Terranova dei Passerini
  • Vo’ Euganeo

(However, the NHS has told people returning from anywhere in Italy to self isolate if they have symptoms)

South Korea

  • Cheongdo
  • Daegu

Check the FCO website for updates.

What if the FCO have not advised against travelling but I still don’t want to go?

You might be entitled to a full refund if you have a pre-existing condition that is declared on your insurance, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

Most members of the ABI will allow cancellations if your condition puts you at a greater risk of contracting the virus- even if the area is FCO approved.

This is all dependant on your policy and what the condition is, and you may be required to give evidence from your GP.

If you are travelling with someone on a separate insurance policy, they might not be able to cancel and get their money back.

Underlying health conditions that put people at a higher risk of catching the virus include but aren’t limited to:


Heart Disease

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease


Cystic Fibrosis


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Resolver’s consumer expert Martyn James said you might be able to get a refund if you are pregnant and your GP warns against travelling after you’ve bought insurance.

He also said: “A good travel insurance policy will have a range of clauses about cancellation including being ‘fit to fly.

“That might be because of a pre-existing condition, pregnancy, or even if you’re suffering from anxiety and you get signed off by a medical professional.”

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