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Martin Lewis Explains Your Travel Rights If Your Holiday Is Affected By Coronavirus

Martin Lewis Explains Your Travel Rights If Your Holiday Is Affected By Coronavirus

As airlines begin to cancel flights amid coronavirus fears, money expert Martin Lewis has some solid advice for anyone with holiday plans.

With the spread of COVID-19 continuing, airlines such as British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair have cancelled hundreds of flights.

Now, the Money Saving Expert mogul has sent out a "big warning" to holidaymakers.

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Speaking on ITV's Good Morning Britain last week, Lewis warned travellers not to leave it too late to buy holiday insurance, calling it his ASAB (as soon as you book) approach.

"If you don't [buy insurance] and something happens in the meantime before you get travel insurance, you're not covered," he explained.

Martin Lewis from Money Saving expert often offers sound money advice on 'Good Morning Britain' (Credit: PA)
Martin Lewis from Money Saving expert often offers sound money advice on 'Good Morning Britain' (Credit: PA)

Yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson chaired an emergency meeting where he unveiled emergency plans for tackling the spread of coronavirus, stating the situation would be assessed over a 12-week period.

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This includes the possibility of seeing one in five of the workforce to ill to work, as well as school closures and reducing social gatherings - while travel policies could also be introduced.

As Lewis explained, if the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) announces you can't travel to your chosen country, you'll be covered - as long as you've already booked insurance for your trip.

"If the Foreign & Commonwealth Office rules out a country in future and you haven't got travel insurance at that point, you're not covered," he added.

In other words, don't leave it until the last minute before buying travel insurance; you should get cover as soon as you've booked that flight.

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 Travel plans could be disrupted if the spread continues (Credit: Unsplash)
Travel plans could be disrupted if the spread continues (Credit: Unsplash)

Martin added that travel insurance does not cover "disinclination to travel", meaning if you don't want to travel due to your own coronavirus concerns, rather than official bans, you won't be in line for a refund.

He warned: "Not all travel insurance policies will cover you for pandemics but you should check and talk to your travel insurer.

"If you've booked a holiday, you should have travel insurance in place now. If you don't, go and do it now."

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Some airlines are even creating flexible booking policies in line with coronavirus fears.

This week, Virgin Atlantic announced a new policy that will allow customers to change their booking for travel purchased in March with no extra fee.

Virgin Airlines has introduced a flexible booking policy (Credit: PA)
Virgin Airlines has introduced a flexible booking policy (Credit: PA)

As of this week, the total number of coronavirus cases in the UK stands at 53.

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The number of cases now stands at 93,567 across the globe. See below for the latest coronavirus cases in each country:

China - 80,282

South Korea - 5,621

Iran - 2,502

Italy - 2,336

Japan - 299

France - 240

Germany - 212

Spain - 165

USA - 128

Singapore - 110

Hong Kong - 101

Switzerland - 59

Kuwait - 56

UK - 53

Malaysia - 50

Bahrain - 49

Thailand - 43

Taiwan - 42

Australia - 42

Norway - 33

Canada - 33

Iraq - 32

Netherlands - 23

Sweden - 32

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India - 28

UAE - 27

Austria - 24

Vietnam - 16

Belgium - 15

Israel - 15

Iceland - 14

Lebanon - 13

Oman - 12

San Marino - 10

As of March 4 there were 93,567 known cases of the virus worldwide (Credit: PA)
As of March 4 there were 93,567 known cases of the virus worldwide (Credit: PA)
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Denmark - 10

Macao - 10

Croatia - 9

Qatar - 8

Greece - 7

Ecuador - 7

Finland - 7

Mexico - 6

Pakistan - 5

Algeria - 8

Czechia - 5

Romania - 4

Portugal - 4

Philippines - 3

Azerbaijan - 3

Georgia - 3

Russia - 3

Brazil - 2

Egypt - 2

Indonesia - 2

Afghanistan - 1

Andorra - 1

Armenia - 1

Belarus - 1

Cambodia - 1

Dominican Republic - 1

Estonia - 1

Ireland - 1

Jordan - 1

Lithuania - 1

Luxembourg - 1

North Macedonia - 1

Monaco - 1

Nepal - 1

New Zealand - 1

Nigeria - 1

Sri Lanka - 1

Diamond Princess cruise ship - 706

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

Topics: Life News, Life, coronavirus, travel, Health

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Ciara Sheppard

Ciara is a freelance writer working for Tyla. After graduating with an English Lit and Media degree from the University of Sussex, Ciara held jobs at GLAMOUR and Yahoo Style before packing up for a solo travelling trip around South America.