BRITS have been advised against all non-essential travel outside of the UK as coronavirus cases continue to soar across Europe.
The new advice warns travellers to avoid leaving the country for 30 days, or risk being stranded or out of pocket.
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Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab warned Brits not to travel abroad as it could not only spread the virus, but could leave people stranded as flights are grounded and borders are closed.
He said: “With immediate effect I’ve taken the decision to advise British nationals against non essential travel globally, for an initial period of 30 days and of course subject to ongoing review.”
He added: “UK travellers abroad now face widespread international border restrictions and lock downs in various countries.
“The speed and range of those measures across other countries is unprecedented.”
Here is what you need to know if planning to travel to Europe, or you have a trip planned.
Can I still travel to Europe?
The current advice from the Foreign Office is to avoid all but essential travel to countries in Europe: “The FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.”
This includes flights, trains and ferries, meaning cruises and the Eurostar are also advised against.
Brits can choose to ignore the warning if they want to head abroad – but they risk being stuck without return flights as repatriation is “unrealistic” at this time.
Travel insurance will also be invalid if going against the advice of the government.
The lockdown is currently in place for 30 days, although this could be extended.
The borders between countries in the EU could also close today – French President Emmanuel Macron announced that the EU’s Schengen zone will be closed to outside travellers from today.
What if I have a holiday to Europe booked?
As the government has warned against all but essential travel, this means Brits who have booked package holidays will be offered refunds, as they are ATOL-protected.
Airlines have already cancelled a number of flights, with travellers being offered refunds or alternative flights for a later date.
Virgin and Norwegian are just some of the airlines which have massively cut routes, by 80 per cent and 90 per cent, respectively.
If your flight is still going ahead, you might be able to change it for free – airlines such as easyJet, Ryanair and British Airways are allowing travellers to move their flight dates free of charge to a later date.
Brits will need to go through their travel insurance if they have booked hotels – independent hotels are not required to refund money even in this instance, so if you have paid in advance and choose not to turn up then you will lose your money.
If the hotel is a large chain, it could be worth asking to change your stay to another location or delay your trip but they are under no obligation to grant this.
Airbnb are also allowing anyone who has booked between March 14 and April 14 to have a full refund without additional charges.
Airports in the UK could be closing within weeks unless the government steps in, according to experts.
Here is the full list of countries and their latest travel advice.
While Brits are advised against travelling abroad, some countries are still open for tourists.
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