Travel warning: What do I do about my holiday?

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has recently extended its advice against all but essential international travel “indefinitely”. In an update on the FCO social media accounts, it warned the situation “is changing rapidly” and travellers could face “severe disruption” and be unable to return home.


The FCO had previously issued guidance against all but essential travel while lockdown rules were in place.

However, as the coronavirus pandemic continues globally, the advice will now be in place for the foreseeable future.

On March 23, all British nationals were told to return to the UK.

The FCO website reads: “As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel.

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“Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.

“If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available.

“Many airlines are suspending flights and many airports are closing, preventing flights from leaving.”

In light of the FCO’s recent announcement, many people will have questions about upcoming holidays they may have booked.

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According to travel brand ABTA, passengers with future bookings should “be patient and wait to be contacted” by the travel company they booked with.

The ABTA coronavirus update reads: “The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) currently advises against all non-essential overseas travel for British nationals.

“This advice could be in place for the foreseeable future, however, this travel restriction can be removed at any time, so travel companies are doing their best to manage arrangements for customers.


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“Each company will have their own process for managing future departures and will be contacting customers due to travel imminently.

“There is no legal definition of ‘imminent travel’, however it is generally considered to be within the next few days.

“Our advice to customers with future bookings is to be patient and wait to be contacted by your travel provider.

“Travel companies are extremely busy, given the pressures of the current crisis, and will be looking at imminent departures first and deciding how far in advance they will offer alternative arrangements or refunds.”

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Once your travel provider gets in touch, you will be able to discuss alternative travel arrangements.

Some travel providers may automatically issue you a refund, or you may be able to request a refund.

You may also be able to rebook for a later date.

Many travel providers are being flexible with bookings at the current time.