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Coronavirus Update - Last checked on Wednesday 1st April

David Pettitt

As we continue to deal with high contact volumes surrounding the challenging COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation, please note we are currently prioritising clients in travel date order. As our offices are now closed, we are set up to work from home, so please bear with us and we will be in touch as soon as possible. We thank you for your understanding and patience during these unprecedented times.

 

With the ongoing situation regarding Coronavirus (Covid-19), we have assembled a range of relevant information which we hope will provide both advice and reassurance to those due or planning to travel. The media are covering Coronavirus extensively and there are new developments daily. At Pettitts Travel we take your health very seriously and we are closely monitoring the situation as it evolves to ensure the safety and well-being of both clients and staff.

 

How we are informing our decisions

In the first instance the approach we take in situations such as these is to follow the advice issued by the UK Government, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and ABTA. The Government, in particular, has access to reliable first-hand information and so any changes to their travel advisories are what will alter our approach to travel to a destination. We are also in close contact with our partners and representatives around the world, particularly in affected countries, who provide us with valuable on-the-ground information. Additionally, we are using the World Health Organisation website for specific information regarding the virus and its transmission and a live tracking map produced by John Hopkins University for up to date data on Coronavirus cases. The above sources of information inform our decisions and should the situation change in any of our destinations we will immediately contact any affected clients to discuss the next steps.

 

What if the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) does not specifically advise against travel to a specific country?

In this instance we will continue to operate holidays to that country wherever possible. If you are due to travel to one of these countries but decide you do not wish to travel then there are three options

Postpone your holiday

Please contact us to see whether it will be possible to postpone your holiday to a later departure date. It is important to note that the new arrangements may incur additional costs but we will do our very best to keep any amendment costs to a minimum where possible.

Change the destination of travel

Please contact us to see whether it will be possible to move your holiday to a different destination. In this situation, depending on the cost of the new arrangements, you may incur additional costs but we will do our very best to keep any amendment costs to a minimum where possible.

Cancellation

You are free to cancel your holiday in accordance with our terms and conditions, however, please note that cancellation charges are likely to apply. If you wish to cancel your holiday we strongly recommended that you contact your insurance company without delay to see whether you are able to recover any of these costs.

Please note that a number of countries have enforced entry restrictions for travellers either arriving directly from countries where there have been major coronavirus outbreaks or have visited affected countries within the past 30 days. If you are due to travel with us or planning to book a trip within the next four weeks and are concerned that this may apply to you, please contact us at your earliest convenience as there may be implications for your forthcoming holiday.

 

What happens if the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all but essential travel to a specific country?

If the Foreign and Commonwealth Office changes its travel advisory and this affects your holiday with us, our approach changes and will be as follows:

- If you are currently in the country you will be repatriated as soon as is possible (based on you having booked a flight inclusive package originating in the UK). Alternatively, if possible, you will be offered the opportunity to move to a different country should you prefer.

- If you are due to travel imminently we will contact you without delay and discuss alternative options with you. These may include a postponement of your trip or changing the destination of travel.

- If you are travelling to that specific country but are not doing so for a few weeks or more, in the first instance we will contact you and then continue to keep you fully informed of any developments so that you are fully aware of any important dates that may be relevant to decisions about your holiday.

 

Where are current FCO travel restrictions in place?

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel for at least the next 30 days (from 16th March 2020). Any country or area may restrict travel without notice. 

 

Frequently asked questions and advice

Am I insured for cancellation or postponement?

You will need to check with your insurer who will be able to advise you about your particular policy. However, if the FCO advise does not advise against all but essential travel to the country you are visiting, it is unlikely you will be covered.

Do I need travel insurance?

We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are adequately insured and ask that you provide us with the details of your policy (insurer, policy number and contact telephone number). Please note that it is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure their insurance covers them for different eventualities.

Prescription medication when travelling

In case of unexpected travel delays we would recommend that you bring additional prescription medication for at least two weeks beyond the length of your holiday. It is also suggested that you travel with a list of the names, strengths and dosages of all medications in case refills are required.

Healthy travel habits

Regardless of Coronavirus, it is important to practice healthy travel habits which will help to prevent illness during travel. The World Health Organization (WHO) suggest the following:

- Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds

- If soap and water is not available use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer

- Avoid close contact with people suffering from cold or flu like symptoms

- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use a flexed elbow

- Avoid unprotected contact with live wild or farm animals

- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands

 

Helpful links for further information

- For up to date information relating to Coronavirus, we would recommend the following resources:

World Health Organisation (WHO)

Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)

- National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) Travel Health Pro

UK Government

John Hopkins University – live map that tracks cases worldwide

Head Office: 8-9 Orchard Business Centre, North Farm Road, Royal Tunbridge Wells Kent, TN2 3XF

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