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Covoid 19 (Coronavirus) Questions & Answers

Updated 15 March 2020


The evolving coronavirus situation is extraordinary and the Foreign & Commonwealth (FCO) advice in relation to specific destinations is changing rapidly, so it is very important that anyone due to travel imminently checks the FCO advice for their specific destination and liaises with their travel provider. Travel companies are working around the clock to support customers, their decisions will be guided by the operational situation and Government advice. Given the extraordinary volume of enquiries, and the rapidly changing situation, the best course of action for travellers with future bookings is to monitor and follow FCO advice for the destination they are travelling to, and wait for their travel provider to contact them if the situation changes in regards to their booking. Many travel companies are doing all they can to offer flexible booking policies at this time, such as giving customers the option to change their departure dates without charge, so we’d recommend talking to them about the options that are open to you.

General advice for travellers

Cases of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) have been reported in locations in a number of countries throughout the world. Some destination authorities have introduced enhanced health measures, so it is very important that travellers follow the public health advice relating to a local destination that they are travelling to. Travellers should also keep up to date on local advice during their visit.



Travellers are advised to read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice for the country they are travelling to, which includes entry requirements and a link through to the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) TravelHealthPro website that provides specific travel health advice for countries. 

As a precautionary measure enhanced health screening procedures have been put in place at arrival and departure areas in many countries. Travellers should comply with these processes and take relevant preventative measures to reduce the risk of exposure.

Some countries have also introduced entry restrictions for people travelling from certain countries, travellers are advised to read the FCO travel advice and sign up to email alerts for the country they are travelling to, as these are subject to change at short notice.

Further information on Coronavirus, including advice on preparing for foreign travel and helping reduce the spread of the virus, is available from Public Health England and on the TravelHealthPro website.

Coronavirus Q&A

Please see below for a Q&A for customers who are planning to travel. For full information relating to the Coronavirus outbreak please visit the Government website for more information on the risks and advice on the preventative measures.

Q: Should I travel abroad?
A: While there is, generally, a low risk of contracting the virus when abroad, and there are increasing cases being reported in the UK, it is important to follow FCO and public health authority advice.  

Q: Which countries is the Government advising against travel to?
A: The FCO currently advises against all but essential travel to:

  • Spain
  • USA
  • Italy
  • Portugal
  • Czech Republic
  • <
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Staying Safe In The Sun - Advice from Abta

Advice for travellers
Carry cooled water with you when travelling, drink plenty of fluids, avoid excess alcohol and wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes. Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm, avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day and aim to walk in the shade. Ensure you apply sunscreen and wear a hat and sunglasses as additional protection if you are outside.
Check that other people are ok, especially older travellers, young children, babies and anyone with underlying health conditions. Beware additional heat stress that being in a parked car brings. Avoid leaving anyone in a closed, parked car or vehicle, especially babies, young children or animals.
If you are at the beach or by a pool, take care and follow local safety advice when you go into the water to cool down [5].
If you feel dizzy, weak or have intense thirst and a headache, move to a cool, shaded place to rest and drink water or fruit juice to rehydrate.
Seek medical attention for any unusual or new symptoms such as confusion or vomiting. If you develop painful muscular cramps or other symptoms, such as dizziness or a persistent headache that does not resolve, seek help.

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First Time Holiday Makers - Abta Advice For Young Holidaymakers / Youth Safety

Stick together

  • Look out for your mates – step in if you think they’re doing something silly or dangerous and make sure you stick together, including when you head back to your hotel after a night out. 
  • Swap numbers with everyone in your group – make sure you all have each other’s phone numbers and set-up a group chat on a messenger service like WhatsApp. This will make it easier to get in touch if one of you gets separated.
  • Download ‘Find My Friend’ app to your phone – this will allow you to share your location with the rest of the group so you can easily find one another if you get lost.
  • Use offline map apps on your phone – Google Maps, Maps.Me and Citymapper allow you to navigate outside of your hotel without needing to rely on your data/Wi-Fi. You can also save locations (such as your hotel) in case you get lost.
  • Don’t feel pressurised – just because your mates tell you to do something doesn’t mean you have to. If you’re in a large group, stick with the people you feel most comfortable with.


Look after your belongings

  • Have an emergency stash of cash – have some extra cash on you away from all of your other money, that way if your money gets lost or stolen you’ll have some more as a back-up.
  • If you have a safe, use it – don’t carry all of your money on you, just take out what you need each day and store the rest in your safe, along with any other valuables.
  • Take another form of ID – if you have another form of ID, like a driving licence or student ID card, it might be worth taking it with you to use as proof of age. That way you can leave your passport in your room in the safe. Although some countries require you to carry your passport at all times. 
  • Contact reception or the night porter if you lose your room key – or stay in a friend’s room. Never try and access your room via your balcony. It can also be worth paying for a spare key and keep it on you somewhere safe, away from the other key. 
  • Your travel company is a great source of advice and help – if you’re looking to do an activity they’ll either be able to sort it out for you or advise on the most reputable companies to book with. Remember to save their number in your phone just in case there is any sort of problem or an emergency.


Enjoy yourself responsibly

  • Alcoholic drink measures are often larger abroad – so be aware that what you’re drinking is likely to be much stronger than what you’re used to in the UK. As you would do when you are out back at home, keep an eye on your drinks at all times and don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know.
  • Booze and balconies don’t mix – so use your balcony sensibly, especially if you have been drinking. Never lean over, sit or climb on the balcony wall or railings, and don’t climb from one balcony to another.
  • Don’t swim if you have been drinking – alcohol can impair your senses, alter your sense of distance and make you feel disorientated in the water. At any time of day, be aware of warnings about currents or riptides in open water.
  • The best selfie is a safe one – people have been seriously injured and even died when taking selfies on holiday. Make sure you are aware of your surroundings when taking your photos. 
  • Be wary of people trying to sell or offer you laughing gas (nitrous oxide) – legal highs such as laughing gas are widely available in some holiday resorts, they can be very dangerous to inhale and can lead to serious health issues. These risks are likely to increase further if laughing gas is mixed with alcohol. 


Before you travel

  • Make sure you know what you’ve booked – that way you will know what to expect on arrival. Booking with an ABTA Member can help you find the best place to visit, taking into account your budget and the type of holiday you’re after.
  • Tell your parents about your travel plans – leave a copy of your itinerary with them, or someone you trust back home, including contact details for where you are staying. And keep in touch, a quick text every day will let them know you are safe.
  • Leave a scanned copy of your passport with your parents – in the event you lose your passport this will save you time if you need to apply for a replacement and your parents will be able to contact the British Embassy in the country you’re staying in to provide proof of your identity.
  • Take out travel insurance  – make sure it covers you for all the activities you want to do and leave a copy with your parents or a trusted friend back home. Carry the policy number and insurance phone number on you too so that you or your friends have it to hand if you need it. If you do get taken ill, call your insurance company, they have the experience to know how you can get the best help. 
  • Make a note of the emergency services number – in most European countries it’s 112 but may be different if you’re travelling to a destination further afield. 
  • Get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) (if applicable) – it’s free and provides access to state medical care. But it does not include repatriation to the UK if you are seriously ill, so it’s important to get travel insurance as well. 
  • Check the local laws and customs – these will often be entirely different to the ones you are used to in the UK and may lead to serious penalties if broken. For example in Croatia, walking shirtless or in swimming costumes is frowned upon in town centres and can lead to an on-the-spot fine. You can find out more about any safety and security advice for the country you are travelling to by visiting www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.


Activity safety

  • Only ride quad bikes as part of an organised trip – never use one on main roads. If you do decide to take a quad bike trip, make sure you are booking with a reputable company and always wear a helmet and the correct safety clothing.
  • Ask your instructor for a safety briefing – these are important before taking part in any adventure activities and let your instructor know if there is anything you don’t feel comfortable with.
  • Think twice before hiring a moped – they leave riders very vulnerable on the road and at risk of serious injury. There are always safer alternatives such as hiring a car, taking a taxi or using public transport.
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Brexit - Important information to share with our customers
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Q: What are the opening times for customer services?

A: Customer Services is open
Monday to Friday : 09.00 – 20.00
Saturday : 09.00 - 17.00
Sunday : 10.00 - 16.00
(The best time to call is between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.).

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Q: My question hasn’t been covered here. Who should I contact?

A: Please call Customer Services on 01708 412 280

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Passengers with Reduced Mobility:

The majority of the Travel Services that we offer are generally suitable for all persons, however it is your responsibility to advise us, prior to booking, if you have reduced mobility or of any conditions/disabilities that may affect your holiday. Upon your request we will enquire with the Service Provider about the suitability of the Travel Service for you, taking into account your specific needs. Travelsoon cannot however guarantee the suitability and it is therefore recommended that you also make your own independent enquiries to ensure the Travel Service of your choice is suitable for your particular requirements before making your booking.

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Q. What should I take in terms of first aid?

A. Try to include a few essential items in your luggage. Even the most basic first aid kit should include insect repellent, plasters, antiseptic cream, prescribed medication, cotton wool, and after-sun.

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Q. Which sunscreen factor should I apply?

A. It is advised to choose one that says it protects against both UVA and UVB radiation from the sun. This may be labelled ‘broad spectrum'. The SPF (sun protection factor) tells you the amount of protection the sun cream gives against UVB radiation. It is recommended to buy at least factor 15 as it gives the best balance between protection and cost. Generally cheaper sun blocks are just as effective as expensive one as they are all tested in the same way. Although it is important to check the ‘use by' date, most creams last around 2-3 years.

Sun block guide:

Factor 15 - only 7% of the harmful UVB rays will get through

Factor 30 - only 4% of the harmful UVB rays will get through

Factor 60 - only 2% of the harmful UVB rays will get through

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Q. How can I avoid sunburn?

A. Take care. Even when it's cloudy you can burn. Babies and children are particularly susceptible to sunburn and high factor sun protection is essential. The same is true of adults, particularly those with fair skin. The best advice is to keep out of the sun when it is at its most intense. The sun is at its strongest in the middle of the day, between 11 am and 3pm. During this time stay in the shade when you can, or if there is no shade it is advised to protect your skin with clothing.

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