Will the coronavirus affect my holiday? Impact on UK flights, trips and insurance

27 February 2020, 16:26 | Updated: 17 March 2020, 16:43

The virus has spread around the world and many have lost their lives
The virus has spread around the world and many have lost their lives. Picture: PA

The coronavirus has killed a whopping 2,814 people in total so precautions need to be taken.

The coronavirus has now spread way beyond Wuhan, China, and there's already 15 confirmed cases in the UK, after 7,690 people have been tested for it.

Those who have been to China, Iran, Northern Italy, South Korea, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan or Thailand in the last 14 days are being warned to call NHS 111 and stay indoors to avoid further spreading.

However, there are thousands of Brits who have booked trips abroad over the next few weeks, and could be uncertain of what's happening in terms of flights or their insurance.

Here is all you need to know.

The virus will affect some holidays so make sure you're well-informed
The virus will affect some holidays so make sure you're well-informed. Picture: PA

Flights

The majority of airlines throughout Europe have stated that they are still running as normal, and aren't offering free cancellations or alterations at the moment.

In a statement on Thursday, BA said it was cancelling some flights to and from Milan Linate due to a decrease in passenger numbers travelling to the region.

“To match reduced demand due to the continuing coronavirus issue, we are merging a small number of flights to and from Milan.

"We will be contacting customers on cancelled flights so we can discuss their travel options: including alternative British Airways flights within two hours of their original departure time where possible, full refunds or booking for a later date of travel.”

BA has cancelled some of its flights as a result
BA has cancelled some of its flights as a result. Picture: PA

WizzAir also announced on Thursday that it would be adjusting schedules to Italy due to decreasing demand.

It will cancel 60% of flights into Italy from across Europe between 11 March and 2 April.

This includes one UK route from Luton to Bari in southern Italy.

Passengers with bookings affected by the change will be informed and offered alternative routes at the earliest available date.

Insurance

As it stands, most insurance firms are stating that they won't cover them if people wish to cancel holidays to any European countries (other than North Italy).

They've stated that as the FCO advice has not changed for the rest of Europe, people should contact tour operators to cancel their plans, and then check the terms and conditions of different insurance policies.

Alpha insurance has stated that they can change policy dates without a free if customers are able to change the dates of their trip.

Some firms have different approaches to others
Some firms have different approaches to others. Picture: Getty

Allianz Partners has reported a large number of claims related to the outbreak have been filed, however, the majority aren't from the UK and are from the USA, Canada, Australia and China.

It is also “handling several highly-sensitive customer cases including several confirmed cases and customers still under investigation”.

The insurer still recommends customers contact them to be dealt with on an individual basis as “eligibility for coverage depends on the customer’s travel insurance policy and the specific circumstances in the country in which the policy was purchased”.