Revealed: Holiday bargains (with Covid cover) abound if you are brave enough to book before the ‘green list’ is announced
- The Government is due to announce which countries will be on its ‘green list’
- Prices could shoot up after this, so booking now secures today’s low prices
- Several firms aim to reassure early-bird bookers by offering free Covid insurance
Every week our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at an important holiday topic, doing all the legwork so you don’t have to. This week: Best-buys that won’t be ruined by coronavirus.
Bargains abound if you are brave enough to book a holiday before the Government announces which countries will be on its quarantine-free ‘green list’.
With overseas holidays due to be allowed from May 17, booking now secures today’s low prices, which may well shoot up when the starting gun for summer is fired – and that could come as soon as Friday.
Safe summer fun: The main port on the Greek island of Kos
If you fancy a sparklingly clean resort with no fewer than eight swimming pools set amid the lunar landscape of Lanzarote, the stylish H10 Rubicon Palace costs from £387pp in July (onthebeach.co.uk).
Or pick the Mitsis Summer Palace Beach Hotel with an infinity pool looking out over the Aegean Sea on the Greek island of Kos. Book now for September and a week costs from £407pp (loveholidays.com).
Another palace is on offer from Saga, which offers flights and all-inclusive weeks at Madeira’s palm-fringed Monte Mar Palace Hotel from a rock-bottom £549pp up to the end of October (saga.co.uk).
But what happens if your chosen destination goes on the red or amber list, which means that you must quarantine on return? Or if you come down with coronavirus just before departure and are unable to travel?
Several firms aim to reassure early-bird bookers by offering free Covid insurance with every holiday, although this is no substitute for buying normal travel insurance which also covers travellers for lost luggage, accidents, injury and many other things that can go wrong when overseas.
Coronavirus cover with On The Beach can repay cancellation costs if you get the illness within 14 days of a holiday. It also pays cancellation costs and lets customers rebook right up to check-in if you are denied boarding after failing a temperature test at the airport.
Saga has a holiday deal to Madeira from a rock-bottom £549pp up to the end of October
Similar pre-trip cover from Love Holidays pays out if you cancel after someone in your group, or even a close family member who isn’t booked on the holiday, contracts the illness prior to the trip, while Saga now includes Covid in the medical expenses and emergency section of its top-rated policy that is offered free to customers on its holidays, ocean and river cruises.
Brittany Ferries includes free cover for medical bills for anyone booking its holidays. Claims can also be made if you need to cut short a holiday due to a coronavirus emergency at home. There’s also a free policy for passengers taking Emirates flights which pays a daily amount of £110 if you have to quarantine overseas.
Other companies are relaxing their terms and conditions to cope with the pandemic.
Book a British Airways package and you can cancel up to check-in if your chosen destination goes on the red or amber list
Book a British Airways package and its ‘book now, change later’ policy, which has always allowed you to cancel up to three weeks before departure, now lets you cancel up to check-in if the Government suddenly introduces new quarantine rules for your return (ba.com/holidays).
Holidays from Trailfinders continue to come with peace of mind as customers’ money is, as usual, put in a ring-fenced client account so refunds are paid fast if trips are cancelled due to coronavirus.
Book with the reborn Thomas Cook and if a travel ban means your holiday can’t go ahead, a refund is promised in 14 days. If NHS Test & Trace insists that you must self-isolate when you are due to travel, you can also avoid fees when switching your holiday to a later date.