Holidays to Croatia could be under threat as a sudden surge in coronavirus cases begins to creep across the nation. Though the country is currently on the UK’s quarantine-free travel list, sudden rises in the virus have led to the rapid removal of countries such as Spain and France. Experts suggest that Croatia could be next to face the chop.
However, this is likely concerning news for the thousands of Britons who have impending holiday plans.
Since it’s placement on the list, Croatia has reported a surge in tourism traffic.
In fact, Croatia has recorded 7.2 million overnight stays so far this month.
According to the Croatian tourism board, it is around 70 percent of last year’s figure for the same period.
Yet, if the country is suddenly axed, it could mean devastation for would-be travellers.
“With Croatia passing the Government’s quarantine benchmark, travellers returning to the UK from the Balkan nation could now face 14-day isolation upon their return,” explains Nicky Kelvin, director of content at The Points Guy UK.
“Cases in Croatia have now passed the threshold of 20 infections per 100,000 in a seven day period, with 162 recorded on Sunday alone.
“As a popular holiday destination for British travellers, some 20,000 tourists could potentially be left in the lurch if another quarantine is introduced.”
If Croatia is axed from the travel corridor list, holidaymakers currently in the hotspot will face a 14-day period of isolation upon their return back to the UK.
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Those with pending plans could see them cancelled if the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) reinstated its travel advisory against all non-essential travel to the destination.
“Similarly to the situation in Spain, a quarantine could be enforced very quickly and could leave a lot of tourists in a tricky situation,” the travel expert continues.
“The reintroduction of a mandatory quarantine for another popular destination would create more uncertainty for holidaymakers who now may be considering if they should cancel or postpone their trips to the former Yugoslav country.”
Though Britons may want to act fast to cancel and avoid disappointment, Nicky has a vital warning.
“If you have a trip coming up in the next few days and are unsure on the best option, it’s always best to wait for your operator to cancel rather than doing so yourself,” he states.
“If this happens, you are legally entitled to a refund.
“You may be offered travel vouchers, a change of holiday or a Refund Credit Note instead of a cash refund, so make sure you pick what choice is best for you.”
Holidaymakers who cancel their trip themselves risk losing money.
Travel insurance is also vital for those who are impacted by a potential travel ban.
“Ensure you double-check your travel insurance before you travel – most policies have changed since the pandemic began to exclude situations like these.
“If you wish to cancel a holiday that is still running, and the FCO isn’t advising against travel, you are not automatically entitled to claim on your insurance if you have to abandon your trip, so it’s worth checking how flexible the policy is with your travel company,” Nicky explains.
“If Croatia is added to the quarantine list, I would recommend being incredibly careful with booking.
“If the FCO advises against non-essential travel to Croatia, your travel insurance will likely be invalid whilst on your trip if you do decide to travel, and in the case something goes wrong, you may be paying out of pocket.
“It’s unwise to travel without cover generally, let alone in the current situation.”
Though many Britons are desperate to get away following months of lockdown measures, the current uncertain landscape presents a number of worrying scenarios according to the expert.
He concludes: “Overall I would urge travellers to remain cautious about booking to any destination with a rise in cases – even if upon arrival back into the UK, you are able to quarantine without impacting your work, don’t forget to consider the insurance implications and the prospect airlines may cancel flights as certain routes lose popularity.”
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