Many of our members and plenty of Britons are looking forward to the easing of international travel restrictions, currently scheduled for 17th May. However, the government is quick to urge caution over these restrictions, and the Ski Club joins it in stressing many limitations may still be in place after this date.

This page is being update as rules and regulations change - latest update: 24th March 2021

On 17th March 2020, as part of a raft of measures introduced in an attempt to reduce the spread and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government enacted two restrictions to stop people travelling abroad. The first came as part of a package of restrictions associated with lockdown, and banned people from travelling either too far from their homes or undertaking any international travel. The second was the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, now the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), advising against travel to all countries around the world, and advising Britons to return to the UK at the earliest available opportunity.

Throughout the summer of 2020, these restrictions waxed and waned. The relaxation of lockdown measures removed the ban on international travel, even when an area of the UK was under so-called Tier 3 (or equivalent) restrictions. Various countries were added to the “Travel Corridor” list, meaning the FCDO was advising that it was safe to travel to these destinations and removing their non-travel advice.

However, throughout the winter of 2020/21, restrictions have been re-imposed. Domestically, the ban on international travel has returned alongside “lockdown” measures. 

As of April 2021, the government is imposing £5,000 fines for those who attempt to leave the country without good reason and who are therefore in contravention of the ban on international travel. All travel corridors have been closed, and restrictions enhanced with the creation of a “Red List”, countries with high case numbers or worrying COVID-19 variants; returnees from these countries must self-isolate in an appointed hotel, at their own expense, for ten days. 

On May 17th, the government hopes to lift the former set of restrictions, thereby allowing international travel from the UK. However, that this may be delayed if the “data” does not support a relaxation of restrictions. Already, the government has very publicly mooted pushing this date back to July.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), however, has offered little detail as to when they may lift their travel restrictions. In fact, with case numbers ticking up across Europe, the government has been quick to caution against expecting to be able to travel through the late spring and early summer. 

FCDO advice states that the British Government is not able to offer consular assistance should anything untoward happen. More critically, however, you may find that your travel insurance policy will not provide cover if you are travelling against this advice. The Ski Club strongly recommends reading your policy wording carefully to check it will remain valid.

Many foreign countries have been incredibly receptive to the return of British holidaymakers this summer following the incredible success of our vaccination programme. However, even if foreign nations are open to receive British tourists, there may still be several layers of restrictions making it impossible to travel.

Reminder: No cover is provided under any element of any Ski Club Travel Insurance policy, including that offered as part of Platinum Membership, if you travel against the advice of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). Similarly, no cover is provided for cancellation or curtailment if the FCDO advises against travel owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

Ski Club Travel Insurance - Customer Update

 

  • Your policy has a general exclusion for claims relating to a pandemic. Since 11th March 2020, COVID-19 has been classified as a pandemic. However, the Pandemic/Epidemic Endorsement, specifies what cover will apply in relation to Section 1 – Cancellation, Section 2 – Curtailment & Section 3 – Emergency Medical Expenses.

     

  • Your policy excludes cover if at the time of scheduled departure the FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the country to which you are travelling. Since 5th January 2021 the UK has again been in lockdown with advice against all but essential international and domestic travel.

     

  • Your policy excludes ‘a set of circumstances which you knew about at the time the trip was booked unless you could not reasonably have expected such circumstances to result in a claim’. This means that we will only consider claims where the reason for the loss was unforeseeable.

 

  1. If you are thinking of booking a trip, please bear the following in mind

 

(a). If there is FCDO advice against all but essential travel to your destination at the time you book the trip

  • If the advice remains in place at the time of departure you will not be covered for any cancellation claims due to FCDO advice, regardless of any changes to advice in the intervening period
  • No claims will be considered if you choose to travel against FCDO advice
  • If advice against all but essential travel is no longer in place at the time of departure, your policy will operate as normal and we will consider cancellation claims
  • We strongly recommend that when booking a trip you should seek clarification on the travel provider’s COVID-19 policy.

 

(b). If you book a trip at a time when there is no FCDO advice against all but essential travel

  • We will consider cancellation claims if there has been a change back to advice against all but essential travel at the time of your departure. We recommend in the first instance that you contact the airline and/or travel provider to discuss your options for amending or cancelling your trip. If your travel provider cancels your trip, they must offer a full refund. If you accept an offer of credit or a voucher, this will be considered as a cash equivalent. If you require a cash refund, you should insist on one from your travel provider.
  • If a refund or amendment to your trip is not provided by the airline/ and or travel provider under the Terms & Conditions of your trip, please contact Millstream where we will consider your claim.
  • If you choose to cancel your trip, we will not consider a cancellation claim until 48 hours before your departure date.
  • If there is no FCDO advice against travel to your destination at the time of departure, your policy will operate as normal

 

(2). Travel advice from UK nations

There may be variations on travel advice depending on which UK country you live in. It is not possible for us to provide a general statement on this subject, but we will take this into account if you submit a claim.

 

This is an unprecedented and dynamic event that we appreciate is of great concern to our customers. It is impossible for us to give definitive statements to every set of circumstances. We are committed to treating customers fairly and, subject to the above, will consider claims on their merits. Please refer to your policy document for details on how to make a claim.