Turkey quarantine: Your holiday refund rights if you can’t go due to fears Turkey may be added to UK’s quarantine list


THOUSANDS of British holidays to Turkey could be at risk over fears the popular tourist destination may be the next country to be added to the UK’s quarantine list.

The number of Covid-19 cases in Turkey is on the rise – yesterday 1,256 people tested positive making it the highest daily rate since June.

The number of coronavirus cases is on the rise in Turkey

Currently, Turkey’s air bridge with the UK has not been affected, meaning at the moment Brits can holiday there without needing to isolate for 14 days.

But many holidaymakers will be worried about whether their trip will be able to go ahead.

Others may be looking to cancel or postpone the holiday to avoid a mad dash home if Turkey is added to the list, like Brits in France had to do on Friday.

“Your legal right to a refund for flights or a holiday only covers you if the trip is cancelled by the provider,” explains consumer expert Martyn James from complaints group Resolver.

“In theory, if your flight or holiday hasn’t been cancelled then your right to a refund comes down to the terms and conditions of your booking.”

Here, we take you through your refund rights if you’re worried about an upcoming holiday to Turkey:

Can I get a refund if I cancel my trip?

The first thing you should do if you’re worried about an upcoming trip is talk to your travel provider as they may be able to rearrange your holiday for another time.

Remember though, they don’t have to as government guidance is that Turkey is still safe to travel to without having to quarantine on your return.

Whatever you do, do not cancel your holiday. If you do, you won’t automatically be entitled to your money back.

You’re only entitled to a refund if the tour operator or airline cancels the trip not if you decide that you no longer want to travel.

What’s more, if you do terminate your trip you may have to fork out for cancellation fees too.

This covers admin costs and to compensate the travel firm for the risk of not being able to sell your holiday to someone else.

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) guidelines say that travel companies have the right to charge you for a trip you cancel because of the two-week coronavirus quarantine rules, even if they weren’t in place when you booked it.

The fees vary depending on the company and how close you are to the start of your trip that you cancel.

For example, TUI charges a cancellation fee of 30 per cent if you change your mind between 69 and 63 days before you’re due to travel, or 100 per cent if you cancel within 14 days of your holiday starting.

You’ll find the cancellation fees charged by your holiday provider in the terms and conditions of your booking.

Airlines also have the right to charge you the appropriate cancellation fees that are outlined in your booking if you decide you can no longer make the trip.

These also vary depending on which company you booked with but the fees will be outlined in the terms and conditions.

Can I get a refund through holiday insurance?

The number of travel insurance policies taken out in March ballooned by a shocking 277 per cent in the wake of the outbreak, according to comparison site GoCompare.com.

But since then, most major insurers have stopped the sale of new policies altogether or removed cover for trouble caused by Covid-19.

Some have returned offering coronavirus medical cover for when you are abroad but most still won’t cover cancellations caused by the pandemic.

You will need to check with your travel insurance provider to see if it will cover you for cancellations caused by the 14 day quarantine rules.

It’s unlikely that they will pay out if you’re worried about a quarantine period being enforced – you’ll need to at least wait until Turkey is added to the list, but there’s no guarantee it will be.

Travel insurers typically pay out for trips cancelled due to Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice not to travel, but not if you simply want to cancel your trip.

You may find that your insurance does cover you in this instance if you have a pre-existing medical condition that could make travelling risky given the coronavirus climate.

If you do claim on your travel insurance, also bear in mind you’ll likely have to pay a fee known as an “excess” on any claim.

Can I claim a refund through my credit card?

You will only be able to claim a refund through your credit card if the holiday provider has cancelled your trip, not if you choose to terminate it.

Speculation is that tourists travelling to the UK from Turkey will have to quarantine for two weeks, not that the FCO will remove it from its safe to travel list.

If a travel ban isn’t enforced on Turkey, your holiday is very unlikely to be cancelled.

If your trip is cancelled by the provider, your credit card may payout the costs.

Credit card payments of between £100 and £30,000 are covered under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

This means where you don’t get the service you paid for, eg. your trip is called off, your credit card provider is jointly liable and you can reclaim costs from it.

To start a claim, you need to contact your credit card provider directly.

For flights and hotels booked by debit card you may be able to claim a refund via the similar Chargeback scheme if your provider has cancelled your booking.

This also applies to credit card bookings of under £100.

As with Section 75, Chargeback can be used to reclaim cash for goods and services you didn’t receive.

But unlike Section 75, it’s not a legal requirement so there’s no guarantee you’ll get your money back.

To start a Chargeback claim, you need to contact your card provider within 120 days of the transaction.


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