Covid-19 and UK travel
While the Covid-19 pandemic continues to limit and disrupt international travel, with restrictions and measures aimed at keeping coronavirus under control, travel within the UK has now opened up for us all to enjoy.
Here, we’ve provided links to the latest government guidance for the four countries of the UK and what restrictions on travel mean for your holiday and travel insurance. Plus, why it’s important to make sure that you’re properly protected when you go, even if you’re staying on home soil.
Always check before you travel
If you're planning a UK break, it's important to make sure you’re working with the very latest information before travelling anywhere. Always check the latest government instructions and guidance for your part of the UK. You can do that here:
If you’re planning a trip overseas, check it’s permitted and safe to do so first with the latest Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice.
• It’s your responsibility to check and follow the latest government guidance before taking a trip anywhere
• If you travel against any official advice – here or in a country or region you’re travelling to – you’ll likely invalidate your travel insurance policy and could even face a fine
Travel insurance for UK staycations
When you take any break – from a short break to a full holiday or an extended period of travel – it's important to consider holiday insurance to cover you and anyone in your household who’ll be joining you on your trip. And not just if you’ll be leaving these shores.
Lots of Brits think they don’t need travel insurance for trips they’re taking within the UK. This isn’t always the case, though, and having cover in place can provide much-needed help and reassurance if something goes wrong.
The cover you need for UK breaks – as well as the type of policies that will provide it – depends on the kind of holiday you’re taking there.
For instance, if you have an annual multi-trip policy there may be a minimum requirement of two or more nights’ pre-booked accommodation before you can make a claim. But if you have a single-trip policy it may not have a minimum requirement.
Let’s look at what’s already covered when you holiday in the UK, and why else you might need the extra cover travel insurance provides.
What is already covered?
Lots of people take out travel insurance to protect themselves against getting ill on holiday.
In EU countries, it can help to pay medical and some other expenses not covered by the UK Global Health Insurance Card (Ghic), such as air rescue or repatriation if you needed them.
In the UK, where the NHS is free at the point of service, health insurance isn’t necessary for staycation holidays. But that’s not the only reason people get travel insurance.
Why might I need travel insurance for holidays in the UK?
1. Protect your possessions
This depends on the type of holiday you’re taking. Think about what you’re going away with. Since you’re holidaying within the UK, you may be tempted to be a bit more extravagant in the things you take with you.
In fact, you might have some quite valuable possessions with you – such as gadgets like smartphones, tablets, cameras and handheld games consoles. Since you’re staying in the UK, you might take more jewellery than you would overseas. If you’re driving, you may make use of the extra boot space to take more clothes than you would if you were flying.
If you have contents insurance with an away-from-home add-on, you needn’t worry about loss or theft to these items. But lots of people don’t opt for this extra, and it may not be included as standard.
If your possessions aren’t covered by your contents insurance when they’re outside of your house, then travel insurance is necessary to make sure they’re protected.
It’s also important to check what your contents insurance covers. Some may not provide cover for accidental damage, which is another important reason to consider getting travel insurance.
2. Safeguard your holiday
Lots of things can happen that can prevent you from going away, from a relative becoming sick or your car breaking down. If something unfortunate happens and you have to cancel, travel insurance could be vital to help recoup holiday expenses.
If you have travel insurance for a pre-booked holiday but you’re suddenly unable to go due to an accident or other unforeseen circumstances, travel insurance may provide a lifeline. Especially if you’ve already paid some or all of the cost of the trip.
Some policies now provide cover for cancellation or curtailment due to coronavirus in some circumstances, though you should check the policy wording closely for what is and isn’t covered.
3. Insurances for any trip
If you’re someone who travels often, you could benefit from an annual multi-trip policy. This will normally include cover for holidays within the UK as well as other trips you take abroad.
This type of policy also means that you can take holidays in the UK frequently on the same policy, rather than having to worry about trips on an individual basis.
If you’re confident you’ll only be going away once in a 12-month period, you may get better value from a single-trip travel insurance policy instead.
Some common questions
We’ve answered some of the questions you might be asking about travel during Covid-19 restrictions, including staycations in the UK. You’ll find answers to questions about Post Office Travel Insurance policies in general here.
Are UK holidays allowed at the moment?
Yes. Travel within and between all devolved nations of the UK is allowed at the time of writing (10 May 2021). So if you're looking to book a break on home soil you can safely do so unless the official government rules on domestic travel change.
When can I go on holiday in the UK?
The short answer is anywhere, as long as you follow the rules and guidance set out by the UK's national and devolved government or England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
These pages provide up-to-date information on what travel is allowed in each country and any restrictions that are in place. If you're looking to travel overseas instead, the FCDO has guidance on international travel.
Check this guidance regularly and before you travel anywhere as it can change at short notice. If you travel against this advice the cover your travel insurance policy provides won’t be valid.
Will my travel insurance cover cancellation of my holiday due to Covid-19?
If you have an existing travel insurance policy, whether it includes cover for cancellation or curtailment due to coronavirus may depend on the provider, policy type and when you bought it. Some providers introduced extra cover for coronavirus on new policies during the pandemic’s first few months.
Please remember that travelling against official travel advice will likely invalidate your policy altogether.