FRANCE remains on the amber list, disappointing hundreds of holiday makers set to travel to the country from Monday.
The country has been excluded from the UK’s relaxed travel laws over fears of the South Africa variant.
From Monday millions of double-jabbed holiday-makers will be able to benefit from lifted restrictions as part of the eagerly-awaited “Freedom Day”.
That is, unless you are travelling to our close neighbour from across the water, as France hasn’t made it onto the green list in time for the rule changes.
Brits, even with two vaccine doses from at least two weeks ago will not be able to skip quarantine if they go to the holiday hotspot.
You’ll instead have to spend 10 days inside, once you return home.
That won’t be possible for many travellers who might not even have been planning on being in the country for that long, or might have had plans to head back to work upon return.
There’s no information on when the restrictions might lift and the country will be added to the green list either, so holiday makers face uncertainty and of course isolation if they do plan to travel.
Lots of sun-seekers might consider scrapping the break away altogether, but can you get your money back? We explain.
Can I get a refund?
You can’t get a refund just because France has stayed on the amber list.
The only thing that the category really affects is how you quarantine entering the country and when returning home.
Martin Lewis has previously explained that if a country has quarantine rules in place, it doesn’t mean you will get an automatic refund.
If a country is on the amber travel list, it means it is legal to go, but the government isn’t recommending it.
The traffic light system indicates which countries are deemed safe for Brits to travel to and what processes must be followed upon return.
But the assessed risk factors for travel are different to those of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
That means sometimes the FCDO will deem a country safe, even though it’s on the amber list.
So if the FCDO says you can’t travel to your holiday destination, then you’ll be entitled to your money back.
Alternatively, the airline should pay for a replacement flight at a later date.
But you are unlikely to get a refund if the FCDO says it’s still ok to travel there.
Consumer experts have warned though, that cancelling so close could result in being slapped with a large cancellation fee.
Consumer group Which? also warns not all travel insurance policies offer full cover for holidays that can’t go ahead due to Covid.
For example, they might cover you if you fall ill with coronavirus but not if you’re told to quarantine by NHS Test and Trace when you’re due to depart.
Therefore it’s always important to check the small print before purchasing a policy.
You can always be refunded for a cancellation if you paid by credit card under Section 75 of the Consumer Rights Act.
As long as it cost between £100 and £30,000, you should be able to claim with your credit card provider.
Can I change when I go?
Airlines like TUI and British Airways will let customers change the date of their trip without any charge.
You might have to pay the difference if the new holiday dates that you book are more expensive though.
So while you won’t get a refund, you will be able to push back your plans – and avoid forking out any cancellation fees.
By that time the rules restricting travel just from France may have changed, and you could be good to go to the country without worries of time spent quarantining.
What happens if I do still go to France?
Whilst you’re away the French authorities will force anyone who isn’t double jabbed to quarantine for seven days on arrival.
The country is only really allowing travel to those not fully vaccinated in exceptional circumstances.
From Monday returning UK residents who are fully vaccinated or under 18 will effectively follow green rules but France doesn’t come under this.
Travellers will have to take PCR tests when returning from their break and they’ll have to spend 10 days in isolation.
Firstly you must take a pre-departure test before returning to the UK.
Then whilst in isolation take another test on day two and eight, and you can take an extra day five test to be freed, if it comes back negative.
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