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Swine flu - Allowed to travel to Cuba??
edited April 2009
Going on tuesday....worried that we wont be let in or something!!
The Association of British Travel agents has issued this information today which I felt may calm your worries. Travelling to Cuba is not currently a problem.
ABTA has issued a list of questions and answers designed to help agents properly advise customers about the swine-flu outbreak in Mexico.
The Q&A is as follows:
Q Ive booked a package holiday to Mexico, leaving tomorrow/next week and I understand that the Foreign & Commonwealth Office is advising against non essential travel. Does this mean I wont be able to go?
A. Because the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has reissued travel advice and now advises against all non-essential travel to Mexico, tour operators providing package holidays to Mexico are currently reviewing the position. If youre due to travel imminently youll be unlikely to travel with your package tour operator. While this advice remains in place customers of ABTA tour operators who have booked package holidays to that destination for the period that the advice is in force will be entitled to receive suitable alternative arrangements, or if this isnt possible, a full refund of all monies paid to the tour operator.
You may be able to recover this refund from your travel insurance but, if not, the tour operator must provide a refund.
You wont be entitled to any additional compensation, as the reason for the holiday not continuing is outside the control of the tour operator.
These arrangements dont, however, apply to travel arrangements where the FCO is advising against travel to a country where youre due to land for a refuelling stop only, unless theres specific advice against travelling through that airport.
Q. Ive booked a holiday to Mexico in the autumn. Should I change my plans?
A. Your tour operator will decide how far in advance theyll be offering alternatives or refunds, should this become necessary. The exact period will vary as the advice from the FCO can change rapidly. Please check with your tour operator.
If your departure date is some weeks or months ahead, therefore, your tour operator will keep the matter under review and contact you closer to your departure date if its necessary to change your holiday. If youre concerned, please contact your tour operator.
Q. Ive booked a holiday to the United States. Will I still be able to go?
A. Holidays to the USA are unaffected but any part of your itinerary which may involve a visit to Mexico will not go ahead.
Q. Will I get my money back?
A. While the FCO advice remains in place for package travel arrangements youll be entitled to receive suitable alternative arrangements from your tour operator, or if this isnt possible, a full refund of all monies paid to the tour operator. You wont be entitled to any additional compensation as the reason for any change to your holiday is obviously outside the control of your tour operator.
If youre overseas and the FCO advice changes to state that they advise against travel to your destination, your tour operator will either arrange for you to return to the UK as soon as is reasonably possible, or make alternative holiday arrangements where this is available or reasonably practicable in the circumstances. If no alternative is available and youre brought home early, no compensation will be payable but youll receive a refund of any unused services, e.g. accommodation costs, where your tour operator is able to recover these from its suppliers.
Q. Ive booked an independent holiday to Mexico with a scheduled airline. Will my insurance pay out since the holiday has been cancelled outwith my control?
A. With independent travel your scheduled flight may still go ahead. You may be unable to get any refund from the airline or for any accommodation bookings you may also have. But bearing in mind the FCO advice you may be able to cancel and claim a refund from your travel insurance. Check your policy.
Q. What about those already there?
A. Tour operators are reviewing their policies on an ongoing basis as the situation unfolds. However, if youre concerned please contact the individual operator wholl be able to advise you of their current policy.
Hope that is helpful,
I am a 73 year old man, suffering with asthma/emphysema, and am due to travel to Cuba on May 13th for a 24 day holiday. I undertand I may be amongst those more at risk because of these ailments, however as Cuba has not as yet (30.04.2009) banned travel from UK, can anyone advise me whether or not I should consider cancellation of this trip?
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