Should you hold off booking a holiday because of coronavirus?

Women wearing masks on the tube
Reported cases are quickly spreading across the world (Picture: Rex Features)

Coronavirus continues to spread as panic buying has begun and hand sanitiser has been put on sale for up to £360.

At the time of writing, the number of confirmed cases of the virus in the UK is 164.

The John Hopkins University stated on Friday that over 100,000 people worldwide have contracted coronavirus, with Italy reporting around 4600 cases – the most for any country outside of China and South Korea.

Naturally, this has many wondering if they should cancel any planned holidays as the outbreak persists…

Should I cancel my holiday to Italy?

With Italy proving to be Europe’s most affected area – with schools and universities already closed – many might be thinking of cancelling any planned trips.

An empty restaurant in Rome
Italy’s tourist board is trying to encourage people to keep their holidays (Picture: Rex Features)

Airlines have already begun cancelling numerous flights between the UK and Italy for the next few weeks, and the Foreign Office has advised against ‘all but essential travel to 10 small towns in Lombardy (Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and San Fiorano) and one in Veneto (Vo’ Euganeo)’.

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The Foreign Office website also adds: ‘If you’re returning to the UK from Italy, consult the latest advice from the Department of Health and Social Care on actions to take.’

The Italian tourist board has released a statement in a bid to reassure tourists that it’s safe to visit.

The statement read: ‘To date only 0.05 per cent of Italy is affected by extraordinary measures of temporary isolation of some Italian cities.

‘The remainder of the country, including the Italian regions where the cities in temporary isolation are located, is safe and accessible.

‘All services and activities for citizens and tourists are normally provided and the quality of life, for which Italy is famous world-wide, remains high.’

Cancelling holiday due to coronavirus – is it necessary for other countries?

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) have said that most destinations do not have any British Government advice against travel as a result of coronavirus.

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The Government will advise against travel to a destination
when it judges the level of risk to be unacceptably high. If there is no
Government advice against travel to your destination, you’re free to make the
choice not to go – but there’s no obligation on your holiday company to give
you a refund.

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Protecting your finances can be nearly as important as your
health so MoneySuperMarket told Metro.co.uk it’s
imperative that ‘as soon as you book a holiday or a flight, it’s vital that you
take out travel insurance.’

‘If you book to go somewhere and buy insurance before the government
issues advice against “all but essential travel” to that destination, you
should be able to claim under the cancellation section of your policy.

Travel disruption cover may enable you to claim for the cost of a cancellation or other problem that arises out of the coronavirus situation and which would not be otherwise insured.’

Is there anywhere you shouldn’t travel to?

The Foreign Office has advised against ALL travel for Wuhan, China – where the virus started.

Currently, only essential travel is advised for the rest of China due to the overwhelming number of reported cases.

China has the most cases globally, with 80,651 cases and 3,070 deaths according to the WHO.

Other areas where all travel is advised against includes the regions of Daegu, Gyeongsan and Cheongdo in South Korea,

MORE: Is there a vaccine for coronavirus and how can you cure it?

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MORE: Is it safe to travel to China after the coronavirus outbreak?

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