Consumer watchdogs are advising people to hold off on booking summer holidays because of uncertainty caused by the pandemic.
Graeme Paton, chair of the Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland, warned restrictions could be in place for some time and that countries may impose mandatory quarantine periods on arrival.
He said: “If you do book travel, make sure the airline or travel company is operating a flexible booking system that allows you to change your travel date without charge.
“If possible, you should pay by credit card as you will have added protection by law, in case the airline or travel company is unable to provide the flight or holiday.”
Scotland’s national consumer advice service, consumeradvice.scot, said getting the right travel insurance cover could also be problematic.
Spokesman Colin Mathieson said: “There’s a huge amount of uncertainty about travel restrictions in the months ahead, so anyone booking a holiday should think about it carefully.
“Bear in mind that if you choose to cancel your plans there is no automatic right to a refund. This right only applies when a contract is not performed as agreed – such as the holiday being cancelled by the travel company. In this instance, cancellation fees may apply.
“In light of recent events, many insurance companies have ceased selling new travel insurance policies and, in some circumstances, have changed cover as a result of the outbreak, so that brings with it an added risk.”
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