Here’s how to get travel insurance for countries not on the Foreign Office ‘safe’ list

A new partnership offers travel insurance policies for countries that the Foreign Office (FCO) currently advises against travelling to.

The FCO has issued a blanket advisory against all non-essential international travel since March, with the exception of an ever-evolving list of destinations that it deems low-risk.

Popular holiday destinations including France, Spain, Portugal and Malta are not on the exempt list at present, meaning that, while holidaymakers can still go there, most normal travel insurance policies will be automatically invalidated by the FCO advisory.

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However, Holiday Extras, the UK market leader in holiday extras such as airport parking, airport hotels, lounges and travel insurance, has teamed up with Battleface, a specialist insurance provider.

Battleface provides policies for destinations not on the FCO’s “safe” list and will cover customers if, for example, they fall ill and require medical or emergency assistance, including medical expenses caused by Covid-19, as well as covering loss of baggage, personal money and passport and personal liability.

The insurer normally issues policies for people working in conflict zones or other dangerous parts of the world, but its market has expanded rapidly since the government started removing many major tourist hotspots from its list of acceptable destinations.

“We are excited to be partnering with Holiday Extras to offer customers the chance to be covered for travel to countries under UK government non-essential travel advisories,” said Sasha Gainullin, CEO of Battleface.

“Whilst we are not actively encouraging people to travel to places the FCO is advising against, it’s important that travellers are covered in the event of an emergency and understand the quarantine requirements upon return to the UK.”

Prices are not as high as travellers might anticipate; when The Independent searched for a policy covering a week in France, cover started from £25.

Battleface isn’t the only insurer offering policies that cover countries where the FCO advises against non-essential travel.

Specialists such as Campbell Irvine and High Risk Voyager also provide cover.

Of course, even those who have secured the correct travel insurance are not immune to the two-week quarantine upon their return to the UK.

Most countries not on the FCO exempt list are also not on the Department for Transport’s separate quarantine-exempt list, meaning travellers arriving home will have to self-isolate for 14 days.

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