As a hotel in Tenerife is put on lockdown, and hundreds of tourists are tested for the coronavirus, travellers are beginning to ask: is it safe to visit Tenerife? Here we look into the latest Tenerife travel advice.
More than 700 holidaymakers remain quarantined at a hotel in Tenerife, where five guests have now tested positive for coronavirus.
An Italian doctor and his wife were the first to test positive for coronavirus, prompting the shut down of the hotel. Jet2holidays and Tui confirmed that dozens of their customers were staying at the hotel. All five guests who have tested positive for coronavirus were part of the same group.
Holidaymakers at the four-star H10 Costa Adeje Palace hotel in Adeje, in the south of Tenerife, were initially told they could not leave the hotel for 14 days. However, local health authorities have now said that guests can leave if they do not show symptoms, test negative for coronavirus less than 24 hours before their flight, and if they continue their isolation in their home country.
On Friday, 130 guests from 11 different countries were authorised to leave, including 50 British nationals. It is believed that some 700 holidaymakers remain in the hotel.
Global cases of coronavirus have now passed 95,000 – the vast majority of which are in China. You can follow our coronavirus live blog on telegraph.co.uk.
But the question is – is it safe to travel to Tenerife? Here we look at the foreign office advice, and what coronavirus means for your insurance.
Is it safe to travel to Tenerife?
The Foreign Office has updated its guidance for people visiting Spain or the Canary Islands. It says: “You should comply with any additional screening measures put in place by the authorities. For more information from the Spanish authorities, see the Spanish Ministry of Health website.
“The Spanish authorities are dealing with confirmed cases of coronavirus in the H10 Costa Adeje Palace Hotel in Tenerife. If you’re in this hotel, you should follow the advice of the local authorities. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.”
To date, there have been 259 cases of coronavirus in Spain.
What is it like at the hotel?
A British holidaymaker, Hannah Green, told the Press Association she was having a “holiday from hell”, after the hotel was put on a two-week lockdown.
Ms Green, 27, from Hertfordshire, arrived at the hotel on Saturday with her boyfriend, Court Amys, and their one-year-old son. They are supposed to be staying until Sunday.
“We woke up to a note under our door this morning saying that for health reasons not to leave our room.
“I called downstairs to reception as soon as I saw it and they wouldn’t tell us anything. So I quickly got on my phone and googled and saw a man had tested positive for coronavirus so I basically assumed it was that.
“But since then, we’ve had nothing from the hotel – no one has told us anything or what’s going to happen.”
Ms Green said she booked her holiday with Tui, adding:
“I’ve called them as well and they haven’t really said much either. They were just going on what the hotel’s been telling them, basically, and the hotel wouldn’t tell them anything either.
“People are moving around the hotel but we’re not. We’re in our room with the baby. We’re worried for the baby.”
I want to cancel my trip to Tenerife. Will I get my money back?
Some tourists will be concerned about their upcoming trip to Tenerife. One Telegraph reader, J Fountain, contacted us to say: “Have a trip to Tenerife planned for March 1, but am cancelling. Bit gloomy about my prospects of getting any costs back from travel insurance.”
So what, exactly, happens if you want to cancel your holiday? If the Foreign Office changes its travel advice for the country you are visiting to “avoid all but essential travel” or “avoid all travel” and you have booked with a tour operator, you should be eligible for a refund, or your tour operator will organise alternative travel arrangements. If you have booked your holiday independently and a foreign office warning is put in place before you travel, you will have to check the terms and conditions of your bookings and your insurance policy.
If you want to cancel a package holiday to a country that does not have a Foreign Office warning in place, then you will not be eligible for a refund. If you have booked independently and the region is still considered safe by the FCO, you are unlikely to be able to cancel our change your trip without losing money. Your best course of action would be to contact your hotel, tour operator or airline to ask if you can change your plans.
Is my insurance valid if I travel to Tenerife?
Your travel insurance will be valid so long as the Foreign Office has not issued a warning before you travel. If the FCO issues a warning while you are in an affected region, you will be covered as normal so long as you follow the latest FCO advice for British nationals. Some insurance policies will provide support if, when you are abroad, you are prevented from travelling home due to travel restrictions caused by coronavirus. Always double check your policy, and check Foreign Office warnings, before you travel.