THE UK government has warned against all but essential travel to Spain, with the Canary Islands also affected as the country goes into lockdown.
As cases of coronavirus in Spain hit 8,700 with 294 confirmed deaths, here is everything you need to know if you have a holiday booked to the islands including Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Lanzarote.
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Is it safe to travel to Spain?
The UK government advises against all but essential travel to Spain as the country has declared a state of emergency – the first time in 10 years.
The current advice states: “The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all but essential travel to Spain.
“Spain declared a State of Emergency (‘Estado de Alarma’) on March 14, which introduces a series of measures including significant restrictions on movement throughout the country in response to the coronavirus outbreak.”
The latest advice affects all of Spain, including the Canary Islands, with public gatherings banned and all shops apart from those selling food or essential items closed.
People are warned to avoid going outside unless for essential items or for work, with public transport services being reduced.
Gran Canaria has 20 cases of coronavirus, while Fuertuventura and Lanzarote have confirmed three people on each island are infected.
To find out more about where the cases of coronavirus have spread to in Spain, click on this interactive map.
Tenerife was the first island in the Canaries to be affected by coronavirus, after a hotel was locked down due to an outbreak, while the youngest UK victim aged 59 has died after returning from Fuertuventura.
Can I cancel my holiday to Spain?
Because the government has updated the advice for “all but essential travel,” Brits who have booked package holidays can get a full refund if they are ATOL protected.
Airlines are cancelling their flights to Spain as the country goes into lockdown, and Brits who are affected will be offered a refund or alternative flights.
All Jet2 flights were forced to turn around mid-air while TUI has axed all flights to Spain.
EasyJet are suspending all flights to Spain until March 29 while Ryanair are “severely reducing” their routes to the country.
If your flight is still going ahead, you might be able to change it for free – airlines such as easyJet, Ryanair and British Airways are allowing travellers to move their flight dates free of charge to a later date.
However, airlines are not obligated to issue refunds unless booked through an ATOL-protected tour operator.
Independent hotels are not even required to refund money in this instance, so if you have paid in advance and choose not to turn up then you will lose your money.
If the hotel is a large chain, it could be worth asking to change your stay to another location or delay your trip but they are under no obligation to grant this.
Holidaymakers are advised to check with their travel insurance providers to see if there is something they can do instead, or contact their credit card provider if they paid with a credit card.
We’ve explained everything you need to know if you want to cancel your holiday.
Thousands of Brits have stranded in Spain as airlines cancel flights back to the UK.
Here is the latest travel advice if you are also heading to the Balearic Islands.
Hundreds of flights were cancelled to the islands and Spain last month due to Storm Dennis, with 50,000 passengers affected.