Travel Insurance and Health
We strongly advise that you take out adequate travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday so that you can relax and look forward to your trip and have peace of mind in the event you have to cancel.
At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.
General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.
The use or possession of some common prescription and over-the-counter medicines is controlled in Turkey. For more information on controlled medicines and the relevant documentation required, contact the nearest Turkish Embassy or Consulate before you travel. There is also guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines.
Coronavirus - Exceptional travel advisory notice
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) now advises British people against all non-essential travel worldwide. This advice took effect immediately on 17 March 2020 and applies initially for a period of 30 days.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions. All countries may restrict travel without notice.
If you now need to change or cancel your travel plans, follow these steps:
contact your airline, travel company, cruise line or other transport and accommodation providers
get in touch with your insurance provider
continue to follow the NHS coronavirus guidance
The FCO was already advising against all but essential travel or all travel to some areas or countries due to risks that do not relate to COVID-19. This advice remains in place. Check FCO travel advice pages for the latest information.
There is an ongoing outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) in China, some other countries in the region and elsewhere.
In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, Turkey has announced that flights between Turkey and the UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE will be cancelled from 8am (local time) on 17 March 2020. You should check with your airline before travelling.
Flights between Turkey and Germany, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Austria, Belgium and Sweden were suspended from 8am (local time) on 14 March until 17 April.
All passenger flights to and from Azerbaijan, Italy, Iraq, South Korea, Iran and China from Turkey have been cancelled due to coronavirus outbreaks in those countries. Land crossings with Iran and Iraq have also been closed.
The Turkish authorities have introduced a number of precautionary measures in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including some restrictions on entry for travellers with recent travel history in certain countries.
For up to date information we advise anyone travelling to look at the guidance issued by the FCO which is updated on a regular basis. You can also check for a list of countries currently affected and information and advice about the implications for those who have returned from those areas.
Please see the FCO's Travel Advice: coronavirus (COVID-19) for their latest advice.
Further information on coronavirus, including advice on preparing for foreign travel and helping reduce the spread of the virus, is available from Public Health England and on the TravelHealthPro website.
If you are worried about the Coronavirus affecting your trip, please check that your travel insurance covers you should the FCO advise against travel.
All travel policies are different and we would advice people to read their policies carefully to see exactly what their policy covers and what they can claim for. Some policies may actually exclude any cover for pandemic situations if this is officially declared, so it is important to check with your insurance provider or broker before taking out cover or if you need to upgrade your cover.
For consumers who have purchased travel insurance BEFORE the FCO published advice travelling to affected regions and had booked travel that included visiting or passing through the areas on lock-down, travellers should be covered for any irrecoverable unused travel and accommodations costs if they are forced to cancel their trip and any necessary extra travel costs if they have to cut their trip short of rearrange the journey.
For people intending to travel to any of the affected area since the FCO advice was given who have NOT YET BOUGHT a travel insurance policy or who bought it AFTER the FCO advice was given, insurers are now excluding cover since the FCO is advising against travel. This is a standard response.
Please note, if you wish to cancel a planned trip outside the affected areas where the FCO has not issued advice against travel you are unlikely to be able to claim on your insurance.
Planning a trip?
If you are planning a trip to an area outside of the FCO's list of areas that they advice against travel, then you should arrange your travel insurance as soon as you book your trip and check that you are covered for the coronavirus should things change. You can then relax and look forward to your trip with the peace of mind knowing that you are covered should you have to cancel or postpone your trip.
It is essential that you purchase adequate cover prior to the FCO advising against travel.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 112 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), is not valid in Turkey. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.