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Quarantine - who pays?

22 replies

handbagsatdawn33 · 26/02/2020 19:46

I'm not panicking about coronavirus, but I would not want to be quarantined anywhere.
I've not read anything about who pays for those people trapped in hotels, etc.
So, it's not their fault, hotels can't be expected to bear the huge cost.
Governments? Travel insurance?
Any ideas?

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WrongKindOfFace · 26/02/2020 19:48

I wondered that.

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beanaseireann · 27/02/2020 07:18

I did too.

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KoalasandRabbit · 27/02/2020 12:52

I'm wondering about this too for our holiday, presumably they can't be charging people to be quarantined as its not voluntary and it's for the benefit of the people outside the quarantine not those in it.

Also wondering if you get quarantined and then miss flights do you have to buy a new one yourself - I presume yes. Also if you get refused a flight due to a temperature who pays - I presume you do. It's not clear though and would like to know so can evaluate possible costs. I doubt travel insurance will cover much - from what I understand and could be wrong it covers cancellation only if FCO advice goes to don't travel and if you get ill out there. Though policies have pandemic exemptions so if you get ill and declared a pandemic does that mean travel insurance won't pay health costs?

I would love to know answers to these if anyone knows. Been following Diamond Princess but not clear who is paying for the healthcare.

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mummymeister · 29/02/2020 15:16

"So, it's not their fault" well actually it is. There are risks associated with travelling and catching an illness is one of them.

I absolutely do not want my taxes spent on flying people back from the far flung places of the world.

www.statista.com/statistics/480160/share-of-britons-going-on-holiday-abroad/

Why should the 83% of the population who dont go on holiday abroad subsidise the 17% who have the money to travel?

If you get quarantined then you should pay - not in the UK its a health service and thats free at the point of use. But you should pay for your hotel, travel etc.

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KoalasandRabbit · 29/02/2020 15:26

There about 1 billion people in lockdown around the world and only 80,000 are ill. They aren't in lockdown out of choice.

You could use your argument not to pay for anyone's healthcare - should we stop paying for people with cancer just because we are luckier.

A decent society helps those in need and realistically it will spread like wildfire if people have to pay as lots of people do not have unlimited savings. The richest have already paid more tax so it's only getting their tax back but lots of people who travel aren't rich - very average families who've saved all year or two years to go.

Though I think whatever the rule is the government need to make it clear. If the rule is travel insurance and governments won't pay out then they need to tell people. I will cancel our holiday if that's the case as we can't afford those costs.

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peeledplumtomatoes · 29/02/2020 15:45

I've just taken out our annual travel insurance and made sure we're covered in a quarantine type situation. The policy doesn't specifically refer to coronavirus but we would be covered. It also covers for cancellation if FCO advice against travel.

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KoalasandRabbit · 29/02/2020 15:53

Who have you taken that with out of interest? I had very limited choice as under hospital for investigations but tests may finish soon. I haven't asked our insurer about quarantines - illness from virus is covered but that's a tiny percentage of the issue as mostly its people not ill being forced into quarantines / refused flights as temp etc.

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middleager · 29/02/2020 16:00

Good question.

There is a thread where OP is contemplating whether to cancel their holiday.

Many on the thread are saying, "no". However, if you choose to travel, knowing coronavirus is spreading, then I think you should check insurance carefully.

Posters talk of friends returning from towns in North Italy next to quarantined towns, saying they decided to go as they couldn't afford to lose the money.
I'm not sure how responsible that is and I think there's an element that if you go to hot spots abroad, knowing the risk, then don't be surprised if you end up with possible disruption - there has to be some personal accountability and risk assessment. This might include paying for additional hotels.

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/3835516-AIBU-to-cancel-holiday

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peeledplumtomatoes · 29/02/2020 16:22

Our policy is with StaySure. We've got various medical conditions as well and it covers all those. The quarantine cover was an extra add on. We've got 3 trips booked this year and might book another one. One trip cost £5000+ so definitely want that to be covered.

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KoalasandRabbit · 29/02/2020 16:26

Thanks Plum Mine is here and quite vague on certain things just saying phone the helpline but I really want to know what we would be liable for and really hard to get clear answers.

www.insureandgo.com/help/coronavirus

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rookiemere · 29/02/2020 16:47

I checked with my insurance company and added extra cover in the event of being stranded somewhere. I do feel for the government, insurers and travel companies in this - certainly not a situation that anyone would have chosen - but until travel to badly impacted areas is banned then most people will choose not to lose their money as nobody really knows how serious this is.

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peeledplumtomatoes · 29/02/2020 16:48

@KoalasandRabbit, it was quite difficult to find a policy that clearly specified FCO canx etc. Most comparison sites just come up with the cheapest options on the assumption you just want a basic policy but when you're spending £££££ on a holiday, I always look for very comprehensive cover.

We got trapped in Greece 10 years ago due to the Icelandic volcano (it was actually lovely, ended up doing a bit of a European tour in our attempts to get home by land instead of air) but we weren't covered by insurance and since then I never go for just the basic cheapest policy available.

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handbagsatdawn33 · 29/02/2020 17:41

@middleager I am not contemplating cancelling a holiday.

@mummymeister "There are risks associated with travelling and catching an illness is one of them." I agree, I could catch a disease by sitting next to somebody on the local bus. And FYI, holidays abroad are frequently cheaper than staying in the U.K.

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winniethekid · 29/02/2020 17:46

I assume it'd be insurance companies, they paid out when we stuck overseas after the Icelandic volcano (we were in Iceland so couldn't easily get home another way).

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KoalasandRabbit · 29/02/2020 18:17

Ours specifies it covers for cancellation if FCO advice changes to don't travel and stays that way 48 hours before. It's vaguer on quarantine and refused flights due to temperature and says phone helpline - sounds like it varies when they will pay.

Looked up Staysure's and it says government normally pays for quarantine or local authority though found another case online where a man says told he'ld have to pay in Hong kong or they would deport him by land - he was told to go to chemist and buy thermometer and choose any hotel he liked, doesn't seem the most useful of quarantines.

www.staysure.co.uk/discover/coronavirus-latest/#quarantine

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mummymeister · 01/03/2020 10:53

Koalas - I think its already clear from the government that if people choose this particular leisure activity - going on holiday - then they need to sort out their own insurance to cover any eventualities. If you break your leg abroad skiing the government doesnt pay for your hospital stay or journey home, your insurance does.
handbagsatdawn33 - fyi holidays abroad may be "cheaper" but perhaps some people are waking up to the real "cost". Not just in terms of the environmental impact of flying but the other risks that global travel brings with it ie. travel to exotic places and get exotic diseases.

Personally, I am not booking anything until there is a clearer picture as to how this pandemic is progressing.

the only certain way not to be trapped in isolation abroad is not to travel abroad. I do wonder if all those currently in "quarantine" in tenerife realise its highly likely that when they are eventually flown home they will go into another 2 weeks either at a centre or at home. 4 weeks is an awfully long time to cover work, time off school etc.

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rookiemere · 01/03/2020 12:03

But mummymeister when you go skiing breaking a leg is a clear and foreseeable risk which is easy to insure against.

From ringing up my own insurance company who we have an annual policy with, it was almost impossible to get an answer about what they covered and what they didn't with regard to coronavirus, and to be fair to them this is a new situation we're all facing that will likely bankrupt a number of insurance companies and travel agents. I was able to add additional cover to my policy, which covers some of the costs where I put in quarantine abroad and as a family we could pay the rest if needed.

Also the reason I think government is involved is because of transmission risk. If I were to catch coronavirus I would hope that as I'm a healthy middle aged individual, I would survive with mildish symptoms. However my parents would have a much more serious outcome if they catch it from me as they are in their 80s, so it's not like breaking a leg where the only person you're impacting is yourself.

I rather wish we hadn't got any trips booked, but we do and there's not enough knowledge yet to say if going is a rash act.

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SnowsInWater · 04/03/2020 06:29

When the Australian government sent two Qantas flights to Wuhan to evacuate the Australians originally they were supposed to be charging $1000pp but there was a bit of an uproar and as far as I know nobody got charged. Various groups have spent two weeks on Christmas Island and near Darwin covered by the government. The quarantine in those cases was pretty straightforward though as it was mandatory, and the people who had travelled to China had no idea of what was going to happen before they travelled. I think it gets a lot more complicated if you are told to self quarantine. Now that people are aware of the risks of travel I think there must be individual responsibility, nobody wants their tax dollars spent covering other people’s extra nights and expenses in a hotel or rescheduled flights - you take out insurance and if you can’t you either accept you have to self insure or don’t go (and I say that as someone who travels a lot).

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KoalasandRabbit · 06/03/2020 16:35

Thailand recently announced compulsory quarantine from 11 countries including France which the individual would pay for and fines for non-compliance. Now been reversed and quarantines are voluntary with no fines as loads of people cancelled their holidays. It's not clear at all if insurance will pick up these costs, a lot of people are assuming it will but haven't read small print.

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Darbishire27 · 03/03/2021 23:19

I know the answer- in UK the traveller pays. You must book a testing or quarantine package before your return journey, or the carrier will be not allow you to board. If you try to go through passport control without a booking you will be liable for a huge fine. So if you absolutely must travel you should factor in the time and costs, because they are unavoidable, or better still, don't travel. And by the way, work or study based testing schemes don't count- you must book the Government Day 2 & 8 test package irrespective of what else you have in place.

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peak2021 · 06/03/2021 18:33

In the UK you pay, and I cannot think why it might be different any where else. I think if you would not want the possibility of quarantine, then you need to restrict your travel options to the UK. Last year the home based quarantine requirements changed at very short notice for some countries when returning to the UK.

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