Abta has urged people considering travelling during the “extraordinary” coronavirus pandemic to check the rapidly changing government travel advice.

The call came ahead of the Foreign Office issuing a ban on all travel to Spain as emergency measures were imposed across the country, preventing residents from leaving home except for buying essential supplies and medicines, or for work.

French ski resorts are shutting while cafes, restaurants, cinemas and most shops are now closed.

Travel companies are coming under immense pressure dealing with enquiries from worried customers as an increasing number of countries block arrivals from the UK in effort to contain the spread of the outbreak.

Abta stressed that it was very important that anyone due to travel imminently checks the FCO advice for their specific destination and liaises with their travel provider.


MoreLatest coronavirus news and updates

Podcast: Your coronavirus questions answered


Travel businesses are working around the clock to support customers, and their decisions will be guided by the operational situation and government advice.

Abta said: “Given the extraordinary volume of enquiries, and the rapidly changing situation, the best course of action for travellers with future bookings is to monitor and follow FCO advice for the destination they are travelling to, and wait for their travel provider to contact them if the situation changes in regards to their booking.

“Many travel companies are doing all they can to offer flexible booking policies at this time, such as giving customers the option to change their departure dates without charge, so we’d recommend talking to them about the options that are open to you.”

Abta’s advice page also includes the specific destinations the FCO is advising against all essential travel to along with supporting information.

In the latest updates, the FCO advised against all travel to Spain and against all but essential travel to Argentina, Columbia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Guetamala, Italy, Jamaica, Latvia, Paraguay and Peru.