Medical assistance to guests, including any affected by Covid-19 infection during their holidays, is to be offered by Riu Hotels.

Cover incudes medical attention, surgery, hospitalisation and emergency medical transport, with up to €30,000 per guest.

It will also cover extensions of hotel stays of up to 14 nights for medical reasons for all guests in the booking, as well as medical repatriation and return tickets for others in the booking.

The Spanish hotel group will provide ‘Riu Protect’ free of charge for bookings made from this week until the end of the year.

The service has been developed with insurance firm Axa as the Majorca-based hotel chain aims to offer extra safety to holidaymakers during the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Riu was forced to close its 99 hotels in 19 countries in March due to the health emergency.

The chain has already started its recovery process with the opening of properties in Berlin, Guadalajara in Mexico, Miami, Cancun and Bulgaria.

It foresees new openings in coming weeks in Spain, Portugal, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Costa Rica.

Company chief executive Luis Riu said: “In these uncertain times, we want to offer our customers all the safety and peace of mind we can.

“So, when they make their bookings, they are given the option to cancel or make changes at no charge up to 30 April 2021.

“Once in the hotel, the operation will be guided by the RIU post-Covid Manual for the hotel, which includes 17 safety and hygiene protocols.

“And now, we are also adding this new service to offer them extra safety and peace of mind, as they will know that if faced with infection by Covid-19 or any other medical condition, they will also receive attention and care at no additional cost to them.”

Jose Ramon Morales, country leader of AXA XL in Iberia, added: “We have made a decisive commitment to the hotel sector by providing our extensive experience and track record in insurance solutions specific to the sector, mainly involving its asset risks and enormous civil liabilities, in both Spain and internationally.

“At this very unusual time, we are strengthening our commitment to RIU by covering the hotel group’s obligations to its customers through RIU Protect”.