Coronavirus – what does it mean for your trip?

travel information

The rapid spread of the coronavirus has resulted in school closures and strict nationwide travel restrictions.

From 17 March, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advised British nationals against all non-essential international travel for an initial period of 30 days. The latest guidance on social distancing also recommends avoiding all non-essential domestic trips and use of public transport, where possible.

This guidance is for group leaders and group members who have questions about the implication for their trip.

If your trip is affected by the travel ban

If the FCO advises against all but essential travel to your destination and you are due to travel, then in the first instance we would work with you to postpone the trip to a later date. If that proves impossible, then we will refund the cost of the trip.

Visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice for the latest advice.

If your trip is outside the travel ban

Groups who cancel a trip outside of the current FCO travel ban, should be aware that the normal cancellations charges may apply. So if your group is thinking about cancelling, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can talk you through the options and help you decide which is best for your group.

School and education groups should also see the section below regarding educational trips.

Click here to view our terms and conditions for leisure groups.
Click here to view our terms and conditions for school and college groups.

Advice and information about educational trips

This guidance is for teachers and parents with affected school trips.

Government advice regarding educational trips

The government advises against any overseas or domestic trips for children under 18 organised by educational settings. From 17 March, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advised British nationals against all non-essential international travel for an initial period of 30 days. The latest guidance on social distancing also recommends avoiding all non-essential domestic trips and use of public transport, where possible.

How we can help

If the FCO advises against all but essential travel to your destination and you are due to travel, then in the first instance we would work with you to postpone the trip to a later date or switch the trip to an alternative destination. If that proves impossible, then we will refund the cost of the trip.

If you wish to cancel a trip outside the current FCO travel ban, then normal cancellations charges apply. But we will provide you with a Cancellation Statement to support your school’s insurance claim for trips which are not able to take place due to government advice. The statement below will also help support your insurance claim.

Contacting your insurer

The Outdoor Advisors Panel (OEAP) and The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC) has been working to help schools to claim from their travel insurance for all school trips which they are not able to take due to Government Advice. They issued the following statement which has been signed off by the Department for Education:

For domestic visits and visits abroad, which have had to be cancelled as a result of government advice, the advice from the DFE is to contact your insurer. For those schools who have committed to educational visits which can now not go ahead, the government’s advice issued is sufficient and will allow schools to make an insurance claim against their policy. This includes more complex overseas expeditions, where the duration of school closure and the subsequent lack of organisational and preparation time with the students may mean that a future expedition has become unviable for a school to undertake safely even after the school re-opens.


Outdoor Advisors Panel and the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom joint statement 25 March 2020

Further information

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has also produced information on travel insurance and school insurance implications following the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. If you have any further questions about your cover or would like further reassurance, you should contact your travel insurance provider.

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(2) Comments

  1. J Went

    Will the government announcement on cancelling school trips apply to a dance school trip to disney

    1. Jo Carver

      Please contact COGO Operations who will be able to advise you of next steps.

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