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Swine flu affecting summer holidays

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Swine flu sneeze

The swine flu pandemic is now threatening holiday plans during the peak travel period, as airlines begin to screen passengers before flying and many countries introduce quarantine measures.

Travel industry website, Travel Mole, is reporting that British Airways, Virgin and P&O Cruises are among the first travel companies to assess passengers' health before allowing them to travel.

Anyone displaying flu-like symptoms is being advised not to travel and prevented from boarding if necessary.

The government has issued further advice to British travellers on the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) website, advising those with a respiratory illness to delay travel.

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People planning to travel from the UK are advised to check the specific travel advice for their destination on the FCO website.

The FCO is also informing travellers that some countries have put quarantine measures in place for people arriving from affected countries. British nationals who are quarantined overseas should contact their nearest British Embassy or Consulate for assistance.

There is a dedicated free phone number for all British nationals overseas to call if they are concerned about the swine flu outbreak: 0044 207 928 1010.

A number of UK airports have introduced medical screening for the swine flu virus (H1N1) for passengers arriving on international flights.

Travel insurance policies should cover UK holiday-makers for any cancellations made due to swine flu, with the appropriate medical confirmation.

Andrea Clayton, head of insurance at Holiday Extras, said: "Advice from Holiday Extras in relation to swine flu and travel insurance would be that customers who have symptoms of swine flu should not travel, as quarantine or refused entry are not covered. However, a cancellation claim could be made. If the customer has no symptoms before travelling but contracts the virus overseas, any claim for swine flu would be considered under the policy as with any other medical condition."

Don't forget to book comprehensive travel insurance with Holiday Extras, from just £10 per person.

Written by: Maxine Clarke, July 20 2009

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