Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Will any insurer cover us for Tunisia holiday if FCO is advising against travel there?
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Thursday 20 June 2013
Q. After booking a package holiday to Tunisia I have been trying to organise travel insurance for myself and my daughter. I have since discovered that the FCO is advising against travel to Tunisia. Do you know of an insurer that will cover us for our week's holiday?
A. This is the second Tunisia question I have tackled this month - and, I hope, the second time I can put minds at rest.
Following an incident near the Algerian border, the Foreign Office is warning against visiting the affected area, around Chaambi Mountain National Park. It is most unlikely that anyone other than people seeking to tackle the highest mountain in Tunisia will want to go there, and it is many miles from the nation's package-holiday resorts.
I can see, though, where your confusion originates. The front page of the Foreign Office bulletin is headlined "The FCO advise against all travel to parts of the country," with a big red warning triangle. BBC News recently misread a similar statement about Turkey, and broadcast the erroneous message that the Foreign Office was advising against travel there - while in fact it was simply continuing to warn about the Syrian border areas. You can see the official advice for Tunisia here: bit.ly/TunisFCO.
In the most unlikely event that the advice changes to warn against all travel to Tunisia, as happened temporarily in January 2011, travel insurance would not be valid. But you can expect to have an excellent, trouble-free holiday in a friendly and fascinating nation.
Additional research by Beren Cross
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