ITAA Advice to Travellers following Spanish outbreak

13 March 2020

The ITAA have issued an updated statement amid confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Spain

The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) is advising that Irish travellers and holidaymakers follow the advice of the Department of Foreign Affairs and avoid all non-essential travel to affected areas amid the coronavirus outbreak which has extended to Spain. The ITAA is also advising affected holidaymakers in the country to follow the advice of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Spanish local authorities and accommodation providers.

The ITAA is advising travellers to read the Department of Foreign Affairs travel advice for the country they are travelling to, which includes entry requirements and a link through to download the DFA Travelwise smartphone app that provides specific travel health advice for countries. Travelwise advises that travellers currently in countries that are reporting cases of Novel Coronavirus, otherwise known as Coronavirus or COVID-19, should follow local public health advice. Travellers should keep up to date on the country advice during their visit.

Enhanced health screening procedures have been put in place at arrival and departure areas in many countries. Travellers should comply with these processes to reduce the risk of exposure. If you are returning from an affected area you should follow the HSE guidelines and self-isolate or self-quarantine if necessary.

The ITAA also advises that holidaymakers ensure that they have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and also obtain comprehensive travel insurance before travelling, which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation. Affected holidaymakers in the country are advised to follow the advice of the Department of Foreign Affairs, local authorities and accommodation providers.

DFA travel advice for Spain

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) have advised against non-essential travel to Spain, as a significant number of cases of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) have been confirmed. The highest incidences are in Madrid, Vitoria and Labastida in the Basque Country, Catalonia and the Rioja region.

The ITAA advise that customers imminently due to travel on holidays or flights which include these areas should speak to their travel provider. Customers who are imminently due to travel on package holidays which include mainland Spain should be offered alternative arrangements by their travel provider. If no suitable alternatives are available, package holiday customers should be offered a full refund.

Passengers who have booked flights directly with an airline and are imminently due to travel should contact the airline to discuss their options. 

Individuals already in Spain should monitor developments regularly and follow the advice of local authorities. As this is a fluid situation, additional measures may be announced. It is recommended that you keep informed of these measures, by following the Embassy of Ireland, Madrid account on Twitter and keeping up-to-date with the latest official information/updates from Spanish authorities.