Millions of uninsured travellers defied Covid guidelines to jet abroad this summer

Almost two million British holidaymakers may have travelled without valid insurance during the coronavirus pandemic, shocking research revals.

Analysis of the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) July, August and September International Air Passenger Traffic data reveals that 1,914,550 travellers may jetted abroad without vital cover.

Medical Travel Compared, a specialist travel insurance comparison site, analysed passenger data from all UK airports flying to popular European destinations on the government’s quarantine list.   

Tommy Lloyd, managing director of Medical Travel Compared, said: “Discovering that nearly two million people may have travelled uninsured this July, August and September is very worrying.

“Travel insurance is an essential element of taking a holiday, especially now when the whole world is experiencing the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.  

“During the European summer holiday season, travellers were placed in a difficult position by our government because they were asked to decide between taking a holiday without insurance, postpone their trip or ask for a refund.

“Decisions the government made were last-minute and without consultation of multiple industries that service the travel and tourism sector.

“This meant that the insurance industry, like many other businesses, were being asked to react to huge changes with little notice so many could not provide cover in time for holidaymakers’ trips.”

Travellers now have a range of Covid-19 travel insurance policies to choose from should they wish to go abroad to a destination on the recommended FCDO list.

But it is important to check the small print for all eventualities covered.

Popular destinations from regional airports:


  • Spain and the Balearic Islands were top of London’s airport departure lists with 373,161 passengers travelling through Stansted, London City, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, and Luton

  • Those who travelled from Southend airport were most likely to go to Spain and the Balearic Islands, recording 18,336 passengers

  • Scots were most likely to fly to The Netherlands, with 42,461 passengers recorded at Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh airports

  • 8,314 passengers departed Belfast for the Spain and Balearic Islands

  • Birmingham and East Midlands airports’ number one departure destination was Spain and the Balearics with 86,089 travellers passing through

  • Total number of departures from Cardiff were low, compared to other regional airports, with Spain and the Balearic Islands topping the list at 3,967 passengers

  • Liverpool saw 27,146 passengers depart for Spain and the Balearic Islands, more than three times the numbers of travellers who went to France

  • More than double the number of travellers went to Spain and the Balearic Islands (721,598) over The Netherlands which recorded 261,924 passengers

  • Spain and the Balearics (10,944 passengers), plus The Netherlands (9,601 passengers) were the popular choices for those travelling from Newcastle

  • 5,419 passengers travelled to Jamaica from Stansted, Gatwick, Heathrow and Luton

  • Manchester saw 4,993 passengers depart for Zakynthos, which was more than any other airport in the UK.    

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