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Breaking news: Swine flu & travel to Mexico

Earlier today the first European case of Swine flu was declared in Spain, and the EU's health commissioner urged Europeans to avoid any non-essential travel both to Mexico and the US. However, as of 3pm today, the Foreign Office has yet to advise against travel to the Americas.

The FCO currently advises:

  • Visitors to Mexico should be aware of an outbreak of influenza. The Federal Health Ministry issued a nationwide alert on 22 April after learning that a number of people had died from what appears to be a new form of influenza.
  • Cases have been reported in Mexico City, together with the states of Oaxaca, San Luis Potosi, Mexicali and Baja California. Travellers should consult a doctor immediately if they show signs of flu-like symptoms.
  • The Mexican Secretariat of Health has advised people to avoid large crowds, shaking hands, kissing people as a greeting, or using the subway. Maintaining a distance of at least six feet from other persons and frequent hand washing may decrease the risk of exposure.

Travellers should be aware that it is there responsiblity to keep abreast of Foreign Office advice regarding travel to Mexico.

Swine flu, travel to Mexico and travel insurance: Q&A

Should I cancel my trip to Mexico?

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) maintains that so long as the Foreign Office is not advising against travel to Mexico and airlines continue to fly there, there is no reason for travellers to cancel their travel plans.

If I do cancel, would my travel insurance cover me?

So long as the Foreign Office does not advise against travel to Mexico, and airlines continue to fly there, travellers will not be able to claim any cancelations against their insurance policy.

Will I still be covered if I get ill in Mexico?

Again, until FCO travel advice changes, any trip to Mexico is still treated as a normal booking. So long as you have the right travel insurance policy, you will be covered for medical expenses in Mexico.

What if the Foreign Office advice changes?

Should the Foreign Office decide to advise against travel to Mexico, travellers would be entitled to cancel the trip and claim against their travel insurance. However, should they continue with their trip, they will not be covered for any medical expenses in Mexico.

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