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  1. ITV Report

Can I cancel my holiday over the coronavirus outbreak?

Depending on your destination, differing advice for travellers applies. Credit: AP / PA

Coronavirus has caused concern across the world, with emergency measures being put in place by several states.

China alone has reported more than 80,000 cases, with Italy and Spain the latest to impose quarantine restrictions on those thought to be affected.

So what are your rights if you're due to travel overseas - and can you cancel your holiday over the coronavirus?

Can I cancel my trip to China over coronavirus?

People in Beijing wear face masks amid the coronavirus outbreak in China. Credit: AP

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has warned Britons not to travel to parts of mainland China unless absolutely necessary.

It warns against all travel to Hubei Province, where the virus is believed to have started in a market.

For the rest of mainland China, it advises against all but essential travel. Britons who are able to leave China are being advised to do so.

It's important to note that this does not include Macao and Hong Kong, however those crossing the border into the latter from mainland will be placed into mandatory 14-days isolation.

A number of airlines, including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, have already announced they will not fly to mainland China until the outbreak has ended.

Consumer rights organisation Which? advises customers they should cancel their trip - but will be eligible for a full refund.

For those changing flights in China, the organisation advises contacting your airline or travel agent to arrange rerouting, which should be done free of charge.

I am due to be heading to Italy, can I cancel my trip?

Italian police have placed a number of towns on lockdown over the virus outbreak. Credit: AP

Italy has placed a handful of towns in quarantine over the virus outbreak.

As of Tuesday morning, 229 people had tested positive for the virus and seven had died.

The fallout of the virus means major events like Venice's carnival have been cancelled.

The British Government is not currently advising against travel to Italy.

Unfortunately this means you will not automatically be eligible for a refund of your trip if you decide not to visit because of the outbreak, Which? says.

People returning from areas under quarantine in Italy should self-isolate, the health secretary has said.

What if my holiday accommodation is in an area under quarantine?

Which? travel editor, Rory Boland, told ITV News travellers should look at rebooking or refund options if their holiday accommodation is under quarantine.

"If you have booked to stay somewhere in a quarantined location in Italy, contact your travel agent (or the hotel if you booked directly) to ask about a refund or rebooking options," he said.

H10 Costa Adeje Palace is in Tenerife, a popular winter sun spot for Brits, and is now on lockdown Credit: H10 Hotels

"If you are booked to stay at the hotel in Tenerife that has been placed under lockdown, your travel agent should arrange for alternative accommodation to be provided. If you booked directly with the hotel, they should offer you a refund.

"However, as the UK government has not yet advised against travel to Tenerife those due to travel will not be due a refund or be able to claim on travel insurance in most circumstances if they choose not to travel because of the outbreak.

"If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you may be able to cancel and claim on your travel insurance based on advice from your doctor. Contact your insurer to discuss this."

What about other destinations? Can I claim compensation because of the coronavirus?

British Airways and Virgin have both suspended flights to China over the virus. Credit: PA

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has only issued travel advisories for China, meaning only Britons travelling there or through there will be eligible for refunds.

Which? says Britons are reliant on goodwill from the travel agent or airline to help them reorganise, postpone or cancel plans entirely over the coronavirus outbreak.

Not wishing to travel is not covered by most travel insurance companies, leaving no route for travellers able to claim back costs due to the coronavirus.

Cruise passengers are being advised they are able to rebook or get a refund for voyages which have been cancelled. Credit: AP

Many cruise passengers are being offered refunds or rebooked voyages for trips that have been cancelled because of the outbreak.

Under European Union legislation, air passengers have guaranteed rights for delays and cancelled flights that depart from an EU airport, regardless of their citizenship. These are enshrined in law for flights departing UK airports until the end of the Brexit transition period, which ends at the end of 2020.

However, as coronavirus is classified as "extraordinary circumstances" under the legislation, compensation for cancelled flights is not due. Customers should instead seek a full refund, Which? says.