Coronavirus, travel and MS
1. I have MS. Is it safe for me to travel in the UK or abroad?
The most important thing is to follow the current guidance for where you live. You can check the latest guidance for England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
If travelling abroad, you should keep up to date with the latest information on destinations.
If you’re staying in a hotel, you may find things are done differently to keep holiday makers safe. Hotels may offer hand sanitiser stations at frequent points. They may use digital technology for checking in and contactless payments. And there may be changes around mealtimes, with some hotels offering room service or takeaway instead of buffet style dining.
2. I have MS and would love to travel abroad. But I’m concerned about airports and COVID-19. How can I keep safe?
Many of the things we’ve become familiar with already can help us to keep safe when travelling through airports:
- Wearing a face covering - following UK government legislation, this is now compulsory on all public transport, including airports
- Practising social distancing
- Washing hands regularly
- Keeping hands clean on the go by using hand sanitiser.
3. I got a letter from the NHS asking me to shield. Can I travel as soon as the Government says I don’t have to shield anymore?
Right now we know that from 1 August those who were shielding will be able to go out to more places and see more people. Read more about what will change.
Our Helpline team aren’t medically trained so you may want to talk with your healthcare team. They may be able to give information and advice based on your personal circumstances.
4. What about travel insurance?
It’s always a good idea to take out insurance as soon as you book. Make sure you disclose any pre-existing medical conditions that affect you or a family member traveling with you, even if it seems minor or irrelevant. This includes any conditions that develop between taking out your policy and making the trip. If you’re not 100% clear it may have consequences if you need to make a claim. Take a look at our booklet Insurance and MS for more information.
The spread of coronavirus caused some insurers to make changes to their travel and cancellation policies and it’s probable they won’t cover for cancellation due to coronavirus.
Things to consider when you take out insurance include:
- coronavirus medical cover, in case you get infected when away
- scheduled airline failure insurance (SAFI) should your airline go bust.
Remember to check what the excess is on your policy, as you’ll need to be able to afford to claim in the first instance.
5. I’m a carer for someone with MS and want to cancel my holiday. What are my rights? And am I covered by travel insurance?
It depends on why you want to cancel your holiday. You’re not legally entitled to a refund from the travel agent or tour operator for a cancellation. But you might be able to claim from your travel insurance provider.
However, travel insurance is not designed to cover 'disinclination to travel' (in other words, when you’ve decided not to travel) where the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice has not changed to advise against travel.
Short Breaks service
Our Short Breaks service is here to give you support, whether you’re looking for accessible accommodation, care and support services, or specialist equipment. Or wondering how to get from A to B by plane, train, or WAV (Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle).
We don’t want anyone in our MS community to feel alone during this crisis. And that means we need your support.
We’re rapidly expanding our services and tailoring them so anyone who needs us can get help online or over the phone.
Our MS Helpline has seen a big increase in calls - we want to answer every single one.
Will you help us be there for everyone by making a donation?
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Help us be there for everyone with MS
£10could pay for two phone conversations with a trained member of our new Keep In Touch team
£20could pay for our MS Helpline team to answer a call or message from someone who needs our help
£65could pay for someone with MS to have a session with our Benefits Adviser to help them get the support they need
Every penny you give us helps us be there for someone affected by MS.
£10a month could help cover the cost of a MS Helpline call with our specialist MS Nurse
£20a month could help people with MS get vital support from our Benefits Advisor
£30a month for a year could pay for a day on the MS Helpline, helping people in our MS community
Your regular donation means we can be there for everyone with MS. So no one has to face this pandemic alone.