Can I cancel my trip to China because of the coronavirus?

Can I cancel my trip to China because of the coronavirus?

Whether in China or elsewhere, do you wish to cancel your trip due to an epidemic (because you have cancellation insurance)? Forget this idea! This type of insurance rarely covers causes of cancellation external to a person. Fact, cancellation insurance will cover you in the event of a health problem (for you or one of your loved ones) or in the event of an event likely to upset your daily life. For example a dismissal, significant damage to your home, a second session, a de facto separation, or an appointment as an assize juror, etc.

However, some insurers allow you to cancel your trip free of charge if a negative travel review is published and you booked the trip before it was advertised. Currently, the FPS Foreign Affairs travel advisory for China is not negative. Nevertheless, it is “advisable” to temporarily travel to Hubei province. “In addition, compatriots are advised to postpone non-essential travel to other Chinese provinces (except Hong Kong),” according to the details of the FPS Foreign Affairs.

Good to know: if you decide to go to China anyway (and besides, no matter where you go for your next vacation), report your trip via the federal TravelersOnline platform. In the event of a problem, this will make it easier for the FPS Foreign Affairs to get in touch with you to inform you. Or to provide you with logistical support if necessary.

Our members adapt their programs to Foreign Affairs travel advice. Luc Causes, Chairman of the ABTO Board of Directors.

Tour operators

In any case, you can contact your tour operator or your airline to find out if you can cancel your trip or possibly modify or postpone it. On this point, the association of Belgian tour operators (ABTO) announced at the end of January that its members were canceling their trips to China. It is currently the low season As for travel, and for ABTO members, most trips to China are not scheduled until the Easter holiday, she said in a statement.

We are closely monitoring developments (…) and our members are adapting their programs to Foreign Affairs travel advice“, explains Luc Coussement, Chairman of the ABTO Board of Directors.

Our members will personally contact affected customers to agree on a suitable alternative.“, he added. “Travelers who have already booked their trip to China can address their questions directly to their agency or travel organizer. We continue to monitor the situation closely and assess the possible consequences for other destinations.

Assistance insurance

If you decide to leave, will you still be covered by your assistance insurance? The intervention of your insurance depends on the company you have chosen. With some insurance, you leave at your own risk. as soon as the epidemic is known and there is a warning from Foreign Affairs. others insurers will provide you with assistance if you become ill.

This is particularly the case with Europ Assistance, which specifies on its website that it will assist its customers in the event of a medical problem on-site while adding that it must always comply with the decisions taken by the local authorities (concerning, for example, access to the city or hospitals) and to the health rules imposed by the competent authorities. “In certain circumstances, the travel assistance company will work closely with the Belgian diplomatic representation on site.

Travel healthy

Regardless of your destination, before going abroad, it is more than advisable to consult the “Advice by destination” section from the official platform You will find various information there, in particular on safety in general, but also on the vaccines to be provided.

Concerning health, you can also surf the “Wanda” information site developed by the Institute of Tropical Medicine (IMT) in Antwerp. Or simplify your life by downloading its new free app: Wanda (iOS & Android).

Before a trip, you can consult it to find out, for example, what are the requirements in terms of vaccination and precautions while during the trip the app can advise you on the action to be taken in the event of an incident“, according to Dr. Patrick Soentjens, the head of ITM.

Dr. Mieke Croughs, project leader, points out that the app only contains general information, valid for everyone. “We cannot consider the health risks of an individual traveler as we do not have their medical history or the circumstances in which they are traveling.“On the other hand, the app allows the IMT to send a specific message to travelers when an epidemic is triggered in a country.