Get ‘appropriate insurance’: Foreign Office's new advice to Greece holidaymakers with wildfires still raging

26 July 2023, 00:26 | Updated: 26 July 2023, 06:23

The UK Foreign Office issued a travel guidance update.
The UK Foreign Office issued a travel guidance update. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

The UK Foreign Office has updated travel advice to Brits planning to travel to areas in Europe affected by wildfires.

On Tuesday the Foreign Office updated advice to prospective travellers, as it reminded them to “make sure you have appropriate insurance”.

It added that the fires were “highly dangerous and unpredictable” and were “in populated areas on the mainland and a number of islands”.

The advice is accompanied by the department’s previous unchanged advice to “contact your travel operator or accommodation provider before you travel to check that it is not currently impacted”.

It comes after the Foreign Office has been criticised by ministers as they urge the government to formally advise holidaymakers against travelling to Rhodes or any other Greek island affected by the blazes.

On Tuesday evening, travel company TUI also issued a list of hotels that will not be operating until August 11 at the earliest.

Full list of hotels closed below

The hotels affected are based on the South of Rhodes, meanwhile holidays to northern resorts on the island are expected to continue as normal from July 29.

Read more: Arsonists blamed for Corfu wildfires as Greece grapples with blazes while terrified Brit tourists flee

Read more: Two pilots confirmed dead after plane nose-dived to ground in fireball crash while fighting Greek wildfires

Wildfires continue to ravage Rhodes.
Wildfires continue to ravage Rhodes. Picture: Getty

Thousands are believed to be stranded on the Greek island, leaving many with no choice but to flee the flames on foot or sleep in refuge centres and the airport.

The UK government has not warned against travelling to Rhodes, but has warned of wildfires.

Around a dozen flights are scheduled to depart from Rhodes and head back to the UK on Tuesday evening - this includes services from TUI, Jet2 and easyJet.

Foreign Office Minister Andrew Mitchell said on Monday morning up to 10,000 Brits were on Rhodes - including those on unaffected parts of the island.

TUI has cancelled package holidays to Rhodes until August 11, while easyJet has cancelled package holidays until Saturday 29 July.

Labour’s Baroness Angela Smith urged the government to “rethink” its travel guidance to Brits in the House of Lords.

While Lib Dem foreign affairs spokeswoman Layla Moran said the advice should be changed to “enable the thousands of British tourists due to fly to Rhodes to safely cancel their holidays without being left out of pocket”.

Different regions in Greece have been affected by the wildfires.
Different regions in Greece have been affected by the wildfires. Picture: Alamy
Thousands are believed to be stranded in Rhodes.
Thousands are believed to be stranded in Rhodes. Picture: Alamy

A formal warning from government would make it easier for holidaymakers to claim a refund on their holidays with less risk of losing out on cash.

On Tuesday Greek officials confirmed the death of two pilots tackling blazes after their plane nose-dived in a fireball crash.

Wildfires have hit multiple regions across Europe, as tourists have been forced to flee Rhodes and Corfu amid soaring temperatures, while wildfires have broken out in parts of Croatia, Tunisia, Sicily and Turkey.

Hotels not operating until August 11

  • Absolutel Kiotari
  • Amaryllis Hotel Lardos
  • Ambelia Hotel (ex Zenith Seaside Hotel)
  • Amfitriti Hotel and Studios
  • Aqua Grand of Lindos Exclusive Deluxe Resort
  • Atrium Prestige
  • Boutique 5 Hotel and Spa
  • Cosmos Maris
  • Eleni Studios
  • Evi Studios
  • Finas Hotel and Apartments
  • Gennadi Grand
  • Gonos Villa
  • Hotel Ziakis
  • Island Blue Hotel
  • Labranda Kiotari Miraluna
  • Lindia Thalassa Resort
  • Lindian Village
  • Lindos Blue
  • Lindos Grand Resort and Spa
  • Lindos Imperial Resort and Spa
  • Lindos Mare
  • Lindos Princess
  • Lindos Royal
  • Lindos View
  • Lindos Village Resort and Spa
  • Lindos White Hotel and Suites
  • Mayia Exclusive Resort and Spa
  • Mitsis Hotel Rodos Village
  • Mitsis Lindos Memories Hotel
  • Mitsis Rodos Maris Resort and Spa
  • Pefki Islands
  • Pefkos Village Resort
  • Plimiri
  • Princess Andriana Resort and Spa
  • Princess Sun Hotel
  • Rafael Studios
  • Rodos Princess Beach Hotel
  • Stella
  • TUI Blue Sensatori Atlantica Dreams Resort
  • White Olive Premium Lindos