FOREIGN OFFICE UPDATE 22nd July 2017
Summary – Kos Airport is fully operational and expects to operate a full service from Saturday 22 July. Ferry services are being diverted to other ports on the island of Kos, given damage to the main port. If you have concerns about flights or ferry services, please contact your airline, ferry company or tour operator.
The Independent says that more than 8000 British holiday makers are currently holidaying in Kos. The recent earthquake centered at Bodrum just off Turkey has rightly caused concern for tourists, especially those travelling to Kos, which appears to have been the worst affected area.
Most newspapers are printing reports of tourists who have suffered as a result of the earthquake, made worse by the fact it is happening in a foreign country.
There are also stories of tour operators refusing to cancel holidays to these areas, on what is one of the busiest weekends of the tourist season.
Many tourists who feared more aftershocks, left their hotels and spent the night sleeping outdoors. The emergency services and the armed forces have both responded and a rescue operation is underway.
The airport at Kos closed for a short period but has now reopened and flights are once again operating, although the brief closure has caused delays.
Whilst this must have been a truly terrifying experience, most of the modern structures, hotels and villas, have reported no damage and its business as usual.
What is the advice for tourists, who are there and who have planned a holiday to the affected areas?
For those tourists in the affected areas, the UK foreign office has warned of the possibility of aftershocks and to follow the advice of local authorities and tour operators. Visitors should refrain from entering damaged or weak structures.
Keep checking the foreign office advice page for regular updates.
If you need to move to another hotel, then speak to your tour operator, or their representatives.
If you need to cut your holiday short because your accommodation has become uninhabitable, then you should contact your insurer as soon as possible, to arrange flights home.
Some travel insurance policies cover alternative accommodation as a result of damage by earthquakes, tsunamis etc.
Make sure you obtain written confirmation from either the hotel, or local authorities, that the accommodation is uninhabitable.
2. Medical expenses.
If you have been injured as a result of the earthquake, contact your travel insurance provider as soon as possible. They have enormous experience and will be able to advise you how best to proceed.
If you have lost items or they have been damaged as a result of the earthquake, keep a record of what has been damaged and if you can provide photographic evidence to back this up. A written report from either the local authority or hotel management would also assist in supporting a claim.
At the moment there is no advice not to visit the affected areas, but if you want to change your holiday destination, then contact your holiday provider to discuss alternatives. Most reputable tour operators will be happy to assist.