WILDFIRES on the Greek islands of Rhodes and Corfu are causing chaos for thousands of holidaymakers with the Greek government saying it has evacuated 19,000 people.

It is believed to be the “largest ever” wildfire evacuation in the country’s history and repatriation flights collecting people from the UK who have been forced to end their holidays early.

But what should you do if you have already booked travel to either of these islands?

What have airlines said?

TUI – All flights to the islands have been cancelled until Tuesday. Customers looking to fly out on Wednesday will be given the opportunity to rebook or cancel their flight free of charge.

TUI has specifically advised that people set to stay at the TUI Blue Atlantica Nissaki Beach, Pantokrator, Golden Mare, La Riviera or Nautilusue hotels do not travel to the airport on July 24 or 25.

READ MORE: Scottish Government in 'urgent' talks to change Levelling Up Bill

For those there, a spokesperson said: “The situation is now fully under control and guests are returning to their hotels to continue their holidays as planned.”

EasyJet – All package holidays have been cancelled until Tuesday and although the airlines said it is “operating flights as normal”, it was offering those who had booked to travel to or from Rhodes the chance to transfer to another date or request a flight voucher up to next Saturday.

Thomas Cook – All holidays in the areas of Rhodes most affected by the wildfire have been cancelled until July 31.

The agency announced it had been in touch with all customers due to travel on July 24 to those areas to arrange “swift refunds”.

It added that it will be in touch with people who booked to travel on Tuesday to discuss options.

Elsewhere, British Airways said it is offering customers on the island who need to return home early the opportunity to change flights free of charge.

Ryanair said that flights were “currently operating as normal and unaffected by the forest fires”.

What if I’m not travelling until August?

Anybody who has booked a holiday to the Greek islands in August are not being advised to change their plans at the moment.

Travel editor with the Independent Simon Calder told Sky News: “At the moment the presumption is you will be able to go.”

The National: Wildfires have left the island devastatedWildfires have left the island devastated

He added that with no official advice in place, cancelling could mean you will lose “all or some of your money” and so travellers should wait until the fires have calmed and there is more clarity given in the “coming days”.

What is the Foreign Office’s official advice?

The UK’s Foreign Office has urged British travellers affected by the wildfires to follow guidance from emergency services in Greece.

It said: “If you are planning to travel to Rhodes, please check with your travel operator or hotel prior to travel that the area you plan to visit is not impacted by the current wildfires.”

However, it has not completely advised against travel to Rhodes.

Am I covered by my travel insurance?

Whether or not holidaymakers are guaranteed compensation depends on whether or not the UK Government advises against travel to the area.

A spokesperson for the Association of British Insurers said: “The primary purpose of travel insurance is to cover the costs of emergency medical treatments or repatriation should the worst happen, which can run into the tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds.

“It can cover you if you need to cancel or cut short your holiday, but it’s likely this will only be under limited circumstances, for example if you or a close family member fall ill, not because of a disinclination to travel.

READ MORE: Senior Tories urge Rishi Sunak to hold spring election

“Insurance can cover you if advice from the government changes since you’ve booked your trip, and it’s no longer considered safe to travel to the destination.”

Anyone concerned about travelling to the area should speak with their travel provider and air carrier, the spokesperson added.

Some travel insurance policies may cover affected holidays, so people are encouraged to check the scope of cover provided by their specific travel insurance provider.

What if I'm with another operator? 

If you are travelling on a package deal, the Package Travel Regulations say holidaymakers can cancel and receive a refund “if unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances occur at the place of destination or its immediate vicinity which significantly affects the performance of the package or the carriage of passengers to the destination”.

A spokesperson for the Association of British Travel Agents, Emma Brennan, said: “If you have been notified that your holiday which is due to depart in the next few days has been cancelled, then your travel company will be able to discuss your options with you – that could be offering a full refund or they might be able to discuss an alternative holiday.”

However, she added that those who booked travel independently could have less luck in securing money back.

READ MORE: Scottish citizenship independence white paper to be published

“If you booked everything independently, if you booked a flight and that flight has now been cancelled, then they will need to provide a refund for that, then you would need to go through and speak to every element of your travel provider to understand what the terms and conditions are – what’s the arrangement with the hotel or accommodation that you have booked, what’s the refund policy, the same for any transfer or car hire”, she explained.

The fine print of holiday conditions will differ depending on what operator you booked a holiday with.