Your boss can stop you going on holiday because of coronavirus outbreak

The spread of coronavirus has thrown travel plans into chaos and already seen the cancellation of major public events across the globe.

Airlines have already been axing hundreds of scheduled flights as COVID-19 grips Europe, with British Airways and Ryanair among the major carriers axing routes.

More than 95,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported worldwide, with over 3,000 deaths attributed to the outbreak.

People who have booked holidays in the next few months could be left questioning whether it is sensible to go away, or whether they should cancel and stay at home instead.

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Many may decide to take the risk and enjoy their planned holiday anyway, but could your employer step in and put a stop to your travel plans?

Alan Price, chief executive of HR software firm BrightHR told The Sun that employers can't stop workers from travelling, and they can't sanction you for going away either.

However, he revealed that bosses are technically allowed to cancel annual leave, even if you have already had it approved.

The only condition is that they give the minimum required notice, which is the same amount of time as the leave that has been booked.

Although the law allows employers to do this, Mr Price warns they should "proceed with caution", as cancelling leave will invariably mean staff are left out of pocket.

He said: "There may also be a discrimination risk here; cancelling all leave to China, Italy or Korea may have a disproportionate impact on employees who are using their holiday to visit family."

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But other experts are sceptical about the prospect of this happening.

Deborah Scales, head of employment law for Cartwright King Solicitors, said that she's never known of employers cancelled already approved leave during her 12 years in the job.

She thinks bosses would only be likely to prevent staff taking leave if it hasn't been approved yet.

The Government has advised Brits to avoid all travel to areas including mainland China, northern Italy and parts of South Korea.

It comes as more than 2,000 holidaymakers remain trapped on a cruise ship and been told not to leave after a former passenger tested positive for coronavirus .

MSC Opera's captain has told the passengers aboard the packed vessel not to leave the ship.

Passengers were urgently called back from excursions and told it was due to a ''security problem'', but once back on the ship they were given the dire news.

Captain Pietro Esposito confirmed a previous passenger who had sailed on the ship last week had tested positive for COVID-19.

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