Two-thirds of travel insurance policies will not pay out if holidaymakers are required to self-isolate without contracting Covid, an investigation has found.

The research, by consumer group Which?, found that 172 out of 263 policies that they analysed did not cover travellers for cancelling in the event of needing to self-isolate without having a positive Covid test result.

According to the investigation, only two of the 263 travel insurance policies provide "complete" cover for Covid disruption.

These were HSBC Select and Cover and Barclays Travel Pack, but they were only available to customers of the two banks and could only be bought alongside other insurance products.

Travel countries on the red, green and amber list

These offered cover for cancellation due to changes in advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Government lockdowns prohibiting travel, testing positive for Covid, being told to self-isolate, and medical costs and repatriation.

A further 85 policies were ranked "superior", providing cancellation cover for travellers having to self-isolate without a positive test, but not for a change in FCDO advice. Policies with "superior" Covid cover included those from popular providers such as AA, AXA and Staysure.

Just over half of the policies (142) were ranked "low", including policies from Nationwide, Admiral and the Post Office.

This meant that they offered some cancellation cover, but not cover for cancelling in the event of needing to self-isolate without having a positive Covid test result.

The 43 hotel quarantine 'red list' countries

There were 34 policies ranked "basic", the lowest ranking. They provided travellers with cover for Covid-related emergency medical costs and repatriation, but not for cancelling a trip if a traveller contracts Covid.

Among well-known providers offering some "basic" policies were Direct Travel, esure and Sheilas’ Wheels.

Gareth Shaw, Head of Which? Money, said: "As the removal of Portugal from the green list shows, last-minute disruption to holiday plans can happen – and our research shows that many travel insurers don’t offer much protection if it does.

"The Government should work with regulators to ensure that travellers, should they choose to go abroad, are given clear information about what they will and won’t be covered for – and make sure that providers don’t make bold and confusing claims about their cover without being clear about the limitations."