EU Commission on Covid-19 and travellers’ rights

20th July 2020 by Vincent Gumera

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The EU Commission has called on Member States, travel organisers and all involved actors to find pragmatic and flexible solutions that respect travellers’ rights for cancelled package travel holidays in the current situation of COVID-19 outbreak. As regards cancelled holidays, the traveller’s right to be reimbursed in accordance with the EU Package Travel Directive also applies in case of “unavoidable and extraordinary” circumstances such as those caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Nevertheless, in light of the unprecedented situation, the Commissioner for Justice and Consumers, has called for pragmatic solutions:

“Travellers have the right to get a full refund if their trip is cancelled. However, when possible, consumers should consider accepting a voucher that allows them to postpone their holidays to a later point in time, under certain conditions. Such voucher should be reimbursable if not used and secured against possible insolvency of the operator. At the same time, Member States should also consider providing liquidity support to the travel business that allows them to settle travelers’ refund claims, in accordance with State aid rules.”

Last month, the European Commission published advisory guidance on EU Package Travel rules in the context of Covid-19.

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