European Consumer Centre

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Coronavirus in Europe: What rights do I have when travelling?

At present, according to the declared crisis measures of the Government of the Czech Republic, it isn’t possible to cross national borders unless reasons for any of the exceptions are met.  However, is it possible to cancel stays that have already been booked without the need to pay cancellation fees? This question is not so easy to answer, because it always depends on whether you have ordered package travel, or just accommodation or another separate service, not included in a package travel, and in the case of foreign trips it also depends on which country’s law is applicable within the travel contract.

In the case where the Czech consumer purchased a trip from a foreign travel agency and the place of departure isn’t in the Czech Republic, the travel contract usually wouldn’t be governed by Czech law, but by the law of the state of the registered office of the tour operator. The impossibility of travelling to the place of boarding for a trip due to extraordinary measures taken in the Czech Republic would usually not be at the risk of the tour operator, because the journey to the place of departure of the trip is carried out separately by the customer at their risk.

A possibility of withdrawing from the contract due to extraordinary circumstances will be based on the situation at the place of the agreed departure for the trip, routes of travel and the final destination. From this perspective, the situation in the Czech Republic wouldn’t usually be relevant to such contract. In the Member States of the European Union, the possibility of withdrawal in extraordinary circumstances applies to the rules similar to those in the Czech Republic under the relevant Directive of the European Union.

Since the information can change daily, it is also recommended to monitor the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your home country and countries relating to your trip.


Which rights do apply to individual travellers?

In the case of individual travel bookings, e. g. a separately booked flight and a separately booked hotel, the cancellation of the flight or the hotel is only possible as a gesture of goodwill by the airline or the hotel. Travellers should contact the airline or the hotel immediately and ask for the conditions of cancellation. At the moment, many airlines provide the possibility to cancel or rebook flights without paying cancellation charges. If your flight was cancelled by the airline they either must refund the money or they must provide another means of transport.

I have taken out a travel cancellation insurance. Do they pay?

That depends on the conditions of the contract. Usually they pay in cases of unforeseeable illness, accidents or serious injuries of the insured person. The pure fear to get sick is usually not covered by these products.


CTIA information

For more details, please check the information provided by the Czech Trade Inspection Authority.