THREE QUESTIONS TO – At the dawn of the big departures on vacation, several favorite destinations for the French are facing an outbreak of Covid-19 cases. What upset his plans? Not sure. We take stock with Emmanuelle Llop, lawyer specializing in tourism, aviation and leisure law at Équinoxe.
“Avoid Spain and Portugal in your destinations“, advised Clément Beaune, on France 2 this July 8. The recommendations of the Secretary of State for European Affairs, who invites the French to stay in their country or in regions where the health situation is stable, concern “those who have not yet booked their vacation“. A Defense Council scheduled for Monday must decide on any restrictions. What about vacationers who have already booked their stay? We take stock.
LE FIGARO. – The health situation is clearly deteriorating in countries such as Spain or Portugal . Should you cancel your vacation or remain optimistic?
Emmanuelle LLOP. – It all depends on the dates. Every day comes with its share of new information, both in terms of the policies applied in the provinces of the host country and the terms imposed by the French authorities. Catalonia, for example, has announced the closure of nightclubs, but France could also restrict travel or require compelling reasons in the days to come. We can ask ourselves questions if we have planned to leave next weekend, but for a departure in August, it is not yet necessary to cancel our holidays in Spain. Beware, however, of the classification according to color: if a country goes from the green zone to orange, non-vaccinated passengers must have a compelling reason. If this is not the case, the cause of the cancellation lies with the passenger and not the responsibility of the agency or the airline. No refund is then possible.
Can the application of new on-site restrictions be grounds for a refund?
If we bought a dry flight (plane ticket purchased alone, without any other service, editor’s note), the airline has no obligation to reimburse the traveler as long as the flight is maintained. It’s the same for hotels or car rentals, even if the new restrictions affect the smooth running of the trip. Professionals have relaxed their commercial policies to bring customers back, but tourists still have an interest in going through agencies at the moment, even for a short stay in Europe. Because in the event of the purchase of a package, the regulations indicate that if the stay is made impossible on site (closing of a hotel, different entry conditions in museums, etc.), the policy that applies is that of free cancellation with refund. It is a sign of trust.
More and more French people are subscribing to travel insurance . Is there a change in perception vis-à-vis these protections?
Absolutely, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to last. We see this trend with each disaster, it had already been the case during the ash cloud of the Icelandic volcano. Each significant event is an opportunity for insurers to show imagination and availability: impossible return or departure, quarantine, extension of stay… There is always cover that meets our needs! It does not cost much to take out insurance, even if it means withdrawing within 14 days if you realize that your bank card covers the costs. We then opt for comprehensive multi-risk insurance (medical assistance, repatriation, etc.), with the “special covid” option, which guarantees, for example, cancellation in the event of contamination before departure, or a positive test at destination.
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