On May 13., the European Commission presented a package of guidelines and recommendations to help Member States gradually lift travel restrictions and allow tourism businesses to reopen, after months of lockdown, while respecting necessary health precautions.

EPF is pleased that the Commission has confirmed its position that cash refunds need to stay available to consumers. This is valid for all modes of transport and for travel packages. The Commission will send letters to the countries that wanted to (temporarily) abolish cash refunds or who have already made steps in that direction. This also means that certain national measures (such as in Belgium, on offering vouchers only for cancelled travel packages; or in the Netherlands, on not enforcing cash refunds for cancelled flights) are likely to be considered invalid and should be undone.

EPF’s position on vouchers versus cash refund can be consulted here.

More information on the Commission’s decision can be found here (with further links to a number of documents, such as a recommendation on vouchers offered as an alternative to reimbursement).