The Coronavirus epidemic in Europe is upsetting nearly everyone’s plans. What rights do you have if you have booked a hotel or rental abroad?
In the case of a hotel reservation or holiday rental, the national law of the country where the accommodation is located applies.

If the hotel or landlord cancels your reservation on its own initiative, you are normally entitled to a full refund of the cancelled service.

However, in the event of cancellation from your side, the law does not generally provide for a mandatory refund from the hotel or owner if they are still able to maintain the reservation and provide their services.
First of all, it is important to check the general terms and conditions and more particularly the cancellation conditions of the hotel or of the rental in question. In some cases, it is possible to cancel your reservation without any charge, in others it is possible that the hotel or owner may charge cancellation fees.

In that case, contact the hotel or landlord first and try to negotiate a postponement of your stay or a refund in the form of a voucher.
We draw your attention to the fact that, due to the COVID-19 epidemic, some Member States have made special arrangements to deal with the issue of cancellation of hotel stays or seasonal accommodation rentals:


In Austria there are currently no Corona-specific regulations regarding the reimbursement of cancelled hotel reservations. In this respect, general law is applicable. Should the hotel therefore be closed at the planned time of the stay, it will not be able to provide the contractually agreed service and any payments already made will have to be refunded (cancellation fees do not apply). However, vouchers for already made payments can be accepted by consumers on a voluntary basis.

If, however, your stay is further in the future, i.e. outside the period in which hotel closures are currently prescribed, and you still wish to cancel your stay now, the hotel’s Booking Terms and Conditions apply. These conditions usually provide cancellation fees. It should be noted that the closer you get to the date of your stay, the higher the cancellation fees will be.


For any cancellation request made between 1st March 2020 and 15th September 2020 whether it is made by you or by the professional, the professional has the choice between :

– immediately reimburse the consumer,

– or, within 30 days of cancellation, give the consumer in writing (e-mail or letter) a voucher valid for 18 months from the date of issue, corresponding to the amount initially paid. This voucher should be used in whole or in part to purchase one or more services offered by the same hotel or owner. The balance of the unused voucher will be refunded at the end of its period of validity, in principle without any action on the part of the consumer.

For a cancellation request made before 1st March 2020 or after 15th September 2020, the contractual conditions apply.


In Germany there are currently no Corona-specific regulations regarding the reimbursement of cancelled hotel reservations. In this respect, general law is applicable. Should the hotel therefore be closed at the planned time of the stay, it will not be able to provide the contractually agreed service and any payments already made will have to be refunded (cancellation fees do not apply). However, vouchers for already made payments can be accepted by consumers on a voluntary basis.

If, however, your stay is further in the future, i.e. outside the period in which hotel closures are currently prescribed, and you still wish to cancel your stay now, the hotel’s Booking Terms and Conditions apply. These conditions usually provide cancellation fees. It should be noted that the closer you get to the date of your stay, the higher the cancellation fees will be.

In any case, you should first contact the hotel and describe your situation. In most cases a solution can already be found in this way.

Cancellations of hotel reservation related to Covid-19 are governed by art. 88 of Legislative Decree No. 18 of 17 March 2020. According to the Decree consumers who are unable to travel due to travel restrictions or because they are under quarantine, are entitled to a reimbursement or a voucher valid for one year from the date of issue.

Cancellations that are not related to the Covid-19 are governed by the contractual conditions and general principles of contract law of the Civil Code, namely that if consumers cancel the stay for personal reasons will only be refunded if this is provided in the contractual conditions of the hotel.

In the event that the provision of any type of service is impossible as a consequence of the measures adopted during the state of alarm (e.g. hotel, restaurant reservation), the user will have the right to terminate the contract without penalty within 14 days from the end of the state of alarm and its extensions.

The service provider may offer an alternative service provision (alternative date or a voucher, among others). In the event that, within a maximum period of 60 days, the user does not accept the proposed alternative, the amounts paid must be reimbursed in the same way in which the payment was made. However, the company may discount the expenses caused by the reimbursement, which must be suitably disaggregated and which, in no case, may entail a penalty for the user.

In any case, it is recommended to check the terms and conditions of the contract to verify if these cancellation circumstances are prior and if the potential additional rights that could be attached to said cancellations were more favorable.


In the Netherlands, there are currently no specific coronavirus-related regulations regarding refunds for cancelled hotel stays. Therefore, general law is applicable.

If you want to cancel the accommodation, such as a holiday home, hotel room or camping spot, for fear of the coronavirus, then in principle, you are not entitled to a refund of your money. You are subject to the provider’s contractual terms and conditions. Contact the property or the provider to enquire for the options.

Does the provider of your accommodation, such as a holiday home, hotel room or camping, cancel your booking due to an entry ban? Or because the accommodation is closed because of the coronavirus? Then you are entitled to a refund.

An accommodation cannot always be held responsible for cancelling the booking. In the event of a force majeure situation such as an entry ban or an outbreak of the coronavirus, you are not entitled to financial compensation for other costs such as the flight ticket, vaccinations or visa.
It’s good to know that you do not have to accept the travel voucher. If you refuse the voucher, you are entitled to a refund of the amount you paid for the accommodation


Therefore, we advise consumers to not hesitate to contact the European Consumer Centre Luxembourg in order to obtain individualized advice to their situation.

As our mission is to defend the interests of consumers, we can sometimes try to find a fair solution which may differ from the legal rules. In a legal action the final decision of a judge might be different.

You can reach the ECC Luxembourg at the following address: 2A, rue Kalchesbrück, L-1852 Luxembourg, phone: (+352) 26 84 64-1, fax: (+352) 26 84 57 61, e-mail: info@cecluxembourg.lu.