Holidaymakers who had their package holidays ruined due to Covid restrictions could be entitled to a partial refund.
The European Court of Justice made the announcement on Thursday, January 12 after it had been asked for an opinion by a German court.
The news comes after two people registered a case at a court in Munich. They are asking for a 70 percent reduction in the price of their package holiday to Gran Canaria, which was booked before the pandemic struck. They flew out on March 13, 2022, and restrictions were imposed just two days into their holiday.
The EU court stated: “When the restrictions were imposed on March 15, beaches were closed, a curfew put in place and the plaintiffs were allowed to leave their hotel room only to eat.”
On March 18, the couple were told to be ready to leave at any moment, and two days later they had to return home to Germany.
On returning home the holidaymakers contacted the tour operator they had used, requesting a reduction of the price of the holiday. The company refused, stating: “it couldn’t be held liable for a general life risk.”
After hearing the full details of the case, the EU court ruled that “a traveller is entitled to a reduction in the price of his or her package where a lack of conformity of the travel services included in the package is due to restrictions that have been imposed at the travel destination to fight the spread of an infectious disease, such as COVID-19”.
The court also declared that “It doesn’t matter if similar restrictions are imposed at the traveller’s place of residence or in other countries”.
The German court will now assess whether the restrictions in this specific case “could constitute failures to perform or improper performances” of the contract by the holiday operator.