Travel: Can you receive a refund if your destination is placed on Germany’s warning list?

Travel: Can you receive a refund if your destination is placed on Germany’s warning list?
Photo: DPA
More than 160 countries are currently on Germany’s travel warning list. If you’ve booked a trip to one of these destinations, can you get your deposit back?

As at August 31st, 2020, Germany’s warning list includes more than 160 countries – including some countries and regions within the European Union. 

READ ALSO: Who is allowed to travel to Germany from outside the EU? 

Some of the destinations which are currently on the list include popular holiday destinations inside Europe, such as parts of France, Spain, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania and Belgium. 

Germany regularly updates its travel warning list. The updated list can be found on The Local here

This can cause problems for people who have booked holidays to destinations which later get placed on the list. 

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See also on The Local:

Fortunately, if you book a holiday and the destination later gets placed on the list you are entitled to a refund on your deposit – although this will only be the case with regard to package tours. 

According to Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, down payments made on a trip must be repaid within 14 days of a cancellation due to a destination being placed on the list, reports DPA. 

This is if the cancellation is made by the holiday maker – if a cancellation is made by the airlines, refunds will also be available. 

Explained: What are your rights for cancelled flights in Germany? 

According to the Federation of German Consumer Organisations, a governmental travel warning – while not amounting to a ban on travel – has a “significant dissuasive effect”. 

As a result, travellers can cancel their bookings free of charge – and receive a return on their deposit. 

According to German law, the courts recognise placing a country on a travel warning list as a “force majeure” which entitles the holder to withdraw, as it “makes safe journey to the destination impossible. 

As reported by The Local Germany on Monday, German consumer advocates have called for an end to mandatory deposits for holiday bookings. 

Only package tours?

Unfortunately for hopeful travellers who have organised their own holidays rather than booked a package tour, the return of the deposit does not apply to self-booked flights. 

Those who have self-booked flights will need to look at the fine print of their booking, or hope to recoup their outlay through their travel insurance. 

Similarly, hotel, train and other bookings will depend on the specific conditions of the booking in question. 

 


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