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Coronadvice 4 - Can Tour operators “Open” Today?

16/03/2020

In the Czech Republic, an emergency has been imposed. This means that the government can, at any time, restrict the provision of services to any extent deemed necessary, which has already done. With effect from 14 March 2020 6.00 am to 24 March 2020 to 6.00 am, the government has prohibited the retail and sale of services. There are only a few exceptions to this ban, including an online sale exception. So how can travel agencies operate after March 16 2020?


In our experience, there are two types of travel agencies. Those who offer and sell tours exclusively online, and those that operate online and at the same time offer and sell tours in a physical store. The text of the government's crisis measure suggests that online vendors can "open" from Monday onwards, but a brick and mortar store can only be used to pay for or pick up an online service, and offering and selling tours or other services in the establishment is not possible. However, given that another government emergency measure of 15 March 2020 mandates the quarantine of the entire Czech Republic, a customer is not permitted to enter the travel agency premises anyway.

To sum up, travel agencies can sell online, they can also have an opened physical store. However, they cannot sell tours and offer services in the physical store. A customer who has purchased an online tour may only pay or pick up the contract documents at the physical store. However, as the customer cannot come to the physical store due to the quarantine ordered, in our opinion the opening of the shop does not make financial sense. The staff can still reach the office, even when teleworking (home-office) is recommended.


According to the Crisis Act, the state is obliged to compensate the damage caused to legal and natural persons due to the crisis measures. The provision also theoretically imposes restrictions on the activities of travel agencies. If you want to prepare for this option now, please contact us at info@holubova.cz.