Coronadvice 9 - Can the Accommodation For Summer, Autumn, or Next Year Be Sold in the Current Situation?

On March 15, 2020, the government adopted a crisis measure that banned the sale of accommodation services with effect from 24 March 2020, barring some exemptions. This ban on the sale of accommodation was further extended yesterday (23 April 2020) until 1 April 2020. However, the term "ban on the sale of accommodation" is unclear. Does it also include any conclusion of an existing accommodation contract or reservation, even if the accommodation is to take place in summer? Is the issuance of a voucher (we dealt with vouchers in Coronadvice 8) considered a sale of accommodation according to the crisis measure? What if a tour operator sells a package tour that includes accommodation? Does the ban also apply to the sale of tours by tour operator? Many questions arise from three simple words.

From a purely grammatical interpretation of the crisis measure, it would appear that sales are prohibited in the sense of concluding an accommodation contract for the duration of the crisis measure. Thus, it does not matter when the accommodation services will be used, but when the contract was concluded. This interpretation, however, goes against the sense and purpose of the crisis measure, which is to limit the gathering of persons in accommodation facilities for a certain period of time. We discussed this situation with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, which also confirmed that the aim of the measure is not to freeze the sale of accommodation forever. Therefore, a ban on the sale of accommodation means the realisation of accommodation, or the conclusion of a contract with performance, at the time of emergency measures. Providers of accommodation can now conclude accommodation contracts for the period after the end of the crisis measure, for example in the summer or next year.

According to the purpose of the measure, it is also necessary to address the question of whether tour operators and travel agencies are also included in the ban on the sale of accommodation. The answer is yes. Accommodation sold by a travel agency or tour operator as a single service or as part of a package tour is considered accommodation in terms of an emergency measure. Thus, travel agencies and tour operators cannot sell accommodation services or package tours that involve accommodation, which is to be provided during the time specified in the crisis measure. However, they may sell accommodation or package tours involving accommodation, where the stay is to be completed after the time specified in the crisis measure.

Being an entrepreneur in tourism is difficult today. Therefore, we carefully monitor state and other support measures for entrepreneurs. In the coming days, we will focus on the issue of employees. You can look forward to topics about the change in nursing (sickness insurance) benefit due to coronavirus, or which scheme from the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs Antivirus program can be used by tourism entrepreneurs to get reimbursed for employees' wage costs.


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Livingstone, Tour Operator

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