Authorities in Portugal have notified those travellers can now claim unused voucher refunds at travel companies for trips that did not take place until September 30, 2020, owing to the Coronavirus. Furthermore, businesses have 14 days to restore the money to customers.
According to the announcement made by Turismo de Portugal, “the cancellation, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, of trips organised by travel and tourism agencies whose date of completion should be having occurred between March 13, 2020, and September 30, 2020” resulted in “the issuance of vouchers to be used by travellers until December 31, 2021” as well as in “the right of travellers to see trips rescheduled for a later date, until December 31 2021.”
In this context, the European Commission said in July that it will initiate infringement proceedings against European Union Member States for failing to obey EU legislation on travellers’ rights by issuing airline vouchers instead of reimbursements during the Coronavirus epidemic. The Commission reminded the states that consumers’ rights continue to be valid.
According to Portugal News, the decree law specifies that if the voucher is not utilized by December 31, 2021, the guest can be repaid within 14 days.
Besides, according to Tourism de Portugal, if the scheduled rescheduling is not made by December 31, 2021, because of the failure of reaching an agreement between the tourist resort and the guest, the latter has the right to be refunded the amount paid at the time of the cancellation of the reservation to be made within two weeks.
These provisions apply “To reservations for accommodation services in tourist developments and local accommodation establishments located in Portugal, with or without additional services, made through travel and tourism agencies” that are not refundable at the outset.