The safety of our partners and guests is of utmost importance. As a result of the official travel advice received from Government organisations about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), guests are unable to travel to or stay at accommodations located in areas that are severely affected.
In addition, international travel restrictions are placed on travellers who have recently been in areas severely affected by the Coronavirus (in most cases, within the last 14 days). These restrictions can include bans on entry, mandatory quarantine on arrival, or the suspension of on-arrival visas.
As a result, to protect the health of our partners and guests in regard to Coronavirus, we have declared Force Majeure/Forced Circumstances (FM).
In addition to the below-mentioned countries or regions, FM also covers individual cases where restrictions make it impossible, illegal or prevent guests from travelling to or staying at the accommodation (in accordance with the applicable General Delivery Terms).
We expect partners to refund any prepayment and waive any cancellation costs (fees, expenses and/or other amounts) in situations where the guests/travellers requested cancellations as a result of Force Majeure. Booking.com will waive the commission in these cases.
Reservations where Force Majeure (FM) conditions apply
Please note that domestic travel is not subject to FM unless mentioned otherwise and that FM policies apply only to cancellations made after the introduction of the relevant travel restrictions.
FM conditions also apply in countries or regions other than those mentioned explicitly below, for instance in (but not limited to) situations where reservations are:
- by travellers who have been to an area affected by Coronavirus and are prevented from travelling as a result
- by travellers who have been banned from entering the country they intended to travel to
- by travellers who face suspension of on-arrival visas
- made at properties who have closed their doors, either by their own choice or through regulatory requirement. Please note the property has the responsibility to inform impacted guests and ensure they are fully refunded for any cancelled stay
Important change per 6 April 2020: By now, we can expect that our mutual customers are aware of the risk of further COVID-19 spread, and as such the risk they are taking when making new reservations, particularly Non-Refundable and Partially Refundable bookings. Therefore for all new reservations made as of 6 April 2020, we will no longer apply Force Majeure conditions for guests seeking to cancel or modify their booking due to the current COVID-19 outbreak. These reservations will be treated like any standard booking, according to our policies and procedures.
Important change per 21 July 2020: (1) The situation with regards to the Coronavirus continues to evolve around the world, with travel restrictions affecting our customers and partners now often being applied on a regional, subregional, or city level. As described on 6 April 2020 (please see above), Force Majeure will only be applied for bookings made prior to that date. There may still be a number of reservations made prior to 6 April 2020 where Force Majeure can apply, however, with time, the number of potentially impacted reservations will continue to decrease. (2) To ensure we continue to support our customers and partners in the best way possible and adapt to the current situation where restrictions are much more regional than before, we have changed our procedure for handling some of these reservations that are potentially affected by Force Majeure. (3) For some major locations across the world, we will continue to specify information related to the applicable Force Majeure conditions in this article. (4) All inquiries for impacted reservations that are not mentioned in this article will be handled by our Customer Service agents on a case-by-case basis, in line with our criteria for declaring Force Majeure as described under 1. Conditions of Force Majeure/Forced Circumstances.
By now, we can expect that our mutual customers are aware of the risk of further COVID-19 spread, and as such the risk they are taking when making new reservations, particularly Non-Refundable and Partially Refundable bookings.
Therefore for all new reservations made as of 6 April 2020, we will no longer apply Force Majeure conditions for guests seeking to cancel or modify their booking due to the current COVID-19 outbreak. These reservations will be treated like any standard booking, according to our policies and procedures.
What this means
For reservations made on or after 6 April 2020:
1. The COVID-19 Force Majeure procedures that we implemented in view of government travel restrictions do not apply.
2. Our standard procedures apply, including relating to Non-Refundable and Partially Refundable reservations. As such, you will be in control of whether, when and how to refund COVID-19-related guest cancellations for reservations made on or after 6 April 2020, based on the policy chosen by your guest, your individual, legal and governmental situation and mandatory consumer law.
3. We will introduce extensive new messaging across our website and app, both pre- and post-booking, to make customers even more aware of the risk they are taking in booking Non-Refundable or Partially Refundable reservations on or after 6 April 2020.
4. As the COVID-19 situation evolves constantly, we reserve the right to reinstate our contractual Force Majeure policy. If we do, we will communicate this to you and the change will only apply to reservations made after such communication.
5. You remain responsible for making sure your availability on our platform is up-to-date, including when government restrictions mean your property must be closed. Should a guest book a room that is in fact not available, the guest must be given a full refund unless they agree to a different solution.
In order to make bookings and communications easier during this pandemic, Booking.com has rolled out standardized notifications that we can upload for each property listing. The following phrases can be loaded for each of your properties:
Please contact us at IM@vacayhomeconnect.com and our team will process the implementation on your listings.
More information: Booking.com Coronavirus Resource Center
(Updated: November 17, 2020)