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European Consumer Centre (ECC) Italy Bolzano office
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27.08.2020

Passenger rights in Italy during Covid-19

 
The Italian government has introduced some specific rules for consumer contracts in Covid-19 times. Please consider also that these pieces of legislation could change due to future developments connected to the coronavirus and that for some cases there isn't a proper legal solution yet. In this list you will find the most important and current Italian rule for travelling by air, bus, train and waterways, accommodation, package holidays and cancelled events in Italy.
For more specific information and support please contact the European Consumer Centre (ECC) in your country of residence.
You will find a list of the ECCs here: https://bit.ly/3fWr9Px

Situation as of 27/07/2020

Package travel:

In the event that the traveller is not able to travel due to an express official order (e.g. prescribed quarantine, positive Covid-19 test, entry ban in the destination country), he/she may withdraw from the package tour contract: The organiser may offer the traveller a substitute package of equivalent, higher or lower quality (with possible refund of the price difference), grant a cash refund or issue a voucher (for use within 18 months of issue) for the amount of the refund due. The Organiser can choose between a replacement package, a refund, or a voucher.

Travelling by air, rail. Sea, inland waterway or land transport

If you are not allowed to travel due to an explicit official order (e.g. imposed quarantine, positive Covid-19 test, ban on entry into the country of destination) you are entitled to a cash refund or a voucher (redeemable within 12 months of issue) equal to the price paid for the ticket.

Limited to vouchers issued in relation to air, rail, sea, inland waterway or land transport contracts, the refund can be requested twelve months after issue (six months before the expiry date) and is paid within fourteen days of the request.

Air companies have the choice between a monetary refund or a voucher. Also when carriers withdraw from the transport contract because of Covid-19 (art. 88 bis Law No.27 dated 24 April 2020), but the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) and the Transport Authority (NEB for trains, bus and ships) do not apply this provision and apply the relevant EU Regulations instead. Not so, for now, the ENAC (NEB competent for air passenger rights).

Hotels and accommodation:

If the traveller is not able to make use of the booking due to an explicit measure of the authorities, he/she can withdraw from the contract: The operator of the accommodation can make a cash refund or issue a voucher for the same amount (which can be redeemed within 18 months of issue). The choice is left to the operator of the accommodation.

Event Tickets:

If an event was cancelled, then the purchaser must apply to the organiser for a refund within 30 days of the entry into force of the Law No 77 of 17 July 2020 or as soon as he has been informed of the failure to provide the service, and must enclose proof of purchase. If further measures are adopted in the future, the application will be subject to a 30-day period from the adoption of these new measures. Once the organiser has verified that it is impossible to provide the service and therefore that the ticket, which is the subject of the refund application, is unusable, the organiser will issue a voucher for the amount of the ticket, which can be redeemed within 18 months of the date of issue.
It is further provided that promoters of concerts of light music will refund the tickets and directly reimburse the amount paid by the purchaser at the expiry of the voucher if the performance of the artist has been cancelled without postponement to another date, within the validity period of the voucher. In the event of a definitive cancellation of the concert, the organiser will immediately refund the amount paid by the purchaser.

Additional information regarding Vouchers:

Vouchers can/must be used within 18 months.

For all the vouchers issued before the entry into force of the Law No 77 of 17 July 2020, provisions of the new law apply (before this piece of legislation the voucher was valid for 12 months).

The new regulation provides that vouchers that have not been redeemed within the validity period of 18 months will be paid out.

The Law No 77 of 17 July 2020 provided the allocation of 5 million euros for 2020 and 1 million euros for 2021 to establish a fund at the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism that will compensate consumers holding unused vouchers by the deadline if they are not reimbursed by the carrier because they are in a state of insolvency or bankruptcy. The modalities and criteria of implementation, as well as the measure of compensation, will be governed in detail by a subsequent regulation, to be adopted within 180 days of the entry into force of the Law No 77 of 17 July 2020.
 

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