How do you explain hotel stays

Overnight bans: How to proceed when you are on vacation in Germany

Can I travel within Germany?

Visiting Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania for tourist purposes is currently prohibited. Otherwise, a travel ban does not apply. However, the federal and state governments urge you to refrain from unnecessary private trips and visits within Germany in order to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

Accommodation offers, for example in hotels and holiday apartments, are largely prohibited at the beginning of May. So you cannot get any accommodations.

Can you cancel a trip within Germany free of charge due to the ban on accommodation?

The holiday is coming up soon and there is a ban on accommodation for tourist purposes. In this case, the legal situation is clear if you have booked a holiday apartment, hotel or guest house: The provider cannot rent out his property, so the traveler is released from the obligation to pay. With reference to the ban on accommodation for tourist purposes, you can claim back the money already paid or refuse to pay.

Danger: From a "cancellation" (legally speaking of "resignation") one self-booked accommodation you should not speak here or at most in connection with the ban on accommodation for tourist purposes. In this way you avoid the provider understanding this as exercising a contractual right of cancellation, which is regularly associated with an obligation to compensate the canceling party.

In fact, you can only "cancel" (free of charge) if you have one Package tour have booked. So for trips that consist of two tourist components for the same purpose of the trip, especially if you have not only booked accommodation but also transport, e.g. for bus trips. If the trip is due at short notice and it is clear that the hotel or the facility cannot be offered, you have a free cancellation right under the statutory package travel law.

Attention: Don't cancel too early. If it is not clear whether the ban on accommodation is still in force on the travel date, you run the risk of not falling under the protection described and of having to pay the contractually agreed cancellation costs. You can read more on the subject in our separate article in the section "When should I cancel?".

How are payments for chargeable cancellations of accommodations calculated?

If you could start the trip but still do not want to travel in the current situation, you can cancel your accommodation for a fee. How expensive this will be depends on whether a contractual right of cancellation with corresponding cancellation fees, usually found in the general terms and conditions, has been agreed or not.

In the first case you will find the amount of the cancellation fee in the documents.

In the second case, the originally agreed amount for the accommodation is reduced by the expected saved expenses of the hotelier or landlord. The following percentages serve as a guide for the saved expenses:

  • 40% with full board,
  • 30% with half board,
  • 20% for bed and breakfast and
  • 10% for overnight stays only.

Further questions about the trip?

Which corona restrictions must be tolerated at the holiday destination? As a high-risk patient, can I cancel free of charge? Do I have to accept another hotel? Can the expected restrictions be sufficient to withdraw from the trip free of charge? We provide answers to frequently asked questions in our article "Corona & Vacation: What do I do if ...?".

What applies if I have booked a campsite?

The ban on accommodation also applies to campsites. The same applies to all camping travelers as to travelers who have booked hotels, guest houses or holiday apartments: You can reclaim the price paid if there is a ban on accommodation for tourist purposes at the time of travel.

The situation looks more complicated for long-term campers, as long as they are not exempt from the ban on accommodation: Here it depends on the design of the contract or the legal regulations.

Problems with the contract partner?

We have received many complaints about tour operators, agents or even landlords who do not respond, categorically reject cancellation, reimbursement or other consumer rights. If so, you need to follow up on your claims and show perseverance. You are also welcome to contact the consumer advice centers.

In principle, you have three years to assert your claims in court.

Will travel cancellation insurance help me?

Travel cancellation insurance covers cases in which you or your travel partner are ill or prevented by certain events (e.g. death of relatives, unemployment, short-time work) and cannot travel as planned. It does not apply to crises in the holiday country.

But even if you have Corona and therefore cannot start the trip: Since the WHO officially classifies Corona as a pandemic, a reimbursement can be difficult even then. Because some insurers stipulate that "damage, illness and death as a result of pandemics" are not insured.

If in doubt, take a look at the terms of your insurance contract. And, if necessary, get independent advice, especially for expensive trips, from the consumer advice center.

What about bus and train rides?

The range of local and long-distance transport has remained almost unchanged. Buses, trains and trains have usually run - and continue to run. In contrast to air traffic, the companies offer their services almost unchanged.

If you are now wondering whether the discontinuation of the business basis can apply in these cases, the following applies: In principle, the specific purpose of the trip when traveling by bus and train is not part of the contract of carriage. Therefore, the traveler cannot assess the purpose of the trip as a business basis (ยง 313 BGB) of the contract, because the reason for the trip should have been the basis of the contract between the passenger and the transport company. However, this should not be the case on a regular basis, since the company is not aware of the purpose of the trip in a mass business such as public transport. A short-term termination of the contract on the grounds that the business basis has lapsed should therefore not be possible here.

An exception could only apply to special tickets, such as combined tickets for events. With such tickets, the purpose of the trip is the trigger for the conclusion of the contract. If the planned event is canceled, the specific travel purpose agreed in advance would also be omitted in these cases.

The situation is similar with the long-distance bus provider Flixbus, which is currently again offering selected routes.