The coronavirus – international travel
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Utrikesdepartementet, UD) is currently advising against travel to all countries until July 15. If you have a package trip booked during this period, you have the right to cancel your trip and receive a full refund.
Here you will find answers to some of the most common questions about travel and the coronavirus. For more information and answers to questions, visit the questions forum on Hallå konsument, a website that provides independent advice to consumers.
What applies now that UD has advised against travel abroad?
Since March 14, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Utrikesdepartementet, UD) has advised against all non-essential travel to all countries. The UD travel advisory applies through July 15.
The fact that UD is advising against travel is a circumstance that entitles you to cancel your purchased package trip and receive a full refund. If you have a trip scheduled between March 14 and July 15, you should have the right to cancel your ticket and get your money back.
This only applies if the package trip has not yet started.
If you have booked a regular plane ticket, equally clear legislation does not exist. However, because UD is currently advising against all travel to other countries, you should be able to demand that the airline refund you for the entire plane ticket. The reason for this is that it should be seen as a force majeure-like event. A force majeure-like event is something that is extremely unusual, unpredictable and beyond both your control and the airline's control.
Travel after July 15
If your trip is scheduled to take place after July 15, you must wait to see if UD is still advising against travel when the date of your departure approaches. Therefore, you cannot currently demand a refund for travel after July 15, because it is not certain that UD will still be advising against travel to your destination when the time comes.
Industry actors usually say that consumers must wait until 14 days prior to their departure date, which is reasonable.
What if you canceled your ticket before UD issued its travel advisory?
According to the Package Travel Act, you have the right to a refund if your trip has not yet started. If you canceled your trip before UD issued its travel advisory because cases of coronavirus were reported at your destination, you may be entitled to a refund. This issue has not been examined, so it may be that the tour operator denies you a refund. In such an instance, you should file a complaint with the National Board for Consumer Disputes.
What do I do if the tour operator does not refund my money or charges a hefty cancelation fee?
If you have asked the tour operator to cancel your trip and issue a full refund but the tour operator has refused your request, you can proceed by filing a complaint with the National Board for Consumer Disputes ( Allmänna reklamationsnämnden, ARN), which will examine the matter. There is no cost associated with having your case examined by ARN.
It is also possible to have the case examined in court.
Call 113 13 for general information about the coronavirus
If you have general questions about the coronavirus, you can call the national information line on 113 13. All information provided by 113 13 is verified by the Public Health Agency of Sweden (Folkhälsomyndigheten) or by other responsible authorities.
You can find information from several authorities about the spread of the coronavirus on the website krisinformation.se.
- Proofread 14 May 2020