Updated March 25 2020
Coronavirus Travel Advice
The tourism industry is under attack. Measures taken by countries to protect their citizens against coronavirus (COVID-19) lead to borders closure, flight cancellations, route changes and the inability to enter a country.
How to cancel or re-schedule a trip with minimal loss? Visafoto.com has collected the necessary information for you.
I have already bought a ticket. How can I change the date?
Many airlines offer refunds for canceled flights. Some of them offer to rebook tickets for other dates and directions without penalties, but with a difference in fares. The terms for reviewing purchased tickets vary from one company to another.
- Ryanair allows you to change flights purchased from March 13 to March 31 at no extra charge. In case of flight cancellation, the carrier offers a free alternative or a full refund.
- EasyJet allows a free-of-charge exchange of both old and new tickets.
- Qatar Airways offers a free-of-charge exchange of the flight. Request should be made no later than 3 days in advance. You can also change your ticket for the voucher and use it in the future.
- Air France and KLM allow the exchange of tickets issued before March 31 with travel dates from March 4 to May 31, 2020 for free. The new departure date should be no later than May 31, 2020.
- Lufthansa Group allows the exchange of all tickets issued before March 31 with departure until April 30. Dates of new trips: until December 31, 2020.
- Aeroflot refunds for tickets to/from the cities of Italy and Israel with departure dates from March 10 to May 31. If you have a flight from/to Germany, Spain and France, you can change dates or routes.
- Finnair offers the exchange of tickets issued before April 30, 2020, if the travel date is before November 30, 2020.
Bear in mind:
- You must apply for a refund to where you purchased the ticket, whether it was an official air company web-site, booking service or travel agency. From now it's better to purchase tickets only via official websites.
- Stay aware of the status of your flight. Don't wait until the last moment to find out about a cancellation.
- A refund may take time. Prepare yourself to wait.
How to cancel my hotel booking because of the сoronavirus pandemic?
- Currently Airbnb allows travelers to cancel their reservation without fines. Guests will receive a full refund, the hosts will not pay a fine, and the super host status will not change.
- Hotels booked through Booking.com, Expedia, Kayak, Hotels.com can cancel your booking free-of-charge, but it's totally up to them to decide.
- Hilton and Mariott allow you to cancel all reservations, even non-refundable ones, 24 hours prior to arrival. This option is available until April 30th.
- Hyatt makes it possible to change or cancel any reservation made before March 13 if the dates of this reservation are between March 14 and April 30. This option also applies to prepaid and non-refundable reservations.
- Radisson allows you to cancel prepaid bookings until March 31 in China, South Korea, Japan, Iran and Italy.
How to extend my visa if I got stuck in another country because of сoronavirus?
In some countries there is an option of an automatic visa extension right on the spot.
- The countries of the Schengen area allow a free extension of the visa in the event of force majeure, which, of course, is the pandemic. You need to contact the immigration office of the European country in which you are located.
- The UK will extend visas until May 31 to all foreigners who were unable to leave the country due to lack of air connections, border closures or the need for self-isolation. To renew it, you must contact the UK Visa and Immigration Services at CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk.
- Russia allowed the extension of visas to all foreigners who haven’t left the country. For this, you need to write a letter in free form and contact the nearest branch of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
- Indonesia will automatically extend visas to all foreigners who arrived in the country after February 5, 2020. The authorities have promised that tourists will not have to pay a penalty for expired visas when they leave the country.
- India will extend visas until April 15th to all foreigners remaining in the country whose visa expired after March 13. You can place an application on the website https://indianfrro.gov.in/eservices/home.jsp.
- In South Korea, if a visa expires between February 24 and April 29, it will automatically be extended until April 30.
- Israel automatically renews student and work visas until June 30. This does not apply to tourist visas: all tourists are required to leave the country upon the expiration of the visa.
- The United States permits the extension of a tourist visa only on the condition that returning to your home country is impossible.
- Thailand allows a free extension of visas if you can provide a certificate from your consulate stating that you do not have the opportunity to return to your home country.
- Australia, as before, allows you to extend certain types of visas without leaving the country. Read more about the process on the official website of the Australian Immigration Center.