Planning your summer holiday to the South of France and the coronavirus outbreak

Last updated 28th of July 2020:

Latest news by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

If you are not a UK national, the official advice from the governing body of your country of residence may apply.


 

We understand that you may be worried about how the COVID-19 virus may affect your holiday to the South of France.

We have been keeping up to date with all the latest information available from the UK and French governments.

The lockdown in France ended on the 11th of May 2020, after which deconfinement measures were slowly being rolled out. As of the 2nd of June 2020, restaurants, cafes, bars, parks, holiday homes, campsites, hotels, gardens, beaches, lakes, rivers, museums, and theatres are open again and the 100km travel restriction was removed; allowing free travel within the country. It was also confirmed that international travel was possible from the 15th of June 2020.

On the 4th of July 2020, the FCO advised a list of countries that are exempt from the 'all but essential international travel' advice - mainland France is on this list, thus free to travel to.

Our team on the ground in France is happy to confirm that life has resumed to normal this summer and that we are all looking forward to receiving guests, both domestic and international, this summer.

Keep an eye on the Re-open EU website when planning your holiday.

 

I am planning my holiday to the South of France

If you are planning your holiday to France, we would like to offer you as much security as we can. That’s why we are happy to offer you a reduced balance due date from 9 weeks to just 6 weeks, on the majority of properties, with arrival date before 30/09/2020.

In order to protect your holiday as much as possible, we strongly advise that you take out adequate travel insurance.

Do keep in mind that for any holiday booked after the 11th of March 2020 our standard cancellation policy applies, with the above exception on balance due date.

 

I have booked a holiday to the South of France

If you have booked your accommodation after the 11th of March 2020 our standard cancellation policy applies.

In the unlikely case of (re)new(ed) advice by the FCO against all but essential travel to France, or a specific region of France in which your holiday villa is located, you must contact your travel insurance as soon as possible to discuss possible options and cover on your policy.

If your travel insurance does not reimburse, we can exceptionally contact the owner to discuss a possible solution. We would need written confirmation and reason from your travel insurer that they do not reimburse.

Note that service fees are non-refundable. 

If you booked your accommodation before the 11th of March 2020, and your arrival date is before 31/08/2020, we can offer you the below options :

  • We can delay your balance payment until 4 weeks before your arrival date to give you more time to see how the situation develops.
  • You can move your reservation to a later date in 2020, or in 2021. Your deposit will be transferred over with the booking. Subject to availability and agreement of the owner.
  • If your balance payment is still due and you wish to cancel your booking, you can do so with zero cancellation fees. Note that the deposit remains non-refundable and that we are happy to provide you with a proof of cancellation for you to request a refund with your travel insurer.

If you have booked your accommodation before the 11th of March 2020, and your arrival date is after 31/08/2020, we advise the below.

  • We delay your balance payment until 4 weeks before your arrival date to give you more time to see how the situation develops.
  • If you wish, you can move your reservation to a later date in 2020, or in 2021. Subject to availability and agreement of the owner. Note that this is considered a non-essential date move which will be subject to our standard £200 administration fee.
  • If your balance payment is still due and you wish to cancel your booking, you can do so with zero cancellation fees. Note that the deposit remains non-refundable and that we are happy to provide you with a proof of cancellation for you to request a refund with your travel insurer.

If travel restrictions have been temporarily lifted, but then are reinstated again within 28 days of your holiday start date, we would work closely with the owner to try to find a solution for postponement.

 

What happens if we’re advised we can’t travel?
If the FCO advises against “all but essential travel” to your destination, we will liaise with the holiday property owner on your behalf to defer your holiday (with agreement from the owner), free of charge.

What if I decide I don't want to travel?
If the FCO advice has not changed, your holiday will be subject to our usual booking conditions and standard cancellation charges will apply.

My balance is due for my holiday. Do I have to pay this?
If there are no specific travel restrictions for your holiday dates, then it is still scheduled to go ahead as planned. Therefore, you will need to pay your balance before the due date, unless you wish to cancel your booking and claim the deposit back via your travel insurance. We are offering a 4-week extension on the balance due dates and please remember that if the FCO advice changes and you are no longer able to travel, you will still have the option to move your holiday to a later date (subject to the owners' agreement and availability).

Why can't I just have a refund instead of moving my dates?
SFHV acts on behalf of the holiday property owner; any and all refunds are solely up to the owners themselves and are not our decision. When we collect a deposit to confirm a booking, we pay it over to the owner immediately in order to ensure that the dates are held. From that point onwards, we are no longer in possession of your funds and the decision lies with the owner.

What if the property owner is unable to accommodate my date change for any reason?
The majority of our bookings have been moved without issue. However, all deferred holidays are subject to availability and the discretion of the holiday property owner. If a change of dates is not possible, then you will be issued with a voucher to the equivalent value to use on any other SFHV holiday home.

When I move my dates, is there an option to book a different property?
Deferred bookings are only eligible for the original holiday home that you booked, as the deposit payment will have already been made to the property owner.