COVID-19 Travel Advice
Our thoughts go out to all customers that have been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. We hope you’re all keeping safe.
The team at The Real Algarve continue to take the correct measures to support our customers during this time. We continue to keep up to date with the latest industry news being released from the FCDO, Government Task Force, ABTA and other well-renowned sources.
We want to reassure you that our customers come first. If you were due to travel before 17th May 2021 and therefore have been unable to do so because of FCDO restrictions, then we’re doing as much as possible to liaise with our suppliers to provide you with either a refund or alternative future dates that satisfy you and your party.
Updates regarding the current Covid-19 cases in Portugal keep us hopeful that travel might be possible for summer holidays. Portugal reopened again with a 4 phase plan from 15th March 2021, with restaurants and bars planning to fully reopen with no restrictions from 3rd May, ensuring that safety comes first, with social distancing measures in place.
Of course a villa seems the perfect getaway, with your own space and the ability to stay at the villa if you prefer once you are there. We would like to assure you, that if you are able to go on your holiday, then all of our properties will be the safest place to be. Turismo de Portugal launched the Clean & Safe protocol in 2020, to distinguish tourist activities which are compliant with hygiene and cleaning requirements for the prevention and control of COVID-19, giving our customers confidence that there are health and safety measures being followed by all of our suppliers for their protection.
In the meantime, we’re doing the following to support you:
– Due to the current uncertainty around travel, we can understand that you may be reluctant to pay your holiday balance, which is usually due 8 weeks prior to travel. Having liaised with our Owner partners we are able to defer this to 6 weeks prior to your departure date, hopefully giving you more space to make an informed decision.
– If you are unable to travel due to FCDO restrictions or border closures then we will liaise with the supplier of the property that you have booked and will either offer you a refund or the opportunity to move your dates forward. This offer will be based on the individual supplier and therefore we will not be able to guarantee a refund, but will of course be able to move your dates to the future with no admin costs for doing so. If there is uncertainty about when you can next travel, we will work with our suppliers and hope to be able to offer credit vouchers which can be used as credit for another booking at the same villa at a later date. This will depend entirely on the individual suppliers booking conditions.
– Our friendly UK staff are on hand Monday to Friday between 9am-5pm and available for any out of hours assistance. If you call outside of working hours, then please leave a message and we will endeavour to come back to you that same day.
– If you have any special requests about your holiday, we also have our Real Algarve overseas team who are available to assist you.
Frequently Asked Questions
If we’re advised not to travel, what do we do?
If the FCDO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) or an equivalent organisation advises against “all but essential” travel affecting your dates specifically, we will act on your behalf to contact the property owner about your preferred agreements and waive any charges related to these changes.
If we’d prefer to not travel even though there are no legal restrictions against us travelling, what would happen?
If there is no legal reason why you’re unable to travel for your booking, the normal rates and cancellation charges will still apply.
Is it possible to claim through our travel insurance provider if we’re unable to travel?
When booking with The Real Algarve it is a requirement for you and all members of your party to have adequate travel insurance for your trip, including additional cover for Covid-19 related travel issues. These policies can now included cancellation if you catch Covid-19 prior to travel or If you have to self isolate due to NHS test and trace contact. Some will also cover you for further lockdown or border closures due to Covid-19. Most Travel Insurance companies will not cover for changes to FCDO restrictions – see above for our policy on this. It is important that you read travel insurance policies, or check with the insurance provider to ensure you are covered if you are unable to travel or the Supplier/Principal cancels the booking due to Force Majeure (See clause 13 of our terms and conditions).
My holiday balance is now due for the booking, do I have to pay this?
Due to the current uncertainty around travel, we can understand that you may be reluctant to pay your holiday balance, which is usually due 8 weeks prior to travel. Having liaised with our Owner partners we are able to defer this to 6 weeks prior to your departure date, hopefully giving you more space to make an informed decision.
Could I accept a credit voucher to be used for a different date next year? For example, if I was due to travel in July this year, could I travel in May the following year instead?
The credit voucher can be put towards another booking for the same villa at a different date, subject to the availability of the villa. The price of the booking will be dependent on current rates for the particular booking dates.
Can we choose a different property if we decided to move our dates?
This would not be possible, as currently, we are dealing with individual owners for each property.
We would prefer to have a cash refund rather than change our dates, can we have this?
The Real Algarve works as the named agent between the property owners and our customers. When we receive your payment we send this to the property owner to confirm the booking, therefore we no longer have your deposit funds. We’ve developed great relationships with our owners for many years and of course they are very understanding about the current circumstances. They have all been very flexible with offering alternative dates for your booking, or being provided with a credit voucher to the value of your original booking. In some cases we have been able to offer refunds of deposits, but this will be down to the individual supplier and therefore we would not be able to guarantee this.
What measures are being taken at my destination to protect me and my group from COVID-19?
Compared to other European countries, Portugal now has one of the lowest rates of Covid-19. Currently, the country is coming out of lockdown with a 4 phase plan, with safety being paramount to their protocol. The guidelines still advise residents of the country to cover their face with masks and to follow social distancing guidance, particularly in supermarkets. All local staff are also using the relevant PPE, wearing gloves, masks and aprons.
If you have any further queries or were planning to travel between May, June or July, please do not hesitate to contact us via email. You can also call us on 0161 980 3555. For all other customers, we kindly ask you to be patient whilst we deal with priority bookings who are travelling soonest.