Things move fast during public health scares. It can be hard to keep up with the latest developments.

The UK Government's action plan for managing the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak sets out three stages – Contain, Delay, Mitigate.

As the country moves through the different stages, there are situations where it's handy to be up to speed with your consumer legal rights. Here's our checklist.

Events

Cancelled or postponed events

Big events like concerts, festivals and sports matches are being cancelled. If you bought event tickets from the organiser or an official ticket seller, you should be offered a refund if the event is cancelled. It doesn't matter if you bought tickets online, over the phone or in person.

If the event is rescheduled, the organiser must hold your ticket for you. If you can't make the new date, you can ask for a refund.

If you booked hotel accommodation for an event, contact the company you made the booking with. It might offer refunds or options to change dates.

If you bought event tickets from a re-selling website or a private seller, you might not be able to get a refund if the event is cancelled.

Learn more about your rights when events are cancelled from Citizens Advice.

Private events

If you have hired venues or had other expenses for private events like a wedding or a party, the companies involved will be able to advise you about alternative dates or refunds. If you have problems, try contacting the Citizens Advice consumer helpline.

Holidays and travel

Holidays

Travel companies and tour operators may cancel holidays and travel packages if the Foreign Office (FCO) advises against travel. And holidays in the UK may be affected by restrictions on movement. They should let you know if they need to cancel all or part of your trip.

They may offer you a refund. They may also offer you alternative destinations or dates. But if the alternatives are very different from your original trip, you need not accept the offer and can ask for a refund.

To cancel a trip to part of the world that isn't subject to an FCO travel advisory, you may need to pay cancellation charges. You are not entitled to a refund in law.

If you booked excursions, or paid out for other things like care hire, talk to the company you made the booking with.

If you have travel insurance, check whether it covers situations like that.

Find out more from the UK European Consumer Centre.

Travel

If you have pre-paid for flights or journeys by sea that are due to take place in the next few months, it is worth checking with the travel companies to find out where you stand. Start off by visiting their websites.

If you have paid for rail travel in the UK that is disrupted due to the coronavirus, you may be able to claim a refund. Get the latest information from the National Rail Enquiries website.

Gym memberships

Most gym chains have announced a freeze on membership fees for their members during the coronavirus period. You should contact your gym if you have concerns about your membership.

Shopping and deliveries

Many of us now shop online. During health scares, more people are likely to be at home. Some products are harder to get hold of, such as hygiene and protection products. Online orders can be delayed. And it's not always possible for supermarkets to deliver products quickly – or at all.

But you do have rights if you shop online. If you have any problems with a delivery, there are also consumer rights in place that are good to know about.

They include situations in which you can claim for refunds or compensation for late deliveries or damaged items.

Many retailers have set out their policies for products and services during the coronavirus period on their websites. For example, see Ebay and Groupon.

Learn more about delivery problems at MoneySavingExpert, and explore your online shopping rights at Which?

 

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Your Comments

Theresa Hodges says:

Fri, 03/20/2020 - 19:28
Comment
Can I get a refund for a non refundable accommodation that was booked to a country that closed its borders and flight were cancelled thanks in advance

Lyn Williams says:

Mon, 03/23/2020 - 11:13

In reply to by Theresa Hodges

Comment
Hi Theresa. I’ve just managed to cancel a hotel booking, thru Booking.com, and will get full refund within 15 days. If you have a confirmation no for your booking, and your pin code (if booked thru Booking.com), they will help you. If the accommodation you booked is closed, then you should get a refund. Good luck!

Liam w says:

Tue, 03/24/2020 - 13:07

In reply to by Lyn Williams

Comment
I work in manufacturing I. Which we make kitchen cabinets. Should I still be at work or should the Company be shut down.

Gary Townsend says:

Fri, 05/01/2020 - 22:43

In reply to by Liam w

Comment
Back in work as long as you can keep 2 m apart

Paula says:

Sun, 03/29/2020 - 22:14

In reply to by Lyn Williams

Comment
Hi I booked a hotel for September in spain. I booked it through booking .com. it was a non refundable booking but you say if the hotel has closed down we are entitled to a refund. Will that still be the case as the booking was for September and how do I find out if the hotel has closed. I contacted booking.com and they said they would request a refund on my behalf but came back to me with the message that the hotel wouldn't make a refund. I then discovered that the hotel has taken the full payment from my credit card this week. Thank you in advance for any advice you can give me.

Teresa Witcomb says:

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 11:55

In reply to by Paula

Comment
Hi advise on most banks is that you have better protection if you pay by cc so I would open a dispute with your credit card company because your hotel is no longer available if it does become available and you can’t go it’s a different matter apparently worth talking to cc first

Roger says:

Sat, 05/02/2020 - 22:25

In reply to by Lyn Williams

Comment
Hi Lyn that sounds good I’m going to give this another shot. My problem was I believed booking.com may have taken half the money out of my account for the holiday, but no it was actually the proprietor of the accommodation. Although all seemed to agree that they were going to do this without my knowledge. I contacted mastercard being virgin money and they said I was responsible for giving my card number. I put it down to the legal ambition that potential criminals have on our money.

James.Robertso… says:

Mon, 03/23/2020 - 11:59

In reply to by Theresa Hodges

Comment
You would need to talk directly to the company you made your booking through.

Ria says:

Sun, 03/29/2020 - 01:45

In reply to by James.Robertso…

Comment
I’ve received an nhs Peter to stay home for 12 weeks as I am vulnerable I’m a mobile Carer my company boss is still saying for me to work what can I do I don’t want to

Sheila brooks says:

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 09:54

In reply to by Theresa Hodges

Comment
I booked hotel in Benidorm but flight cancelled 23/3/20 they say no cancellation policy

Eleanor Garner says:

Tue, 04/28/2020 - 22:09

In reply to by Sheila brooks

Comment
Hi we booked a hen do with Arthouse hotel in Liverpool for the Easter weekend and unfortunately due to the current situation couldn't go and they said we were not able to have a refund but could go at a later date because they said they had a clause in the contract called force majeur but unfortunately I won't be able to have time off work as when it was booked I didn't work for the company I work for now and they don't allow you to have long weekends off.

Judy chamberlain says:

Mon, 05/04/2020 - 06:54

In reply to by Theresa Hodges

Comment
It depends on the hotel. We had our flights cancelled and had a hotel booked through Booking.com. We contacted the hotel and they agreed to refund which Booking.com did quickly. We had to check out of a hotel early that was closing and we had to get our before the country closed its borders and we are still waiting 5 weeks later for a refund from Hotels.com because they can’t get a decision from the hotel. Hope this helps. It’s the luck of the draw I’m afraid

Lance wharton says:

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 11:35

In reply to by Theresa Hodges

Comment
Hi , I booked a hotel last year to go to the Hungarian Grand Prix and the end of July. I booked with booking.com and I have since been told the Hungarian Grand Prix is now cancelled. I paid a premium for the hotel as it’s the busiest week due to the race. It was £900 for the week. I have contacted them as asked if I can cancel the hotel as we are no longer going because of covid 19 . The hotel as offered to change the date but the only reason we was going was because of the Grand Prix and do not wish to travel there at a later date. Hope you can help

Cathy Manders says:

Fri, 03/20/2020 - 19:49
Comment
Hi we are going to dubai July 23rd we've paid deposit balance due 14th May we wish to cancel knowing we will lose our deposit we have been trying to contact emerites since the 15th March to no avail been passed from one number to another even emailing emerites twice in last week with no response or would you know what penalties we will encure if any apart from loosing our deposit

Gill Brown says:

Tue, 03/24/2020 - 16:26

In reply to by Cathy Manders

Comment
We were going to Dubai May 07th we had already paid in full £2.500 booked with Emirates as a package. Travel agents rang us today to say we couldn't have a refund, only a voucher which will be valid until June 2021. Hope this is of some help.

Legal Choices says:

Thu, 04/23/2020 - 15:31

In reply to by Cathy Manders

Thanks for getting in touch. We've received hundreds of responses to our articles about your rights during the Coronavirus pandemic. Although we’d like to respond to everyone in person, we can’t.

Unfortunately we can't tell you what penalties you may incur for cancelling your holiday.

You will need to keep trying to contact the travel provider. You may want to read the Citizens Advice guidance about purchase refunds - www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/somethings-gone-wrong-with-a-purchase/if-you-want-a-refund-because-of-coronavirus/

Alan littlefair says:

Sat, 05/02/2020 - 09:00

In reply to by Cathy Manders

Comment
We had to come back from Thailand on the 27 March due to the virus. We should have come BACK 9th April we had 9 nights cancelled in Thailand 5 nights in Dubai all bed and breakfast plus flights to Dubai and flight back home to England my insurance say its up to the travel company to give me my money back is that right is it the insurance company or travel agent thanks alan

Mrs Steph Dowse says:

Sat, 03/21/2020 - 00:56
Comment
I have booked a weekend away non refundable through booking.com for march 27 to 29 in chester, I live in Aberystwyth. Now that all restaurants are closed and advising on non essential travel, could I have a refund or rebook many thanks Steph

Marilyn says:

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 08:51

In reply to by Mrs Steph Dowse

Comment
I booked a hotel in Llandudno. Non refundable but the hotel gave me 75% back this was through Booking.com. I was happy with that. Phone the hotel direct first or you could mofe the date.

Jacqueline simpson says:

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 08:41

In reply to by Mrs Steph Dowse

Comment
Me too! I have tried in vain to get advice from Booking.Com and as soon as I give them the booking confirmation number they hang up. Credit card company can't help as B.Com is classed as a third party booking. Hotel can't help because I didn't book direct with them. Booking.Con more like! Will never book through them again.

Legal Choices says:

Fri, 04/24/2020 - 07:19

In reply to by Mrs Steph Dowse

Due to the extraordinary number of comments posted in response to our articles about the Coronavirus pandemic, unfortunately we can’t reply to everyone.

You would need to contact your holiday provider. They may offer you a refund, or an alternative destination or date. The below resources may help:

Refunds because of Coronavirus - Citizens Advice - www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/somethings-gone-wrong-with-a-purchase/if-you-want-a-refund-because-of-coronavirus/  

Denise says:

Sat, 03/21/2020 - 05:14
Comment
I and my partner have a Ryanair flight booked for 1of may we did not take out insurance and would still like to travel st some point what do we do

James.Robertso… says:

Mon, 03/23/2020 - 15:17

In reply to by Denise

Comment
Most airlines are offering an alternative flight after the lockdown period has ended, or a refund. Check with them directly.

Keith Rennie says:

Fri, 05/01/2020 - 20:40

In reply to by James.Robertso…

Comment
I was watching Martin Lewis on TV, he suggested that taking a refund, as who knows how long this will last, but who's to say that this time next year, said companies are still trading.

Legal Choices says:

Fri, 04/24/2020 - 07:21

In reply to by Denise

Due to the extraordinary number of comments posted in response to our articles about the Coronavirus pandemic, unfortunately we can’t reply to everyone.

You would need to contact your holiday provider. They may offer you a refund, or an alternative destination or date. The below resources may help:

Refunds because of Coronavirus - Citizens Advice - www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/somethings-gone-wrong-with-a-purchase/if-you-want-a-refund-because-of-coronavirus/

Jeanette Griffiths says:

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 22:15

In reply to by harriet.johnso…

Comment
We have a touring caravan seasonal pitch on a holiday park which has been closed since 24th March due to the Coronavirus lockdown, the site owners are insisting we pay the full season price and are not offering any refunds or discounts. We were told basically to pay or remove our caravan from the site - can they legally do this??

Maureen Gallacher says:

Sat, 03/21/2020 - 08:27
Comment
Placed and paid for an Asda order on 16th March with the earliest delivery date of 25th. I went on to the order yesterday to add to it, only to find some of the items were showing as ‘Sold out’, whilst two others had increased by £2.50. Do you agree there should be a legal requirement for Asda to have ‘locked’ the price at the point it was put in the ‘basket’ and paid for? Also, shouldn’t they be legally obliged to ensure ‘non-perishable’ goods are earmarked for that order?

Legal Choices says:

Fri, 04/24/2020 - 07:49

In reply to by Maureen Gallacher

Unfortunately we can't comment on Asda's legal obligations. If you're unhappy with the service you received, you may want to contact them directly to complain.

Paul Hinton says:

Sat, 03/21/2020 - 09:56
Comment
Question.is a golf driving range considered a leisure centre? I work there and if it closes at this moment in time I will be laid off with no money. If its considered a leisure centre my boss can apply for government help and I keep my job. Help?

Legal Choices says:

Fri, 04/24/2020 - 08:15

In reply to by Paul Hinton

Unfortunately, we can't tell you whether a golf driving range classes as a leisure centre.

The government guidance on business support during the pandemic may be helpful to you: www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support

Gail Camm says:

Sat, 03/21/2020 - 19:40
Comment
I’ve booked a trip to Dubai for the racing World Cup .
It was booked with racing breaks I purchase 5 tickets for the race but it was only then going to go ahead behind closed doors !
Racing breaks will not refund any of the ticket price or any part of the flight or hotel .
Only offer 2021 race tickets

Eleanor Garner says:

Sat, 03/21/2020 - 21:03
Comment
We have booked a hotel in liverpool for my niece's hen party on the easter weekend plus trains for getting their where do we stand for a refund. Wedding is on 1st of August. About 15 people.

Legal Choices says:

Fri, 04/24/2020 - 08:41

In reply to by Eleanor Garner

Due to the extraordinary number of comments posted in response to our articles about the Coronavirus pandemic, unfortunately we can’t reply to everyone.

You would need to contact your venue provider and the company you bought the train tickets through. They may offer you a refund, or an alternative destination or date.

The below website may help: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/somethings-gone-wrong-with-a-purchase/if-you-want-a-refund-because-of-coronavirus/

Michelle Bowden says:

Sun, 03/22/2020 - 08:20
Comment
We have booked a holiday to Lanzarote in may. We booked with Hays travel we did not buy travel insurance as it was booked in January. Will we get a refund.

Legal Choices says:

Fri, 04/24/2020 - 08:52

In reply to by Michelle Bowden

Due to the extraordinary number of comments posted in response to our articles about the Coronavirus pandemic, unfortunately we can’t reply to everyone.

You would need to contact your holiday provider. They may offer you a refund, or an alternative destination or date. The below resources may help:

Refunds because of Coronavirus - Citizens Advice - www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/somethings-gone-wrong-with-a-purchase/if-you-want-a-refund-because-of-coronavirus/

Carol isaacs says:

Sun, 03/22/2020 - 11:43
Comment
I nooked a travellodge for 4 nights mid april cant go cus of corona can i insist on my money back

Legal Choices says:

Fri, 04/24/2020 - 08:54

In reply to by Carol isaacs

Due to the extraordinary number of comments posted in response to our articles about the Coronavirus pandemic, unfortunately we can’t reply to everyone.

You would need to contact Travelodge directly. They may offer you a refund, or an alternative destination or date. The below resources may help:

Refunds because of Coronavirus - Citizens Advice - www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/somethings-gone-wrong-with-a-purchase/if-you-want-a-refund-because-of-coronavirus/

Linda Adam says:

Sun, 03/22/2020 - 13:08
Comment
I am 66 yrs old and booked a lodge with Parkdean Holiday Parks for Easter with my family. Haven and Butlins have closed until 12th April but Parkdean are still open but have stopped all their entertainment. If I cancel I lose my money but I feel that there will still be a lot of people there and being stuck for 3 days in a lodge with 3 children isn't going to be enjoyable. Is there anymore that I could get a refund.

Paul says:

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 19:23

In reply to by Linda Adam

Comment
Park dean are closed till 1st may my mom has a caravan on there

Legal Choices says:

Fri, 04/24/2020 - 09:04

In reply to by Linda Adam

Due to the extraordinary number of comments posted in response to our articles about the Coronavirus pandemic, unfortunately we can’t reply to everyone.

You would need to contact your holiday provider. They may offer you a refund, or an alternative destination or date. The below resources may help:

Refunds because of Coronavirus - Citizens Advice - www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/somethings-gone-wrong-with-a-purchase/if-you-want-a-refund-because-of-coronavirus/

Shepdog says:

Sun, 03/22/2020 - 14:48
Comment
I have hotel reservations at an EU country.....they have my credit card details. How can l be sure they won't use my card if we can't make the holiday?

Legal Choices says:

Fri, 04/24/2020 - 09:06

In reply to by Shepdog

Due to the extraordinary number of comments posted in response to our articles about the Coronavirus pandemic, unfortunately we can’t reply to everyone.

If you can't make your holiday, you would need to contact your holiday provider. They may offer you a refund, or an alternative destination or date.

If you have concerns about your credit card being used, you may want to contact your credit card provider.

The below resources may help:

Refunds because of Coronavirus - Citizens Advice - www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/somethings-gone-wrong-with-a-purchase/if-you-want-a-refund-because-of-coronavirus/

Coronavirus travel information - UK European Consumer Centre - www.ukecc.net/consumer-topics/new-package-travel.cfm

Dot bruce says:

Sun, 03/22/2020 - 16:54
Comment
Gym closed down and they still want me to pay a month notice to cancel or money each month it’s frozen for

Jackie says:

Tue, 03/24/2020 - 09:55

In reply to by Dot bruce

Comment
I emailed virgin and said I'm happy to freeze membership but. Not paying freeze fee.
They did it for 3 months ,no issues after initially asking for a monthly freeze.

Susan Dodd says:

Sun, 03/22/2020 - 16:58
Comment
What happens when you booked and paid half for a self catering holiday in July

Legal Choices says:

Fri, 04/24/2020 - 09:14

In reply to by Susan Dodd

Due to the extraordinary number of comments posted in response to our articles about the Coronavirus pandemic, unfortunately we can’t reply to everyone.

You would need to contact your holiday provider. They may offer you a refund, or an alternative destination or date. The below resources may help:

Refunds because of Coronavirus - Citizens Advice - www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/somethings-gone-wrong-with-a-purchase/if-you-want-a-refund-because-of-coronavirus/

Patricia House says:

Fri, 05/01/2020 - 20:02

In reply to by Susan Dodd

Comment
We were told if we dont pay our balance for our holidays in July , we are in breach of contract . You have to wait until it is cancelled

Jackie Mccann says:

Sun, 03/22/2020 - 17:42
Comment
Why can't I get a delivery slot at all at local supermarkets. I want to self isolate but how do I get food etc for myself and my two dogs. Also why are online sites such as Amazon Prime charging outlandish prices??

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