Updated May 15, 2020
The global health and security measures are rapidly evolving and changing. As of May 14th, destinations are beginning to reopen and relax select regulations. In the coming weeks, we expect to have further visibility regarding the impact of travel.
We continue to advise our impacted guests that have stays in the very near future. For those traveling in May, we would advise postponing your stay while guests with planned stays in June should monitor events over the next few weeks and determine if safe travel is feasible. For those with stays after July 1st, we recommend a wait and see approach to gather more information to determine the likelihood of travel. Waiting is the best policy.
What we know
COVID-19 is a highly unique virus but also shares traits with previous respiratory viruses. COVID tends to be quite contagious and has significantly increased morbidity and mortality compared to influenza. However, as research yields answers, there is some encouragement that the virus does have similar properties. The virus does not survive in ultraviolet. Per the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC), “What we have found so far is that sunlight seems to be very detrimental to the virus. And so within minutes, the majority of the virus is inactivated on surfaces and in the air in direct sunlight.”
This is a promising development due to the simple fact that this virus does conform to the laws of physics. Moreover, that being outside and in the sun has no increased risk. The focus for containment will be interior environments.
Additionally, social distancing works. We have seen a dramatic effect with social distancing and we need to follow through until a vaccine or therapeutic is developed.
What we need answers for
When will a vaccine become available?
When will rapid tests be available and commonplace?
When and how will governments ease travel restrictions?
What to expect
We expect that travel will change for the near future until a vaccine is readily available. The expectation for a vaccine is likely in early to mid 2021 on a best case scenario. However, we do expect that the option to travel will return well before then. Once diagnostic tests that can rapidly provide results (within an hour) are available and widespread, we do foresee foreign governments allowing for travel. There is rapid progress and success with the development of diagnostic testing. We expect this option to be ready sooner than later.
We expect that vacation rentals will be highly popular since a private villa complies with social distancing initiatives and easy to control. Property managers have developed new cleaning and social distancing protocols to ensure higher safety standards.
Additionally, we expect that extended stay requests (2-4 month stays) over the next winter will be in high demand as guests will desire to be in the sun and warmth over the winter months when the virus thrives.
Postponing your stay
For those traveling in May and the first half of June, we recommend postponing your stay to later dates. You can postpone with specific dates or postpone with dates to be determined to allow you to continue to monitor events and select new dates when comfortable. For those traveling after July 1st, we encourage a wait and see approach. Managers will only consider postponement requests on a case by case basis and encourage those guests to hold off postpone requests until you are 30 days from travel.
Your health and safety are our paramount concern, if you wish to postpone your dates of travel, we please ask you to send an email to the respective reservations desk that includes the following information:
Head Guest Name
Preferred dates to rebook the property
We ask that communications be sent by email rather than by phone so responses can be tracked and properly organized.
Please send the information to the following email accounts :
We will be responding to requests as soon as possible with the prioritization for guests traveling in the next 7-14 days.
Current Options for Clients
- Keep travel plans as is. We recommend guests with stays scheduled after July 1st to continue with their current plans but closely monitor the situation. If you are traveling in July, please consider contingency planning.
- Postpone travel. If traveling between now and July 1st, we recommend monitoring and considering postponement if travel is not feasible. Most property managers will allow penalty free postponement while other managers consider it on a case by case basis. Thus far, the managers have been very accommodative for postponements. Each manager has some restrictions but reasonable overall.
- Cancel travel plans and seek reimbursement from travel insurance. If you wish to cancel and file a travel insurance claim, we will be delighted to provide any necessary documentation. However, most travel insurance policies may not cover the current situation unless you are sick and diagnosed with the virus. Evidently, the policy may not cover entry bans since they are not liable for government regulations and necessary health and safety measures. Policies that have cancel for any reason should provide coverage. Please contact your travel insurance company for options and their coverage.
Please note that refunds for villa rentals are not being extended by managers since these are short term lease agreements and the villa can be delivered to the client in fit and habitable condition. Per the terms and conditions, all risk of travel is the responsibility of the guest. However, the managers are acting in good faith and being accommodative to allow for postponement in this era of shared sacrifice. So the best option we recommend if you do not wish to travel is to consider postponing.
To learn more about vacation rental obligations: Vacation Rental Cancellation Policy Explainer.