Support for cultural and leisure activities

Corona has spoiled the holidays of many citizens in spring. And also concerts, readings and sports events can often still not be attended. The same applies to pools, fitness studios, music and language courses. Instead of being reimbursed for admission fees, customers should generally receive vouchers. The Federal Council approved the regulation today.

Why is the voucher solution being introduced?

Under current law, holders of admission tickets, season tickets and annual season tickets can request a refund of their admission and usage fees already paid. Many operators currently have no new income. If they had to refund the admission fees or user fees for all cancelled events at short notice, many of them would be threatened in their existence. A voucher solution can, therefore, be a great help.

Are the interests of consumers safeguarded?

A wave of insolvencies would probably also mean that claims for reimbursement could no longer be asserted.

For all tickets and usage rights purchased before 8 March, customers will receive vouchers that are limited until the end of 2021. If a voucher is not redeemed by the end of 2021, the organiser or operator must refund its value. If a voucher is unreasonable due to the personal situation, the customer can demand a refund as before. This achieves a balanced regulation in the interest of all parties involved.

What exactly is the value of the voucher to be refunded?

The voucher must cover the full admission price or all other charges including any advance booking fees. The voucher must be issued and sent free of charge.

If the admission ticket or right of use covers participation in several events and if only part of these events could or can take place, one is entitled to a voucher for the value of the unused part. This applies, for example, to season tickets for sports clubs or swimming pools as well as music and language courses.

Is the promoter allowed to restrict the voucher?

The promoter must issue a voucher. Customers must have the choice of redeeming the voucher for a catch-up date or for another event organised by the organiser. The issuing of a non-cash voucher or its restriction to the catch-up event of the cancelled event is not permitted.

What should the voucher say?

The voucher must contain information that it was issued because of the COVID 19 pandemic and that the holder can request payment of the value of the voucher if a voucher is unacceptable to him or her or if he or she has not used it by 31 December 2021.