Covid – 19 guidelines


Covid-19 is having a huge impact on all our lives, not least in travel.

At Sicily à la carte we would like to reassure you and let you know that we appreciate your patience during this time as we follow very closely the latest developments from official governments and health bodies. We are sitting tight and preparing to be as flexible as we can during the coming weeks until time is right for travel again.

  • If you have a booking which you want to cancel or reschedule, read on for our guidelines.
  • If you are making a new booking, check our Special Flexible Booking Policy below. This is designed to give you some peace of mind in case your travel insurance does not cover you or if you would like to secure a future booking knowing that you can reschedule with ease.
  • Travel from and to the UK
  • Travel to and from Italy
  • Travel in Italy, Sicily: Covid-19 health and safety measures
  • Villa Accommodation / Boutique Hotels: Covid-19 health and safety measures

Linked travel arrangements

Sicily a la carte provides some  linked travel arrangement  in the form of accommodation and services  in Sicily.

Sicily a la carte is a non-ABTA member.

The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 do not apply to accommodation only bookings.

If you have booked your  travel arrangements separately (ege.g – a flight directly with an airline and a hotel or villa accommodation, or a service through us), you might have certain protection for the individual services in other ways – through travel insurance or through booking with your debit or credit card – but you should check with your providers as levels of protection vary.

If you have not spoken to us yet to discuss your upcoming trip, please get in touch with Annamaria as soon as possible.

Call us on +39 320 966 9209, or +44 (0) 7983852334

Our bookings guidelines

COVID-19 Acknowledgement
Guests may not travel if they test positive for COVID-19 during the 14 days prior to departure; in this case, cancellation terms will apply as per our Refund Protect and Cancellation policy as explained below. Guests must maintain adequate physical distancing and frequently wash or sanitize hands during their journey. Masks are required in shared vehicles, indoor spaces, any outdoor spaces where physical distancing is not possible and in accordance with local regulations. Non-compliance with these measures will result in not being able to continue on the journey. Guests voluntarily assume all risks and related expenses in the event that they or any member of their travelling party require testing, quarantine or become infected with COVID-19.


Deposits are non-refundable as per our standard policy. See our standard T & Cs.

From June 2020, our covid-19 flexible policy will request 30%.

From June 2020, any booking deposits paid through Sicily a la Carte in 2020 can be made transferable to any future date up until the end of the following year (where available) or transferred but not sold to 3rd parties of your choice should you have to cancel your trip due to the FCO advising against travel as a result of Covid-19.

Third parties could be a friend, family member or a person of your choice.

You will have to notify us in time for this to be validated as the valid period  in which to use the non-refundable deposit towards your holidays will end as of the end of the following year.

In other words, you can now reserve your holiday accommodation safe in the knowledge that, if you need to cancel at any time due to coronavirus, your 30% only deposit is safe. However, please do check the information and clarifications below, before you decide to cancel your trip.

Flexible policy

Amidst the ever changing news and updates regarding COVID-19 and  the Coronavirus, rest assured that your planned holiday, whether already booked with us or if planning to book a travel  since news of the outbreak, will either go ahead safely as planned, or you will receive the choice of alternative holiday options (where available), a credit against a future holiday with us or a refund.

Our flexible 30% deposit policy is only valid during periods when travel is restricted due to covid-19 related issues worldwide, in Italy and when the FCO advises British people against all non- essential travel worldwide.

Our flexible 30% deposit policy allows any booking deposits paid through Sicily a la Carte to be made transferable to any future date according to availability  or 3rd parties of your choice, by the end of the following year of your booking, should you or anyone in your party have to cancel your trip due to covid-19 related  travel restrictions issued by the FCO.

Third parties could be a friend, family member or a person of your choice.

Proof of any covid-19 health related issues shall be required to apply the flexible policy to your booking.

Our flexible policy allows the balance due to be paid up to 4 weeks prior to departure.


For cancellations and rescheduling

Unfortunately, except for certain Linked Travel Arrangements, we are unable to offer refunds for Coronavirus-related cancellations, and our normal cancellation charges as per our standard T & Cs will apply. In this situation, we would recommend you first contact your travel insurance provider.

Please see our standard T & Cs.

Please see our Covid-19 Flexible Policy valid from June 2020.

For any new booking

Please see our standard T & Cs.

Please see our Covid-19 Flexible Policy valid from June 2020.

For bookings this summer

If you have a booking with us and you are unsure whether to travel or not, please get in touch with us as to discuss your options.

While it looks like travel to our destinations will be possible from many EU countries, travels bans in other countries seem set to remain in place for the foreseeable future.

  • you may wish to wait and see how the situation evolves, but please do let us know about your plans at least 4 weeks before your booking is scheduled to start (your balance payment due date).
  • alternatively, you may prefer to move your booking to 2022 (or to receive a voucher* that can be used against a future booking at the same villa).

Call us or email
Before confirming anything with us, please first check with your travel insurance provider to ascertain what effect, if any, a change of dates using a voucher might have on the coverage of your policy.

*If, for whatever reason, you are unable to use your voucher to reschedule your holiday and would like to pass your voucher on to friends or family members, we will happily change the name of the lead booker.

Insurance policy

We require that you and all members of your party take out adequate travel insurance prior to booking with us. What is adequate will depend on your particular needs but we generally recommend that as a minimum such a policy should include cover for medical expenses, personal accident, repatriation in the event emergency, illness or accident, loss, theft, or damage to/of personal possessions or money, cancellation (including any cancellation charges), and your liability for any sums (including legal costs) which you may become liable to pay in case of loss or damage to your booked property or its contents during your stay.

Please read your policy details carefully and take them with you on holiday. We do not check insurance policies and it is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance cover you purchase is especially adequate for your needs during  and after the covid-19 pandemic.

Refundable Bookings without Refund Protect


The ongoing pandemic has led to many questions from our customers on whether they can get a refund for their booking for reasons associated with Covid-19.

We do provide refunds of the balance paid, not for the non-refundable confirmation deposit, for a range of reasons linked to Covid-19, so here we have tried to give some clarity on refunds we can pay.


If you are infected with Covid-19 within 14 days of the start of your booking, and have evidence of the positive test, we can refund you.


If someone in your household has tested positive for Covid-19 within 14 days of the start of your booking and has evidence of that test, you are likely to need to self-isolate, and we can refund you.

Family infection

If someone in your immediate family tests positive for Covid-19 within 14 days of attending your booking and has evidence of that test, we can refund you.

Pre-existing medical condition

If you have a significant change in your pre-existing medical condition in the 14 days immediately prior to attending your booking, and a Doctor recommends you do not attend due to the risk of exposure to Covid-19, we can refund you.


If someone in your household has tested positive for Covid-19 within 14 days of the start of your booking and has evidence of that test, or if you have a change in a pre-existing medical condition, you may need to shield, and we can refund you.

Hospitalisation or Death

If someone in your immediate family is hospitalised, or has died due to Covid-19, within the 28 days before the start of your booking and you have evidence, we can refund you.

What we can’t pay

We cannot pay refunds where you are concerned about catching Covid-19 or are self-isolating without a positive Covid-19 test in your household or family.

We also cannot pay refunds for any travel restrictions caused by measures to control the spread of Covid-19.

Our refunds are always considered subject to the entirety of our terms (available to read here), requiring the presentation of appropriate evidence, on an entirely discretionary basis, and we offer no unconditional guarantee of refund.

Refundable Bookings with Refund Protect


We provide refunds if…

You are unable to Attend the Booking due to any of the listed reasons and have provided the required evidence shown in the individual reasons section below, subject always to the General Conditions of Refund.

  • Illness / Injury
  • Pre-existing Medical Condition
  • Pregnancy Complication
  • Death of Immediate Family
  • Public Transport Failure
  • Flight disruption
  • Mechanical Breakdown
  • Adverse Weather
  • Home Emergency
  • Theft of Documents
  • Jury Service
  • Court Summons
  • Armed Forces & Emergency Services Recall
  • Relocated for Work
  • Changes to Examination Dates


We may also consider other Emergency Circumstances at our absolute discretion and You will need to provide evidence for these circumstances.

You must read the General Conditions of Refund, and the individual reasons section below, for full information on what we will and will not refund for each reason.


General Conditions of Refund

  • We do not refund for any reason associated with a Communicable Disease pandemic or epidemic, including Covid-19 (see Covid-19 section below for exceptions to this where we may consider a refund).
  • We do not refund if Your Booking is no longer wanted or needed.
  • We will not pay a refund through this process where your Booking is cancelled or postponed by the organiser or airline; to make any changes to Your Booking contact Our customer services team directly.
  • Your reason for refund must not have been reasonably foreseeable at the time You made the Booking.
  • You must make all arrangements to arrive in time to Attend the Booking, including arranging any necessary permits, travel documents or visas.
  • You must take all reasonable precautions or make reasonable alternate arrangements to prevent or reduce any refund request.
  • You will be asked to provide supporting evidence at Your own expense, and a copy of the Booking
  • Maximum refund value per person will not exceed the total value of their share of the Booking, or £10,000 GBP (or alternative currency equivalent).



We may refund where You are unable to Attend Your Booking because of one of the following reasons associated with Covid-19:

  1. You, or someone within your Immediate Household, become infected with Covid-19 within the 14 days immediately prior to Attending Your Booking, meaning you have to isolate or shield; supported by evidence of a positive test result.
  2. The hospitalization, or death, of Your Immediate Family Member due to Covid-19, within the 28 days immediately prior to Attending Your Booking; supported by a medical / death certificate.
  3. A significant change in your pre-existing medical condition in the 14 days immediately prior to Attending Your Booking results in a Doctor recommending you do not Attend due to the risk of exposure to Covid-19.

Refunds are not issued where You do not Attend because You are worried about catching Covid-19 or You are isolating without a positive Covid-19 test in Your household, or where Your travel plans are affected by Covid-19 restrictions.

These reasons for refund are considered on an entirely discretionary basis and are not to be taken as a guarantee of refund.

**See full terms and conditions below to understand the refund policy and any excluded reasons for Covid-19 refund applications.


Requesting a Refund

Your refund application and payment will be handled by the Customer Experience Team who act as the administrator of Our Refundable terms. 

To apply for a Refund You must complete the Refund Application Form here as soon as You know You cannot Attendthe Booking, and up to 60 days after the Booking.

If Your Booking is cancelled or postponed by the organiser or airline, You should contact Our customer service team directly; see Your Booking confirmation for contact details.



Illness / Injury  means an Illness or accidental Injury to You or a member of Your Immediate FamilyWe will also refund the cost of the Doctor’s note on valid Refund Application.
What we do not refundAny Illness or accidental Injury for which You cannot provide Evidence as below.
Evidence requiredDoctor’s note or Medical Certificate confirming the details of the illness or injury, the date it occurred, and that it prevented You from Attending the Booking. (Receipt required for Doctor’s note refund)


Pre-existing Medical Conditionmeans a physical or mental health condition that You were aware of at the time You made the Booking that would not normally prevent You from Attending the Booking.
What we do not refundWhere guidelines for Your pre-existing medical condition would normally prevent You from Attending the Booking.
Evidence required Doctor’s note or Medical Certificate confirming the details of the illness, the date it changed, and that it prevented You from Attending the Booking. (Receipt required for Doctor’s note refund)


Pregnancy Complicationmeans a complication of pregnancy You were unaware of at the time You made the Bookingand which results in You being unable to Attend the Booking.
What we do not refundNormal Pregnancy.
Evidence requiredDoctor’s note or Medical Certificate confirming the details of the complication, the date it occurred, and that it prevented You from Attending the Booking. (Receipt required for Doctor’s note refund)


Deathmeans Your death any time prior to the Booking or the death of an ImmediateFamily member or any person(s) in the Group due to Attend the event with You, up to 4 weeks prior to the date of the Booking.
What we do not refundThe death of a person not within Your Immediate Family or in the Group due to Attend the Booking.
Evidence requiredA death certificate.


Public Transport Failuremeans unexpected disruption or failure of the public transport network which You could not have reasonably been aware of on or before the date of the Booking.
What we do not refundIf there is a financial failure of any Transport provider.
Evidence required A copy of the notice of failure or disruption of the public transport. (This can normally be obtained from the transport company’s website).


Flight disruptionmeans cancellation or significant delay of flight(s) which You were unaware of before the date of the Booking, that prevents You from Attending Your Booking.
What we do not refund If Your flight is Your Booking and it is cancelled or postponed, and You have a right of compensation from the Airline or another Paying Party.If You were aware of the disruption prior to the date of the Booking and did not make reasonable suitable alternative travel arrangements.

If there is a financial failure of any Transport provider.

If the purpose or reason for which You booked Your flight in order to Attend has altered or been cancelled.

Evidence requiredA copy of Your airline ticket and notice of cancellation from the airline.


Mechanical Breakdownmeans in the 24 hours prior to the Booking, the mechanical breakdown, accident, fire or theft of a vehicle taking You to the Booking.
What we do not refundIf You did not leave sufficient time to travel to the Booking.If You did not make reasonable alternative arrangements to Attend the Booking.
Evidence required Breakdown – A copy of the call out note from Your breakdown recovery service.An incident number or report from the Police or relevant traffic authority.


Government Travel Banmeans You cannot Attend the Booking because of a public travel ban issued either by the government of Your country of residence or by the country You are travelling to, in the 7 days preceding the Booking.
What we do not refundWhere the restriction of movement is as a result of measures to control the spread of Covid-19, or any other pandemic.Where Your government has issued a travel advisory or warning but not a ban to the country where the Booking is located.

Where You made the Booking after the Government Travel ban was already in force or was reasonably foreseeable.

If Your visa has not been obtained or has been declined.

Evidence requiredEvidence from the relevant national government website confirming the travel ban to the country or area where the Booking is located.


Adverse Weathermeans weather where a Government Agency has issued warnings not to travel which entirely prevents You from Attending the Booking.
What we do not refundAdverse weather with no Government Agency warnings not to travel.
Evidence required A copy of the travel warning from the Government Agency.Confirmation of relevant route closures.


Home Emergencymeans a Burglary, Fire, Malicious Damage or Flood at Your private residence up to 48 hours immediately before the Booking, of which You were unaware of the time of making the Booking.
What we do not refundAny Home Emergency for which You cannot provide Evidence as below.
Evidence requiredBurglary, Flood, Malicious Damage – A Police reference number or evidence from the submission of a claim to Your home insurance company.Fire – A report from the fire service and/or police.


Theft of Document(s)means the theft of a document necessary for the Booking, which cannot be replaced in time for the Booking.
What we do not refundWhere documents can be replaced in advance of the Booking or on the day.Where documents have been lost.
Evidence requiredA police report or crime number to confirm the theft.An email from the Booking agent confirming they are unable to replace/re-issue the tickets.


Relocated for Workmeans a requirement to move address imposed on You by Your employer, unknown to You at the date of Booking. The move may be temporary or permanent and must be more than 100 miles from Your home address at the date of Booking.
What we do not refundAttendance at business meetings and business travel.Any temporary relocation for work must be for a period of at least 3 months.

Voluntary relocation.

Evidence requiredA letter from Your current employer confirming the relocation details.


Armed Forces & Emergency Services Recallmeans You as a member of the Armed Forces, Reserve Armed Forces or EmergencyServices are recalled to work on the date of the Booking or are posted overseas and cannot Attend the Booking.
What we do not refundYou were aware of or had scheduled work on the date of the Booking, prior to making the Booking.You made an unsuccessful request for annual leave for the date of the Booking.
Evidence requiredA note from Your Commanding Officer or Line Manager to confirm being called into work or duty and that this was not Your original schedule.


Jury Servicemeans a summons for You to Attend Jury Service over the date of the Booking of which You were unaware at the time of making the Booking.
What we do not refundAny Jury Service for which You cannot provide Evidence as below.
Evidence requiredA copy of the letter requiring Jury Service.


Court Summonsmeans You are summoned to appear as a witness in court proceedings on the day of the Booking of which You were unaware of the time of making the Booking.
What we do not refundAny Court Summons in which You are a named Defendant in Criminal Proceedings or where You are the subject of Criminal Proceedings.
Evidence required A copy of the Court Summons.


Changes to Examination Datesmeans the unforeseen change of the date of an examination for a course on which You are registered to the day(s) of the Booking.
What we do not refundWhere You failed the examination previously and had to re-sit.
Evidence requiredA copy of a notice from the examination body, school, college, university confirming the change of date.


Emergency Circumstances  means an unforeseen circumstance completely outside Your control and of no fault of Yours. The decision to refund is entirely at the discretion of our Customer Experience Team. We will consider these circumstances and have no obligation whatsoever to provide a refund.
What we do not refundAnything which our Customer Experience Team considers is not intended to be included in this list of valid reasons for refund.
Evidence required Any evidence requested by our Customer Experience Team to verify the emergency circumstances.


Specific reasons where refunds will not be provided:

We do not refund for non-Attendance of a Booking directly or indirectly associated with:

  • actual or perceived: war, hostilities, civil commotion; imprisonment, repatriation, deportation; poisonous biological materials, radioactivity; Cyber Incident or Cyber Act; state property seizure;
  • failing to comply with any law;
  • any Booking emanating from Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan or Syria;
  • where exposed to any sanction, prohibition or restriction under United Nations resolutions or the trade or economic sanctions, laws or regulations of the European Union, United Kingdom or United States of America.
  • if it exceeds 18 months from the date originally booked to the conclusion of the transacted event.


The following words or phrases have the meaning shown below wherever they appear in bold in this document.
We/Us/Our – We are the Booking agent with whom You made the Booking.
You/Your/Yourself – A person who has made a Booking alone or as part of a group with Us.
Armed Forces – Naval Service, Marines, Army or Air Force.
Attend – participate in, take part in, use, or be present at.
Booking – The pre-planned and pre-booked service(s)/event(s)/flight(s)/ticket(s) transacted with Us by You.
Communicable Disease – means any disease capable of being transmitted from an infected person or species to a susceptible host, either directly or indirectly, that has caused quarantines or restriction of movement of people.
Doctor – A qualified medical practitioner registered and licensed with a recognised professional body. A doctor cannot be You or a member of Your family.
Emergency Services – Police, Fire and Rescue Service or other Emergency Services.
Immediate familyYour husband, wife, partner, civil partner, parent, child, brother, sister, grandmother or grandfather, or stepfamily.
Paying Party – Any organisation or body who has a legal liability to pay compensation for the failure of the service, against whom You have a right of refund.


IMPORTANT Any translation of this document from English is for assistance and information only. In event of a Refund Application the English language version shall be the basis of settlement.

All aspects of this document are subject to English law and the jurisdiction of the English courts.

This is not an insurance policy. A Refundable Booking is an optional extension to Our standard Terms & Conditions of sale and trade, and it provides a refund for certain defined circumstances outlined in this document.

Our travel guidelines

For travel to and from Italy and Sicily

As of 3rd June 2020, Italy’s borders have re-opened to EU / Schengen citizens and movement within the country will be unrestricted. Persons entering or re-entering Italy from these countries will not be submitted to health checks nor to 14-day quarantines unless they have visited other countries than those stated above 14 days or less prior to reaching Italy.

Travel advice from the European Commission

Travel in Italy, Sicily: Covid-19 health and safety measures 

Protective masks

Protective masks are compulsory in any situation where it is impossible to keep the necessary distance of 1 – 2 meters from others. Wearing a mask is not necessary on a solitary road, but it is on a trafficked road. It is not compulsory for children under the age of 7.


Bars / Restaurants / Shops

The rules are listed in the Ministerial Decree dated 17 May 2020 (All. 11) and include:  Social distancing, cleaning, and sanitization at least twice a day, depending on opening hours.

Anti-contagion rules such as entering one at the time, the use of masks and gloves for staff, antibacterial gel, and disposable gloves for visitors at supermarkets to be found by tills and entrance. Where possible separate entrance and exit are required.


Shows / Concerts 

From June 15 2020,  all shows with pre-assigned seats in keeping with the security measures of masks and social distancing of 1 – 2 meters between persons (spectators and staff alike) for a maximum of 1000 spectators in the open air and 200 spectators in an enclosed environment are allowed unless differently stated in future due to new COVID developments. Each Italian Region can make independent decisions regarding this.

Until 15 June, all the above as well as discos, open air dancing, fairs, conferences, local feats, and cultural events remain closed / suspended.

Museums, historical archives, libraries, open-air archeological parks, and areas are open to the public since 25 May 2020.


Cleaning and sanitization                                                                                          

Normal detergents can be used in all businesses. For the disinfection of worktops sodium hypochlorite at 0,1% – 0,5%, ethanol at 62% – 71% reduce COVID infectivity within one minute.

In case of a person with COVID indoors the diffusion of hydrogen peroxide at 0,5%.

Circolare n.5543 del 22 febbraio 2020

Our Villa Accommodation & Boutique Hotels
health and safety measures

We are following all the recommendations and best practice guidelines issued by governments, health authorities and international agencies, and we are taking all possible precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of our guests.

Travellers must comply with all Italian Covid requirements when visiting the country.


  1. To ensure that there is disinfecting gel by the entrance, by each communal room (corridor, landing, lift) of each floor and in bathrooms with a sign to disinfect hands before and after access.
  2. To display adequate and clear information understandable to all relevant nationalities and disabilities.
  3. Where possible, masks and disposable gloves to those who request them.
  4. The client is to wear a mask in the presence of staff and whenever social distancing is impossible.
  5. Staff is to wear masks and disposable gloves within the structure.
  6. Cleaning: Rooms will be cleaned as usual. On departure days the rooms will be sanitized. Cleaning and sanitization include all surfaces that the clients have come into contact with. Dirty laundry will be placed in a separate container to the one with clean laundry. To remove all elements that cannot stand regular cleaning.
  7. Cleaning material should be disposable.
  8. Objects for the clients’ use should be disinfected before and after clients’ arrival / departure.
  9. Frequent and regular cleaning of all surfaces that are touched regularly such as handles and railings.
  10. To air the rooms frequently regularly.


Villa Accommodation:

  1. Our Local Contacts are fully briefed and are collaborating with the owners of our villas on all Coronavirus-related issues.
  2. Extra deep cleaning – above and beyond our already stringent hygiene standards – is being organized for each villa before every check-in. Wherever possible, this will involve professional sanitization carried out between bookings by government-certified companies using specialist equipment and eco-friendly products.
  3. A rigorous daily cleaning procedure with certified cleaning products, as well as daily disinfection of higher risk areas.
  4. Staff working in our villas have all been issued with Coronavirus hygiene guidelines.
  5. We are equipping all our villas with special health and hygiene advice sheets, including the numbers and addresses of the closest specialized health centres.
  6. Each villa has been provided with a good supply of hand sanitizer and other relevant products.
  7. Our guests can contact our Local Contact 24 h for advice, reassurance, and practical help. They are hands-on and have the know-how and the contacts to deal with all kinds of situations.
  8. All villa staff and caretakers are being trained on our new stringent health and hygiene procedures. However, we recognize that some clients, for understandable reasons of social distancing, will prefer to limit to a minimum or completely exclude the presence of staff during their stay. We will be delighted to discuss special requests such as this, as well as any others you might have. Please contact us.