Relief period for event and tourism contracts extended

SINGAPORE: Parties to event and tourism-related contracts who are unable to fulfil their contractual obligations owing to Covid-19 will continue to get temporary relief from legal and enforcement action for an additional month.

The relief period for such contracts was previously scheduled to end yesterday, but the deadline has been extended to Jan 31.

The Law Ministry (MinLaw) said the relief period for these contracts under the Covid-19 Temporary Measures Act would be extended to enable both individuals and businesses to re-assess the Covid-19 situation and re-evaluate their events or tours in light of phase three of Singapore’s reopening, which began on Monday.

“With phase three, there will be more scope to make alternative arrangements and adjustments to the original contract terms, ” said the ministry.

“For example, parties to a contract for a large wedding may agree to holding the event on the contracted date but at a smaller scale at an appropriately reduced price. This would be a fair result.”

MinLaw strongly encouraged parties to negotiate the matter if the contracted event cannot proceed at all due to Covid-19. It added that parties should apply for relief only if they are unable to reach an agreement.

Notifications for relief for event- and tourism-related contracts must be served by the last day of the relief period, Jan 31, at the latest.

Under the Act, one party can serve a notification for relief on the other. Once this is done, deposits paid for events or tours cannot be automatically forfeited, and cancellation fees will be payable only if an assessor determines that such fees are just and fair.

Assessors are appointed by MinLaw to a Panel of Assessors for Covid-19 Temporary Relief to decide whether the relief under the Act applies to a given case. They seek to achieve an outcome that is just and equitable under the circumstances of each case.

The ministry said that even when a notification for relief is served, discussions and negotiations between the parties should continue.

It said: “The intention is to prevent any such forfeiture or cancellation charge from happening, so that parties may focus on discussion, understanding each other’s positions and trying to reach a mutually agreeable compromise on the conduct of the event or tour.” — The Straits Times/ANN

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