TUI has announced it will only fly holidaymakers to countries which have “air bridges” with the UK.
The travel giant said its customers will only be taken to destinations where they won’t be required to quarantine when they land.
TUI is the UK’s biggest tour operator, with lots of flights every day from Birmingham Airport in normal times.
The Mirror has reported that details of the move were revealed in an email to customers sent out yesterday (Friday).
In the email, TUI says: “This means we won’t travel to places where we know that you’ll need to self-isolate when you arrive or when you return home. ”
It means that TUI customers may only be able to go on holiday to countries that have an agreed “air bridge” with the UK. The Foreign Office currently advises against all but essential travel, but this is under review all the time.
In the coming weeks Boris Johnson is expected to announce a string of deals with a “small number” of countries to create air bridges to allow quarantine-free travel, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The Prime Minister will reveal which countries – all said to have low coronavirus infection rates – are included in the deal, in a boost to Brits hoping to enjoy summer holidays abroad following months of lockdown.
Top of the list of nations ministers want to set up air bridges with are popular sunspots such as France, Spain, Greece and Portugal.
Earlier this month airlines sent the Government a list of 45 countries that should be exempt from the quarantine rule.
The countries on that list that TUI currently fly to are: Antigua, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Croatia, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Italy, Jamaica, Malta, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Spain, St Lucia, Tunisia, Turkey and USA.
Other spots on the Prime Minister’s air bridges wish list are long-haul places such as Dubai, Singapore and Sydney.
However, other destinations that TUI currently fly to may well be off the holiday list depending on the Government’s air bridge decision expected in days.
In his email to TUI customers, the company’s managing director, Andrew Flintham, also outlined a series of measures under the TUI Holiday Promise to help customers begin to travel again with “total peace of mind”
These include disinfecting the aircraft cabin to making sure hotels are deep-cleaned before they reopen.
Mr Flintham said: “The last few months have been truly extraordinary and we have all had to make changes in our everyday lives. We’ve adjusted the way we shop, work and socialise – and the way we go on holiday in the future will also be a little different.
“But although we find ourselves in exceptional circumstances, we want to assure you that we will do everything we can to continue to take you on safe and enjoyable holidays.”
Earlier this month TUI delayed the date it will restart holidays for Brits due to the ongoing travel restrictions. The tour operator has now cancelled all trips up to and including July 10 – it had previously planned to restart travel on July 1.
Last week the tour operator seems confident that things will restart soon, with a spokeswoman saying it was planning to resume flying again this summer, and that summer 2021 was “looking promising”.
A spokeswoman for TUI previously added: “We are constantly monitoring the situation and will start taking people on holiday again as soon as we are able to do so.
“At this point in time, nobody can accurately predict when that will be, so for the time being we will keep a close eye on our programme and continue to amend and adapt timings in line with the latest global travel advice.”