TUI will only offer holidays to safe destinations that pass their ‘health check’, UK’s biggest tour operator has announced.
TUI Group CEO Friedrich Joussen said that the tour operator would only be offering customers holidays in ‘safe’ countries.
But echoing Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s view that it’s “unlikely” international holidays are going to be possible for this summer, Mr Joussen said that long-distance travel this year “won’t be possible” without a vaccine.
Speaking to Bild newspaper he said that Greece, Cyprus, Croatia, Bulgaria, Spain, Austria, and Denmark are “well prepared” for the summer tourist season.
He said: “We have developed a health check for all tourist destinations and will only offer holidays in safe countries.
“Mallorca is in the first place definitely. Hotels there have been tested and could be opened immediately and host tourists.
“Similarly, Greece, Cyprus, Croatia, and Bulgaria are well prepared for summer tourism. And of course, Austria and Denmark.”
Thousands of TUI customers are still trying to get a refund for their cancelled holidays due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The FCO advise against all but essential travel at the moment but Mr Joussen says he doesn’t believe the general and worldwide travel warning is “correct”.
He wants individual assessments for each country or region and for governments to only issue warning “if necessary” adding: “Freedom of travel and movement in Europe is at the core of the EU.”
He admits that holidays for everyone this year will be “very different”.
Cruise ships were particularly affected by the coronavirus but Mr Joussen says the company’s ships will “ready from July”.
Talking about the future of TUI, Mr Joussen said we would all be living in “another world” after the coronavirus and that the company would need to become “leaner and more efficient” and stop investing.
“This applies to all areas – for hotels and for our aircraft fleet”, he said.
In the UK government 50-page road-map document on how the country was going to ease out of lockdown Boris Johnson revealed that all travellers returning to the UK would need to quarantine for 14 days except if you were from France.
And today Spain announced a 14 day quarantine for all overseas traveller starting on May 15.
The incoming travellers will have to remain locked in and will only be allowed to exit for grocery shopping, go to health centres and in case of “situation of need”, an official order published on Tuesday said.
The quarantine has been enforced for all travellers incoming to Spain between May 15 and May 24, when the state of emergency is due to end.
The current state of alarm ends on May 24 but Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez has already said he wants to extend it a fifth time and would like to keep it in place till the end of June.
Beaches across Spain are busy preparing to welcome back tourists when coronavirus travel restrictions are lifted.
Many beaches across Spain have created cordoned off sunbathing ‘squares’ for tourists with one region going even further by introducing designated zones for different ages and family groups.
Proposals for Silgar beach in the northwest of Spain have been shared by the local council on Facebook.
The beach has been divided into five roped-off sections each with 780 spaces measuring 9sqm.
Each space will have a 1.5m gap between each one to ensure social distancing.
You’ll have to stay in your square while on the beach and if you want to go for a walk and play games you will need to move to a different designated strip.
You’ll also have to use another marked out strip if you need to use the toilet or other facilities.
To go for a dip in the sea you will need to follow a six-metre wide special passageway.
You won’t be allowed to reserve your spot so they’ll be no need for early morning towel battles with fellow tourists.
Lloret de Mar on the Costa Brava, is going one step further by dividing its beaches into three different age segments in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.
The two most popular beaches of Lloret and Fenals will be divided into sectors and have limited capacity and controlled access.
Each will have its own services, including extra helpers and lifeguards and bathrooms.
Three sections will be created – one for older people, one for families with children, and one for adults without children, such as couples or groups of friends.
The sector for the elderly will be for couples or individuals and have a double walkway to help with access and an assisted bathing service on request.