Tui has cancelled all holidays to Faro in Portugal up to September 24 due to the UK’s newly imposed quarantine conditions on the mainland.
Another blow to the travel industry
A spokesman for Tui said: “All impacted customers will be notified and offered the option to amend or cancel and receive a full cash refund.” Jet2, who is the largest operator to the Algarve, only resumed flights and holidays to Faro on August 24, a statement is expected soon from Jet2.
Industry leaders have condemned the latest quarantine clampdown on Portugal and Hungary while many took to social media to praise former prime minister Theresa May’s impassioned plea to the government in a parliamentary debate to allow airports to trail Covid-19 testing to “get planes flying again” and get the economy moving. Those backing May’s stance included the British Airline Pilots’ Association and Advantage Travel Partnership leisure director Kelly Cookes.
The future of travel agents is in jeopardy
An Abta spokesperson warned about job losses in the industry: “Every country, mainland or island that is taken off the government’s travel lists lessens the ability of travel businesses to operate and increases the necessity for the Government to provide tailored industry support.
“There are travel agents and tour operators based in every region of the UK that are viable businesses, which are unable to trade because of the measures to control the pandemic, and tens of thousands of livelihoods are at risk until we are able to move beyond widespread travel restrictions. It explains that with the right policy and regulatory support the government can save jobs and ensure the viability of the UK’s travel industry,” the travel association added.
World Travel & Tourism Council president and chief executive Gloria Guevara said: “Taking Portugal and Hungary off the exception list has left families and in a race against time to find flights and get home to avoid going into 14-days of isolation or cancel their already made plans.
“This depressingly familiar situation is a major body blow to consumer confidence to travel. For while Madeira and the Azores will be excluded from the quarantine list under the government’s new ‘island policy’, it will come as little comfort to the vast majority of holidaymakers, and the embattled travel and tourism sector, which has seen the 2020 summer holiday season effectively crushed.
“All of this chaos could be avoided if only the government took decisive action to ditch damaging and disruptive quarantines in favour of a comprehensive, fast and cost-effective airport test and trace programme. Until then, the disruption will continue, and the economic recovery will become ever harder to restart.”