TUI, which resumes operations today, has announced it will cover the costs for medical tests, extended hotel stays and flights home for British holidaymakers if they catch Covid-19 while on a package holiday.
The ‘Covid-19 Cover’ will be offered to every TUI customer until the end of the year.
The cover will include the cost of repatriation, if medically required by the holidaymaker, and if they must self-isolate TUI will cover the cost of an extended stay and the price of a new return flight home if needed.
This comes as TUI, the UK’s largest holiday firm, announces it will reboot holidays to seven new destinations from July 25: Menorca, Malaga, Alicante, Reus, Zakynthos, Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria have been added to their roster.
Today, TUI has kickstarted holidays to the Balearics and the Canaries, departing from Gatwick, Birmingham and Manchester.
Follow all the latest travel updates below.
Holidays to be close to normal despite Covid, says TUI chief
British tourists can expect to experience “90 per cent of normality” as flights and holidays restart for the UK’s biggest tour operator.
Andrew Flintham, managing director of TUI UK and Northern Ireland, said holidaymakers would need to be prepared for some changes as operations gradually begin again, but he was confident they would enjoy their trips.
While new British quarantine rules mean travellers will no longer need to self-isolate when returning to or visiting the UK from certain countries, there are still foreign coronavirus regulations to consider.
From Monday, the Balearic Government has ruled that face masks must be worn on its islands at all times apart from at beaches, swimming pools and while doing sports activities. Anyone breaking the rule in public spaces risks receiving a 100 euro fine.
Travellers arriving to Ibiza have to fill in health check forms ahead of arrival and will have their temperature screened at the airport.
Farewell to Travelodge?
Up to 40 Travelodges could shut as landlords plot to replace them with a serviced apartment firm after being forced to accept rent cuts, Oliver Gill reports.
The sites’ owners are in talks with Room2, part of family-owned property firm Lamington Group, which is seeking to launch a low-cost version of its “hometel” concept that combines services apartments with some add-ons usually found in a hotel.
Read the full report, here.
The best venues to enjoy socially distanced live music outdoors
As the music industry awaits further guidance on indoor gigging, live music has returned to the open air and, in some cases, behind closed doors, from drive-in music tours with big names such as the Kaiser Chiefs to outdoor opera at Glyndebourne and English National Opera’s drive-in nights at Alexandra Palace.
So what events are available, how will they work and who is playing?
The English National Opera is launching ENO Drive & Live at Alexandra Palace for the first three weeks of September. There will be 12 performances of a 90 minute shortened version of Puccini’s La bohème, with the singers and musicians spaced out in accordance with government guidelines. Tickets will be released in the coming weeks.
There is also Utilita Live from the Drive-In, a series of live drive-in concerts across 12 specially converted outdoor venues from Filton Airport in Bristol to The Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh. Acts will be performing to 300 cars a night, including The Streets, Bjorn Again and KT Tunstall.
Read more here.
Holiday plans in disarray, bad weather put on hold…
If you hadn’t noticed, the weather forecast is looking balmy for much of the country over the coming week or two.
Here are the best glamping holidays in the UK, if you’d rather avoid the bother of travelling overseas.
British holidaymakers left out of pocket after arriving in Spain to find hotels closed
Britons arrived in Spanish resorts last weekend to find their hotels were shut; they then had difficulty contacting the company they had booked through.
Paul Davis, from Lincolnshire, was sold a family break to the resort of Salou on the Costa Dorada by loveholidays and is among several customers who have complained to Which?.
Mr Davis, his partner and son were some the first Britons to arrive in Spain on Saturday following the country’s exemption from the Foreign Office warning against all but essential travel and its inclusion on the UK Government’s list of destinations exempt from quarantine measures.
When the family made it to the 4R Regina Gran hotel, they found the gates were padlocked,
The Queen to spend summer in Scottish Highlands
The Queen will travel up to the Scottish Highlands to spend her summer at Balmoral Castle, as she traditionally does each year.
She has been self-isolating at Windsor Castle with Prince Philip, though it is unknown whether she will travel on her own or if the Duke of Edinburgh will be joining.
Speaking on ITV, Royal editor Chris Ship said:
“Our understanding is she will go to Balmoral where she spends every summer in the Scottish Highlands.
“When she goes is a matter of much debate.”
“I think even though the plan is for her to go, they will review it and keep it under constant review given the current situation.”
Baseless Portugal travel ban will cause ‘lasting damage’
The Portuguese ambassador has accused Britain of causing “immense” and potentially “lasting” damage to his country with its travel ban, as he claimed its decision was based on unclear science.
Writing for The Telegraph, Manuel Lobo Antunes said he would “make no attempt” to hide his disappointment at the British government’s decision to exclude Portugal from a list of 74 places exempted from the UK’s 14-day quarantine.
He said this was compounded by the anomaly where the Portuguese islands of Madeira and the Azores had been given a clean bill of health by the Foreign Office yet were still subject to UK quarantine.
His comments will escalate the diplomatic row with Britain following a coronavirus outbreak in and around Lisbon leading to UK holidaymakers being barred from the whole of Portugal, even though its most popular destination, the Algarve, has some of the lowest rates in Europe.
Read the full report, here.
Airport experience has improved since Covid-19
Our writer, Annabel Fenwick Elliott is off to Venice today. She’s finding the airport experience to have improved since the pandemic.
And she is given a welcomed piece of reassurance before take-off…
Follow her updates here.
What happened yesterday?
A re-cap of what happened in the world of travel yesterday:
Backlash against ‘lunatic’ cruise ban as other holiday restrictions ease
Italy expected to extend state of emergency
Australian ski resorts closed after just four days of opening
No fines issued for breaching quarantine rules after arriving from abroad
Now, on with today’s news.