Tui has cancelled all bookings to a slew of amber and red-list countries until the end of June, blaming “ongoing uncertainty” over holiday travel as the cause.
The giant operator had resumed taking bookings following the May 17 reopening of foreign travel from the UK, which established the traffic light system of green, amber and red-list countries.
However, concerns over the status of the amber list – and the UK government’s mixed messaging over leisure travel – has prompted the company to cancel all of its holidays to Mexico, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Turkey, Egypt, Cape Verde, Morocco, Tunisia and Bulgaria up to and including June 27.
The UK’s amber list has caused some confusion.
The government is discouraging leisure travel to any country on that list and has instituted rigorous restrictions on anyone who does, including three PCR test requirements and a 10-day quarantine on return.
But as all but one of the most popular destinations for UK are currently on the amber list (Portugal is green), operators have been caught in a difficult situation: they are desperate to sell holidays to the likes of Spain, Italy, France and Turkey but the onerous and potentially costly restrictions for anyone who does travel has made it very difficult for them to confidently sell a holiday if the prospective buyer has to shell out for three PCR tests and has to spend 10 days in quarantine on their return.
A statement on Tui’s website says: “We want to offer our customers flexibility and choice this summer, so where borders are open and FCDO advice allows travel, we will operate to those destinations as planned.
“We are constantly reviewing our holiday programme and cancellations in line with the Government updates every three weeks, with the next update due in early June.”
The next government update of the system isn’t scheduled until June 7, but major changes are unlikely to the current listings.