Boris Johnson announces closure of travel corridors
Prime Minster Boris Johnson has axed travel corridors amid growing concerns over new strains of coronavirus being imported into the UK. Now, all arrivals into the UK must quarantine for 10 days.
Arrivals are also subject to new testing rules, which mean all travellers entering the UK must provide a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of arrivals.
All of this is coupled with the ongoing national lockdown, which means travel is banned except for “essential purposes”.
As a result, many airlines have been forced to amend and axe itineraries.
Here are the latest updates for British Airways, Jet2, easyJet, Ryanair and TUI.
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British Airways (BA) says it is operating a “reduced” and “dynamic” schedule due to ongoing travel restrictions.
A BA spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “We are contacting customers whose flights are cancelled to offer options including a full refund.
“We advise customers to check the latest UK Government travel advice at Gov.uk and their latest flight information at ba.com.”
The airline is also urging customers not to call them, due to “high call volumes”.
Instead, it advises logging onto the “manage my booking” section of the website, where customers can choose to rebook their flight for a later date or request voucher to use for a future booking.
Customers who have their flights cancelled by the airline will be contacted with regards to receiving a refund.
The carrier reminded customers their book with confidence commitment means you have the option to change your booking date and destination or even cancel it completely.
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easyJet has cancelled all of its package holidays, offered under the airline’s package holiday arm, until March due to ongoing restrictions.
Matt Callaghan, easyJet holidays customer director, said: “We know this news will be disappointing. But we want to give our customers as much flexibility and choice as possible so they can decide what is best for them. We’re really proud that, where we’ve needed to cancel holidays, we’ve been able to process refunds in an average of 12 days.
“We’ll continue to do the right thing for customers. And for any customers wanting to change their holiday or make a new booking, we’ve got holidays on sale all the way through to March 2022.
“We know there is light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccine.
“We can’t wait to take people on well-deserved holidays just as soon as it’s possible for us to do so.”
Flights from the airline are still operating, though on a limited schedule.
The airline will contact anyone whose travel plans may be disrupted.
“We will also be in touch with customers with later departure dates to remind them of our easyJet holidays Protection Promise which offers ultimate flexibility and reassurance,” an easyJet spokesperson told Express.co.uk previously.
Ryanair has announced plans to slash huge swathes of its planned itineraries until April due to the ongoing restrictions.
The airline predicts its January traffic will fall below 1.25 million passengers.
A spokesperson told Express.co.uk yesterday: “Due to ongoing government travel restrictions as a result of COVID-19, Ryanair expects to operate a limited winter flight schedule from the UK, which will be reflected on Ryanair.com.
“All connections are subject to travel restrictions. In the event of a flight cancellation, customers can avail of a free flight change or apply for a voucher/refund should they so wish.
“Ryanair urges all passengers to check the latest travel updates on the Ryanair.com website and with the relevant authorities in advance of their flight.”
Jet2 has made the decision to cancel all flights and holidays due to the ongoing travel restrictions.
These cancellations will be ongoing until mid-February, with the exception of ski holidays and its Ireland flights.
“Due to the ongoing uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and government travel restrictions, we’ve taken the decision to extend the suspension of all flights up to and including February 11, 2021,” said Jet2.
“If you’re due to travel from 12 February 2021 onwards, we’ll provide an update closer to the time.
“Please note, this announcement doesn’t apply to our Iceland or ski flights. We’re keeping these under review and will advise accordingly.
“Nobody wants customers to be on holiday enjoying themselves more than we do, and we’re looking forward to resuming our award-winning flights.”
The airline is also offering advice for customers who need to fly on how they can access a COVID-19 test.
This can be done via the Jet2 website.
“Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, some destinations we fly to need you to provide a negative COVID-19 test before you travel. And we’re here to help make it an easy and stress-free experience,” it states.
“That’s why we’ve worked hard to secure specially discounted PCR (swab) COVID-19 tests from third party providers from just £75, if the country you’re travelling to requires a negative PCR test result.
“Simply arrange yours with enough time before you’re due to travel.”
TUI has cancelled all holidays in line with the latest lockdown restrictions in the UK.
In its most recent statement, the travel provider explained: “As a result of the latest national lockdown measures announced on 4 January 2021 we’re cancelling all holidays in line with international travel restrictions. Customers due to travel from an English airport before mid-February will be contacted in departure date order to discuss their options, which will include amending to another holiday with an incentive, receiving an ATOL-protected refund credit note with incentive, or cancelling and receiving a full refund.
“All holidays from Scotland and Wales have been cancelled until 31 January. “We will constantly review holiday cancellations in line with updated travel advice.”
It adds customers who booked using third party airlines may have slightly different options and will be contacted a TUI agent to discuss the options available.
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