Boris Johnson discusses vaccine passports for overseas travel
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On Monday evening, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed plans to push ahead with the next stage of his “roadmap” out of lockdown. However, he warned it might be too soon for Britons to begin to make international travel plans.
Speaking in a live address to the nation, he said he was “hopeful” of a May restart date.
He explained: ” I do not wish to give hostages to fortune or to underestimate the difficulty we are seeing in some of the destination countries people might want to go to.
“We don’t want to see the virus being reimported into this country from abroad.
“Plainly, there is a surge in other parts of the world and we have to be mindful of that and we have to be realistic.”
He added: “I know that people watching will want to know exactly what they can do from 17 May but we’re not there yet.”
Despite this, many Britons have already booked future package holidays.
So, what are the latest updates from TUI, easyJet holidays, Jet2 holidays, British Airways, and Virgin Holidays?
Following Boris Johnson’s most recent address to the nation, TUI issued an update for holidaymakers on its website.
“Following the recent announcement from the UK government, customers travelling from England will be subject to a new traffic light system with ‘green’, ‘amber’ and ‘red’ destinations,” reads a statement from the holiday provider.
“We are yet to receive the full detail for each category, including what the testing requirements may be and which destinations will fall into each of the categories. “
However, customers are assured their holiday will be protected by the firm’s “TUI Holiday Promise”.
“What this means is that if prior to your departure date you know that you will need to quarantine on your return to the UK, you will have the option to change your holiday to another time for free,” explains TUI.
“You’ll also be able to change your holiday for free if you’re unable to travel due to new testing or vaccination requirements.
“We also won’t take you on holiday to a destination that will require you to quarantine on arrival, or to any destination that’s on the red list.
“In this instance, we will cancel your holiday and you will be able to change your booking to another date for free, or you can request a full refund.”
TUI has further extended its “free changes policy” until the end of June.
The package holiday arm of easyJet has set out a restart date of May 17, in accordance with Government guidelines.
All holidays up to and including May 16, 2021, are now cancelled.
In a statement, the holiday provider explained: “We’re continually working through how COVID-19 may impact future bookings in departure date order.
“If your holiday becomes affected, we’ll let you know as soon as we can.”
It added: “We’re continuing to closely follow announcements from the UK government, and work closely with our fantastic hoteliers and dedicated in-destination partners to ensure we have the measures in place to make our trips enjoyable and safe – meaning you can holiday with confidence.”
Customers who have their travel plans cancelled are able to opt for a full refund of the option to rebook travel at a later date.
An easyJet spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “All affected customers will be contacted with their options, which include a full refund or taking advantage of a £100 off a future holiday incentive if opting to rebook their holiday for a later date.”
As part of its Protection Promise, customers are being given more flexibility to amend and cancel their holiday if they can not, or simply do not wish to go ahead with their initial plans.
“If you want to change your holiday with ease, we can make it happen. You’ll be able to change your holiday online yourself, with no extra fees until 28 days before departure,” easyJet’s website explains.
Customers who “change their mind” about holidays can also receive a full refund as long as they cancel up to 28 days before departure. This will be “free of fees”.
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Following the Government’s plans to exit lockdown, Jet2 holidays aim to restart travel from May 17 onwards.
This means all holidays prior to this date are now cancelled.
“If you’ve been affected by these programme changes, we’ll be automatically cancelling your booking with a full refund,” the Jet2 website explains.
“If you’re due to travel from 17 May 2021 onwards, we’ll provide an update closer to the time. “
Since the Prime Minister’s most recent comments on the future of travel, no further updates have been issues by Jet2 holidays.
British Airways holidays
The package holiday arm of British Airways has outlined plans to restart from May 17 at the earliest.
No further update has been given following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s latest comments on unlocking lockdown.
A BA spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “All affected customers will be contacted and offered a refund.”
In a statement, the travel provider added: “If we cannot fulfil a holiday, we’re committed to ensuring customers receive a full refund within 14 days.
“Customers who are unable to travel, or choose not to, can continue to change their holiday without a change fee, or request a voucher for future use.”
The airline has also developed a “Protection Promise” which aims to provide customers with more “flexibility”.
“Our book with confidence commitment means you have the option to change your booking date and destination or even cancel it completely,” explains the airline’s website.
For bookings made on or after March 3, 2020, for journeys that are due to have been completed by April 30, 2022, customers have the option to change their booking or cancel their booking in exchange for a voucher for future travel voucher for future travel.
Virgin Atlantics package holiday arm has updated its website following Mr Johnson’s latest update on the steps out of lockdown.
“The UK Government has confirmed it is to implement a new ‘traffic light’ system to support the safe reopening of the skies, including non-essential international travel,” reads the Virgin Atlantic website.
It continues: “The Government has yet to confirm which countries will be designated amber or green.
“In line with the UK Government’s roadmap, international travel will resume no earlier than May 17 2021 and this remains the case following the Prime Minister’s update. “
Customers are being given the option to change or amend their plans if they can not holiday for whatever reason.
“Where a Virgin Atlantic customer is unable to travel for any reason, we offer as much choice and flexibility as possible to help you change or amend your plans, with the option to make date change(s) or one name(s) change with the service fee waived, for a new travel date all the way until April 30 2023,” states the airline.
“You can also amend the point of origin or destination of your flights with no service fee.”
Customers who have had their holiday cancelled by the airline are entitled to a full refund.
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