Covid closures

Tui shuts 48 more stores as travel ban hits holidays

Thomas Cook holidays

Holiday on hold as lockdown restrictions linger

Holiday firm TUI is closing a further 48 shops after the UK government announced travellers will face £5,000 fine for travelling overseas without “reasonable excuse”. 

The UK’s biggest tour operator is offering 273 employees alternative roles but said the travel industry and the high street “are both facing unprecedented pressure”.

In July last year Tui said 166 shops would not reopen because of the impact of the virus crisis.

Tui, along with other travel agents, is currently unable to send people from the UK on holiday because of lockdown restrictions. Travellers face a £5,000 fine if they break the new law when it comes into force on Monday.

Foreign summer holidays look increasingly as a third wave of coronavirus sweeps across Europe. France is likely to be added to a ‘red list’ of countries requiring hotel quarantine.

Boris Johnson admitted that summer holidays abroad ‘”ook difficult for the time being”.

The Prime Minister, speaking at the Downing Street press conference to mark a year of lockdown, warned Britons that the government could even impose tougher border controls over fears of new variants being brought into the country. 

Mr Johnson admitted that there was mounting concern in the UK over the spread of new mutant strains of coronavirus which could be more resistant to vaccines.

He added that he would say more about travel plans on 5 April after receiving a report from the global travel taskforce. 

Tui issued a statement which read: “We want to be in the best position to provide excellent customer service, whether it’s in a high street store, over the telephone or online, and will continue to put the customer at the heart of what we do.

“It is therefore imperative that we make these difficult cost decisions and do our best to look after our colleagues during such unprecedented uncertainty.

“We believe Covid-19 has only strengthened a change in purchasing habits, with people looking to buy online or wishing to speak with travel experts from the comfort of their own home.

“We have world class travel advisers at Tui, so we hope many of them will become homeworkers and continue to offer the personalised service we know our customers value.”

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