Tui is now offering coronavirus cover to all its holidaymakers until the end of the year.
The cover – which Tui says should be used alongside normal travel insurance – will be applied to all new and existing bookings for holidays taken until December 31, 2020, and comes as customers and crew embrace the ‘new normal’ way of travelling.
The scheme includes cover for overseas testing of suspected Covid-19 cases and overseas medical assistance if a customer contracts the virus while on holiday.
Tui is now offering coronavirus cover to all of its holidaymakers until the end of the year. It comes as customers and crew embrace the ‘new normal’ way of travelling
Tui passengers disembark a flight to Ibiza at the weekend. Travellers heading to Ibiza have to fill in health check forms ahead of arrival and have their temperature screened at the airport
It also covers any costs associated with an extended stay and a new return flight back to the UK if customers are asked to self-isolate while on holiday. There is also a dedicated 24/7 emergency hotline and app.
BA recently revealed that its preferred travel insurance provider, Allianz Assistance, has updated its policy to cover Covid-19.
The airline said the policy would cover customers if they or their family are diagnosed with the virus, or if they have to quarantine after being exposed to it.
Last week, Andrew Flintham, managing director of Tui UK and Northern Ireland, meanwhile, said holidaymakers would need to be prepared for some changes as operations gradually begin again but was confident they would enjoy their trips.
At the weekend, the company began running a limited number of flights and holidays to the Spanish destinations of Ibiza, Lanzarote, Palma and Tenerife.
While British quarantine rules mean travellers no longer need to self-isolate when returning to or visiting the UK from certain countries, there are still foreign coronavirus regulations to consider.
On Monday, the Balearic Government ruled that face masks must be worn on its islands at all times apart from at beaches and swimming pools, and while doing sports activities. Anyone breaking the rule in public spaces risks receiving a 100 euro fine.
Travellers heading to Ibiza have to fill in health-check forms ahead of arrival and have their temperature screened at the airport.
At the weekend, Tui began running a limited number of flights and holidays to Ibiza, Lanzarote, Palma and Tenerife. Pictured is a passenger checking in at Gatwick Airport
At Tui hotels there is no buffet service, entertainment is outdoor only and sunbeds and restaurant tables are socially distanced
Mr Flintham acknowledged people would need to observe local rules but added they will still ‘be able to enjoy the major amenities and the things that you really, really want’.
He said: ‘The 90 per cent or the 85 per cent of the normality of your holiday is going to be there.’
Onboard aircraft, which are regularly deep cleaned, Tui flight crew now wear masks and gloves and provide sachets of hand gel to passengers.
The current flight service does not include hot food or duty-free and QR codes allow customers to access absent flight literature.
Passengers are encouraged to check-in online, refrain from moving around during flights and limit carry-on luggage to one small item.
Passengers are encouraged to check-in online, refrain from moving around during flights and limit carry-on luggage to one small item
Onboard aircraft, which are regularly deep cleaned, Tui flight crew now wear masks and gloves and provide sachets of hand gel to passengers
The current Tui flight service does not include hot food or duty-free and QR codes allow customers to access absent flight literature
Speaking at the weekend, Ben Campbell, a 25-year-old cabin crew member at Tui, said he was ‘really excited’ to return to work for the first time since March.
He explained: ‘For me as a crew member this is probably the longest I’ve been in the UK for about six years, so it’s been strange for me.
Mr Campbell said colleagues were ‘really prepared’ to run flights, but acknowledged ‘people need to be aware that things are going to take a bit longer’.
He added: ‘Things like disembarking, that’s going to be a little bit slower. People might have to bear with us a little bit more.’
Tui intends to fill as many seats on its flights as possible and believes a combination of cleaning, staggered boarding, air filters and face masks make them safe.
Richard Sofer, commercial business development director, said Tui followed European Union Aviation Safety Agency recommendations and that travellers ‘understand there’s a little bit of risk’.
Andrew Flintham, managing director of Tui UK and Northern Ireland, said people will still ‘be able to enjoy the major amenities and the things that you really, really want’ while on holiday. Pictured is the food service at the Tui Blue hotel in Ibiza
Helen Cooke, Tui’s resort team manager for Ibiza and Formentera, said local communities were ‘100 per cent’ ready to welcome tourists back. Pictured are tourists in Ibiza
He argued that there was no evidence that ‘leaving a seat in the middle is giving you any protection’.
‘The recommendation is if you can’t social distance, you’re wearing masks.’
He added: ‘You are at no more risk than if you’re on a public bus.’
At hotels, where pools are open, customers find social distancing markers, no buffet service, outdoor entertainment only and socially distanced sunbeds and restaurant tables.
Helen Cooke, Tui’s resort team manager for Ibiza and Formentera, said local communities are ‘100 per cent’ ready to welcome tourists back.
A resident of Ibiza for 23 years, she added: ‘I live and work on this island and I think everyone has a responsibility to take precautions.’
A hotel worker cleans the sunloungers at the Tui Blue hotel in Ibiza. From August 1, Tui hopes to be flying to a total of 24 destinations from 12 UK airports
She continued: ‘A healthy little bit of caution is probably a good thing to maintain the safety of the island.’
Meanwhile, Tui says it will be taking holidaymakers to a total of 24 destinations from August 1, flying from 12 UK airports, subject to government guidance.
Over the next week, flights will resume between the UK and the Greek hotspots of Heraklion, Rhodes, Kos and Corfu.
From July 25, flights will begin to the Spanish destinations of Menorca, Malaga, Alicante, Reus, Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria as well as to Zakynthos in Greece.
From August 1, flights will restart to other Greek destinations – Chania, Kefalonia, Skiathos, Santorini and Thessaloniki. Services will also resume to the Turkish hotspots of Dalaman, Antalya, Izmir and Bodrum.
Tui says it also plans to restart holidays to other popular summer destinations in Portugal, Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco over the coming months as governments further ease travel restrictions.
PLACES TUI WILL BE FLYING TO FROM AUGUST 1