In case you were wondering when you might travel again, there is no definitive answer yet. What we can say for sure is that the travel industry seems to be shutting down in the short term.
Hot on the heels of Easyjet, Ryanair and BA reducing their schedules, today, Britain’s second-biggest holiday company, Jet2 Holidays, has written off its plans, (flights and holidays, for the rest of January, all of February and most of March.
It plans to reinstate service on March 26, 2021, effectively missing out on lucrative gains that might have been had during the February half-term week.
The Leeds-based firm made its decision after reflecting upon the UK-wide ban on leisure travel and the introduction of COVID testing for returning holidaymakers. Passengers won’t be able to board a plane without a negative test taken within 72 hours of departure.
A Jet2 spokesperson said:
We will be automatically cancelling affected bookings with a full refund. Since the onset of the pandemic, we have always respected that customers should receive their money back if we have not provided their flight or holiday.
“For customers due to travel from 26 March onwards, we will provide further updates closer to the time as appropriate.
At present Tui, the UK’s largest holiday company has cancelled all its holidays until 12 February. Tui customers who have holidays booked to travel before the end of April can rearrange their trip for any other that’s available to book. No amendment fees will be applied.
The UK government has been criticised, not for adding testing Covid-10 measures but for doing so without removing the need quarantine when entering Britain.
Alexandre de Juniac, director-general of the International Air Transport Association (Iata) said:
“They have chosen policy measures that will shut down travel.
“This approach tells us that these governments are not interested in managing a balanced approach to the risks of Covid-19. They appear to be aiming for a zero-Covid world. This is an impossible task that comes with severe consequences.
“The travel and tourism economy will not recover. Jobs will continue to disappear. And the lockdown’s toll on people’s mental health will continue to grow – particularly on those who are separated from loved ones.”
As yet there is no end date to the UK national lockdown.