TUI and First Choice have cancelled all of their holidays to Florida until December.

The travel firm - which flies to the sunshine state from airports including Bristol, Birmingham, Gatwick, Glasgow and Manchester - said it made the decision following new health and safety measures introduced at Walt Disney World Resort.

What have TUI said?

A spokeswoman said: “These changes would significantly impact the holiday experience for many Tui customers who plan their magical and often once-in-a-lifetime Florida holiday.

“As part of Tui’s new holiday promise, the UK’s biggest tour operator commits to only operating holidays where it’s able to guarantee an enjoyable, relaxing and safe holiday without significant changes at their destination.”

What are TUI offering customers instead?

Customers of First Choice and TUI are being offered a range of alternative options, including delaying their trip until next year or changing their destination – both with a booking incentive – or a full refund.

When wil TUI holidays and flights to Florida restart?

TUI’s Florida programme will relaunch using flights from flying partners on December 1, 2020, and TUI Airways flights will be taking off again in March 2021. 

The company added they will be proactively contacting all impacted customers. More information can be found on the TUI and First Choice websites - www.tui.co.uk and www.firstchoice.co.uk

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

What will summer holidays abroad look like this year?

These are the new rules for all TUI flights: 

  • Online check-in: Passengers should download the TUI app to check in for their flight online, and download boarding passes to their phones.
  • Passengers will have to wear face masks on board for the duration of the flight.
  • Travellers will also be advised to remain seated as much as possible with cabin crew managing bathroom queues.
  • Contactless payments on board: TUI have increased the availability of contactless payment on flights to buy selected food and drink on board.

​The company says it has ramped up cleaning measures, with the following in place:

  • Extra cleaning and disinfecting of aircraft.
  • State-of-the art hospital standard air filtering systems to keep fresh air flowing through the cabin every few minutes.
  • Hand sanitiser sachets available to passengers on board.

What will holidays be like at TUI and First Choice hotels?

The following changes will be in place:

  • Hand sanitising stations set up throughout hotels.
  • Social distancing markers on the floor of hotels.
  • Restaurants may have fewer tables and will stay open for longer.
  • In many properties, table service will replace self-service dining.
  • Resort facilities, like sports courts, may be open for longer than normal to allow for social distancing.
  • Sun loungers at pools and beaches will be disinfected between each new guest.
  • Evening entertainment will still take place at many hotels, outdoors where possible.
  • Hotel spas are likely to reduce the number of people that can use the facilities at any one time.

TUI introduces new 'holiday promise' to keep holidaymakers safe 

To give customers peace of mind, TUI say they have also introduced a new 'Holiday Promise', built around five commitments to ensure everyone can have the safest and most relaxing holiday possible.

They are:

  • TUI standards guaranteed: They promise a brilliant TUI holiday. If there are any significant changes at the hotel, resort or destination which will stop this from happening, they won’t take holidaymakers there.
  • 24-hour support: TUI promise guests will be supported 24-7 by their holiday reps. They can download the TUI App or have a chat with staff in hotels and resorts.
  • Quarantine-free holidays: The company promise they’ll only take people on quarantine-free holidays. It means they won’t travel anywhere with known isolating measures in place.
  • No holiday, no worries: The company promise they’ll be in contact as soon as we can if the holiday can’t go ahead due to Covid-19. They will offer the opportunity to change the booking to a different holiday. Or, holidaymakers can take a refund credit note or a full cash refund.
  • Extra safety measures: Extra measures to protect holidaymakers, as well as staff, against Covid-19 will be introduced – from disinfecting the aircraft cabin to making sure their hotels are deep-cleaned before they reopen.

What have the owners of TUI and First Choice said?

Andrew Flintham, managing director of TUI UK and Ireland said: “We’re really excited to be talking about taking people on holiday again.

"We’re of course still waiting on the Government to change its travel advice but we’ve been working really hard behind the scenes and we’re ready to start taking holidaymakers away again in just a few weeks’ time.

"Initially, we are focussing on destinations where we anticipate air bridges being in place, such as Greece and Spain.   

"But we know many Brits are eager to travel again, and we have ambitious plans to rapidly increase our programme as soon as possible, to offer even more choice when it comes to holidaying this summer.

"We appreciate that some people may be feeling apprehensive towards travel and have questions about what a post-covid holiday will be like, which is why we’ve introduced our new TUI Holiday Promise.

"It provides holidaymakers with five guarantees we’ve made to keep them safe abroad, while reassuring them that we’re still providing relaxing and enjoyable holidays.  

"If a destination has a quarantine in place, we won’t go there. If local restrictions or measures in place at hotels or resorts significantly impact the original holiday experience you booked, we won’t take you there.

"We’ll apply every possible health and safety measure to keep our customers and staff safe and protected at every single stage of their journey. 

"We’ll also make sure we keep in touch and are as flexible as we can be if people need to amend their holidays.”