Coronavirus: TUI to fly to Spain and Greece from July after Madrid lifts two-week quarantine

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The UK’s largest tour operator said it has “absolute confidence” the UK will lift the two-week quarantine on arrival soon.

Package holiday company TUI will start flying in the next three weeks as Spain said Britons can now visit without a two-week quarantine.

The travel firm’s announcement came as Spain ended its state of emergency and passengers wearing masks and wheeling suitcases arrived at Madrid’s main airport.

TUI – the UK’s largest tour operator – announced it will serve eight destinations across Spain and Greece from 11 July.

Commercial director Richard Sofer said he has “absolute confidence” the British government will have lifted the 14-day quarantine rule for people entering the UK by then.


                              Coronavirus: TUI to fly to Spain and Greece from July after Madrid lifts two-week quarantine

TUI will be offering holidays to the Greek islands of Crete, Rhodes, Kos and Corfu, as well as Tenerife and Lanzarote, two of Spain’s Canary Islands, and Mallorca and Ibiza in the Balearics.

Spain has said it will lifting a two-week quarantine for Britons entering the country from 21 June.

That brings the UK in line with Spanish rules for the rest of the European Union and Schengen area, in a much-needed boost for the country’s tourism industry which accounts for more than 12% of the economy.

Spain’s 400,000 British expats and Britons with second homes there had a large impact on Spain lifting the rule for the UK.

Travellers will still have to have their temperature taken, their origin checked and contact details recorded in case they need to be traced.

French people have started crossing the border to buy bargain alcohol and tobacco and stickers on the floor of airport arrivals halls laid out social distancing rules.

Ryanair used the announcement to schedule flights to Spain from 21 June.


                              Coronavirus: TUI to fly to Spain and Greece from July after Madrid lifts two-week quarantine

TUI’s commercial director said the Foreign Office would need to stop advising against all non-essential overseas travel, and “air bridges” would need to be created so people can travel between certain countries and the UK without having to self-isolate at either end.

Mr Sofer said: “Due to the size of our organisation we’ve been able to have a presence in each of those government conversations through our aviation team or through the senior members of the UK business.

“We’re well-informed of where those discussions are.

“Obviously many of those conversations are confidential but that gives us great confidence to open up a small programme to a couple of really key countries, eight key gateways for us.

“We have absolute confidence that we’re going to be getting a positive result from the government in time for July.”


                              Coronavirus: TUI to fly to Spain and Greece from July after Madrid lifts two-week quarantine

Rival travel firm Jet2holidays plans to resume its holiday programme on 15 July.

TUI has already resumed holidays from Germany, with trips to Portugal’s Algarve operating this week.

Mr Sofer said the FCO’s stance on travel advice has been “slightly unhelpful from a planning point of view”, whereas other European countries have “had clear lines in the sand and dates to work to”.

TUI will be enforcing social distancing rules this summer, but Mr Sofer insisted guests will “still have a brilliant experience”.

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