TUI have announced they will no longer be providing cruises, flights, hotel stays or package holidays, and will be cutting staff salaries to make up for the losses.
The company will also be applying to the government for aid.
For the first time in history, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised UK citizens against all non-essential travel abroad.
Here’s everything you need to know.
How long will the suspension last?
The suspension cames into effect immediately; TUI does not anticipate business to resume before at least 14 May.
However, later bookings may also be affected depending on how circumstances develop.
Full details on how travel to each country has been affected can be found on the TUI website.
What have TUI said?
A statement released by TUI said: “In this rapidly changing environment the safety and welfare of our guests and employees worldwide remains of paramount importance and thus TUI Group has decided, in line with government guidelines, to suspend the vast majority of all travel operations until further notice, including package travel, cruises and hotel operations.
"This temporary suspension is aimed at contributing to global governmental efforts to mitigate the effects of the spread of the Covid-19.
"We are taking substantial cost measures to mitigate the earnings effect. Moreover, we have decided to apply for state aid guarantees to support the business until normal operations are resumed."
TUI have also confirmed that staff will receive a salary reduction of between 30% and 50%. However, they have said that they will be making no redundancies in response to the coronavirus and that they will maintain a minimum salary of almost £17,100.
What should customers with bookings do?
TUI said: “We are proactively contacting all customers whose holidays are affected to discuss their options, including an amendment or full refund.”
All Marella cruises have also been cancelled. Customers who had bookings for this period will be contacted during the next two weeks to arrange either a future date or a full refund.
All Crystal Ski holidays for the rest of the season have been cancelled, and all of those with bookings have been contacted.
What is the current travel advice for UK citizens?
Regardless of who the holiday is booked with, Britons have been urged by the government to avoid all non-essential travel abroad to tackle the spread of the coronavirus.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) put restrictions in place on Tuesday 17 March. They were set to last for 30 days, although the ban has now been extended ‘indefinitely’.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said "UK travellers abroad now face widespread international border restrictions and lockdowns in various countries. The speed and range of those measures across other countries is unprecedented.”
This is the first time the FCO has ever advised against foreign travel anywhere in the world.
Coronavirus: The Facts
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can affect lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called coronavirus and is spread primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.
What are the symptoms?
The NHS states that you should not leave the home if you have either:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
What should I do if I feel unwell?
Don’t go to your GP but instead look online at the coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and what to do next. Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.
What precautions can be taken?
Washing your hands with soap and water thoroughly. The NHS also advises to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze; put used tissues in the bin immediately and try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell. Also avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth unless your hands are clean.
When can I go outside?
The Government has put the UK into lockdown and instructed everyone to stay at home. You should only leave your home for very limited purposes:
- shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
- one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
- any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
- travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home
However, these reasons are exceptions – even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.