COVID-19: TUI boss rejects idea of turning away non-vaccinated holidaymakers

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The chief executive of the holidays giant said that a policy such as that advocated recently by Qantas would be a mistake.

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The boss of holidays giant TUI has rejected the idea of turning away passengers who have not had a COVID-19 vaccine – as the company hopes for recovery after posting a €3.1bn (£2.8bn) annual loss.

TUI is aiming for a sharp bounce-back next summer after a year in which travel demand has been crushed by coronavirus restrictions.

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Chief executive Fritz Joussen told reporters that turning away customers who have not had a vaccine “would be a mistake”.

He insisted that testing would be “absolutely the important thing”.

Image:TUI said the prospect of vaccinations would significantly increase demand for summer holidays

The comments come after the head of Qantas – based in Australia, which has imposed some of the world’s toughest travel restrictions – said it would insist in future that international travellers have a vaccine before they fly.

TUI’s annual loss for the year to end of September compares to a profit of €691m (£619m) the year before and came as revenues slumped by 58% to €8bn (£7.2bn).

But Mr Joussen said the company was “ready for a speedy and successful resumption of travel activities as soon as the lockdowns are lifted and destinations reopen”.