Travel expert warns coronavirus will spell END of cheap holidays abroad for Britons

Asked by TalkRADIO host Julia Hartley-Brewer whether coronavirus would mean the end of cheap holidays and cheap flights, Mr Calder said: “Yes. The 1st of May was when lots of organisations originally at the start of this said right we’re going to be back in action for Mayday onwards. That clearly isn’t happening.

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“Everything is cancelled in May and quite a lot in June as well.

“If we are not allowed to travel to the usual popular destinations, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Croatia, Italy, Turkey and so on, then you will get the most extraordinary distortion in tourism deficit, which is the amount that we spend abroad compared to what people bring in.

“It’s £25billion and all that money, all those people, will be chasing breaks in Britain.

“So it could be the best year ever for UK tourism but it’s going to be very, very difficult for millions of families.”

It comes as the boss of Heathrow has warned introducing social distancing at airports is “physically impossible”.

Chief executive John Holland-Kaye said a “better solution” is needed to make air travel safe as he called for the UK to lead the way in developing a common international standard of measures which could include temperature checks for all passengers.

He told the PA news agency: “Social distancing does not work in any form of public transport, let alone aviation.

“The constraint is not about how many people you can fit on a plane, it will be how many people you can get through an airport safely.


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“If you’ve ever been on holiday from Gatwick, you cannot imagine going through there and socially distancing in the summer.

“It’s just physically impossible to socially distance with any volume of passengers in an airport.”

Social distancing on planes would reduce capacities by more than 50 percent and mean “prices would shoot up”, Mr Holland-Kaye predicted.

EasyJet has suggested it could leave the middle seats on its planes empty when flights resume.

Mr Holland-Kaye set out several alternative “practical” steps which could be implemented to give passengers “confidence that they are safe to fly”.

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He said: “I think that’ll be a package of measures including some form of screening. That might be temperature screening, as you see in Asian airports.

“It will include probably people having less contact with each other, so probably wearing masks when they travel. Less contact between passengers and airport workers.

“It will include fantastic hygiene in the airport, with sanitisers and deep cleaning and things like that.

“I think that package of measures – once we have got the disease under control – will be enough to get people flying again.”

Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary said social distancing could not happen on a plane and stated that temperature checks would be needed for passengers at airports and railway stations following the coronavirus outbreak.

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