UK tour operator scraps Florida visits over Disney measures

Business

FILE – In this March 16, 2020, file photo, the entrance to the parking lot at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is closed in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The Splash Mountain ride at Disney parks in California and Florida is being recast. Disney officials said the ride would no longer be tied to the 1946 movie, “Song of the South,” which many view as racist. Instead, the revamped ride will be inspired by the 2009 Disney film, “The Princess and the Frog,” which has an African-American female lead. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

LONDON (AP) — Europe’s biggest travel and tourism company, TUI, is cancelling all holidays to Florida from the U.K. until December following the introduction of new hygiene rules at Walt Disney World Resort, including the mandatory use of face coverings.

The firm said Friday it made the decision because the new regulations would “significantly impact the holiday experience” for its customers.

Walt Disney World Resort, which includes four theme parks, will require visitors aged two and above to wear face coverings except when eating or swimming when it reopens in mid-July. Temperature screenings may be required for entry to some locations, and the number of entry tickets will be limited.

TUI said it “commits to only operating holidays where it’s able to guarantee an enjoyable, relaxing and safe holiday without significant changes at their destination.”

Customers are being offered alternatives, including delaying their trip until next year or changing their destination. TUI is also offering a full refund.

TUI is resuming its holiday programme by serving eight destinations across Spain and Greece from July 11, as long as government travel restrictions are eased. Currently, the government advises against all but essential travel but there are hopes within the industry that it will change that recommendation early next week by allowing holidays to destinations deemed to be safe.

Walt Disney World Resort is planning to partially reopen on July 15, but more than 11,000 people have signed a petition calling for a delay due to the recent increase in the number of reported coronavirus cases in Florida.

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