Hay’s Travel has launched a nationwide campaign to recruit 700 apprentices as well as experienced travel agents. The owners said there is “light at the end of the tunnel” after the pandemic forced them to close 650 outlets around the UK. But when exactly is Hay’s Travel reopening and when can you book a holiday with the agent?
Travel agents like many other businesses across the UK were forced to close in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic.
Today Britons are awaiting news from the Government about the new air bridges relating to quarantine policies.
The Government is expected to publish the long-anticipated list of air-bridge countries on Monday which will enable people to travel abroad again.
The government is expected to introduce a traffic light system that will classify countries depending on the prevalence of coronavirus.
“Green” will mean they are safer than the UK, “amber” meaning they are less safe, and “red” will mean arrivals will still need to self isolate on return from that country.
France, Spain and Italy are expected to feature on the green list while countries with rising rates of COVID-19 may be classified as red or amber.
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Sunderland-based firm Hay’s Travel took over from Thomas Cook last year after the company went bust.
Hays Travel acquired 555 Thomas Cook branches, taking on hundreds of Thomas Cook employees.
The company said it was expecting an increase in bookings from this week as the Government continues to relax lockdown measures.
During lockdown, the company has had 3,000 retail staff working from home managing cancellations, refunds and re-booking.
Chairman and joint owner of the firm, Irene Hays, said: “During the months of lockdown, many things have changed.
“We have some colleagues who were due to leave anyway, some who have decided on a change of lifestyle and some who will be taking maternity leave soon.
“There will be people in the travel industry who are looking at their options just now and we want to let them know we are recruiting.
“We will welcome people with the right skills and experience who can do their bit to help our industry recover and help more people get a holiday to look forward to.”
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The latest update was issued by the company on June 15 when most non-essential retail outlets were permitted to reopen.
The travel agent gradually began to reopen its branches to the public from June 18.
The business confirmed some of its customers could book holidays for as soon as late July.
However, Hays Travel stressed that customers are still advised to check Government advice on travel.
In its retail outlets, plastic screens have been erected to protect staff and customers.
Increased hygiene measures have been put in place to lower the risk of transmission.
The firm will limit the number of available customers in-store by implementing a booking appointment for in-store appointments.
Customers are able to contact the travel agency on the phone or via video calls as well.
Hays Travel managing director John Hays said: “We are really looking forward to being back serving our customers in our shops, but we will only do it in the safest possible way for all of us.
“More than 3,000 retail staff have been working from home to keep services going virtually since the lockdown began and we will continue to provide a number of different ways to contact us, including Zoom and Facetime email or a phone call.
“More customers are now booking holidays for later this year or 2021.
“They are choosing a variety of destinations such as Greece, the Balearics and the Canaries, and on selected new bookings we are offering our Peace of Mind Guarantee, meaning that if our customers need to cancel or change for any reason within six weeks of departure, they can have a full no quibble refund with no cancellation charges.”
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