Eddie Mair 4pm - 7pm
Tui cancels Lapland holidays over fears 'magic' would be lost due to Covid
10 November 2020, 14:47
All Tui holidays to Lapland have been cancelled for UK and Irish customers this winter due to Covid-19.
The tour operator made the decision as it could not guarantee it would "keep the magic alive" for families visiting the Finnish region due to the coronavirus pandemic.
All customers affected will be contacted and the company will offer them a range of options such as amending their booking for free, receiving credit or cancelling the trip with a full cash refund.
It said in a statement: "Tui UK and Ireland today regrets to confirm it has made the incredibly difficult decision to suspend holidays to Lapland this winter, due to the continued uncertainty surrounding travel and the unprecedented impact of Covid-19.
"Visiting Santa is a truly magical, once-in-a-lifetime family experience, and Tui has worked extremely hard in recent months to try to ensure it can keep the magic alive and guarantee children and their parents a safe and enjoyable holiday.
"However, with the rapidly evolving travel environment and a Covid test soon to be mandatory for Finland, Tui UK and Ireland has decided that, on this occasion, it would not be able to deliver on this promise and wanted to remove uncertainty for families."
Tui added that it will resume Lapland trips in winter 2021.
Lapland has introduced a series of safety measures in response to the pandemic, including plastic screens to separate Santa from children, and elves wearing face masks.
The Finnish government has announced that leisure travel from the UK will be allowed from November 23 by visitors who have proof of a recent negative Covid-19 test.
No quarantine period will be required for trips of up to 72 hours.
For longer stays, visitors will need to self-isolate for 72 hours before taking a second test.
They will be released from quarantine if they receive another negative result.