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‘Restore liberties’ to vaccinated, says travel giant TUI

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TUI CEO Fritz Joussen said the "few" who refuse to be vaccinated "should not be allowed to permanently set the pace and restrict the everyday life of the majority"./AFP
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Aug 13, 2021 - 01:38 AM

BERLIN, GERMANY — German travel giant TUI said vaccinated travellers should have their “liberties fully restored”, as it announced Thursday another huge coronavirus-related financial loss.

TUI made its plea as the proliferation of the Delta variant is raising concerns around the world, prompting countries to impose new restrictions.

While stressing that getting vaccinated is a personal decision, the company said that those who take the jabs are protected and no longer pose “a significant risk to others”.

“Those who are not or hardly at risk should now have their liberties fully restored,” chief executive Fritz Joussen said in a statement.

“A few should not be allowed to permanently set the pace and restrict the everyday life of the majority,” Joussen said, referring to those who chose not to be vaccinated against the virus.

TUI’s core businesses — hotels, chartered flights and cruises — have all been severely impacted since the start of the coronavirus pandemic last year.

Between April and June this year, the group made a net loss of 934.8 million euros ($1.1 billion), despite an uptick in demand as virus restrictions were eased.

An additional 1.5 million bookings since May for the 2021 European summer holiday season, bringing the total for the season to 4.2 million.

“Customer demand and booking momentum are high as soon as travel restrictions are withdrawn,” said Joussen.

“Especially in Germany and in the continental European markets, the current booking figures show a high pent-up demand.”

Revenues for the group leapt year-on-year in the third quarter from 71.8 million to 649.7 million, a ninefold increase that nonetheless left the group in the red.

Increased bookings meant the group was able to produce cash inflow of 320 million euros in the third quarter, its first such result since the start of the pandemic.

The German government announced on Tuesday that unvaccinated people will have to pay for tests to show they are infection-free from mid-October, or risk being shut out from services, like restaurants, cinemas and gyms.

In France, individuals need a health pass to access cinemas, cafes or trains.

The push by French President Emmanuel Macron for the health pass which is proof of either vaccination, a recent negative test or recovery from Covid-19, has sparked angry protests across France.

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