Hundreds of families could be set for Christmas heartbreak after the UK's biggest travel firm announced its Lapland Santa trips could be cancelled because of coronavirus restrictions.
Tui has confirmed it is reviewing its programme of winter holidays to Lapland due to uncertainty over travel restrictions and for fear that children may not find the experience enjoyable due to extra safety measures.
It is offering customers the chance to postpone their dream trips to meet Father Christmas until next year.
The move comes after Tui revealed it feared strict coronavirus safety measures would take “too much away from the magic of the experience”.
Lapland is located in northern Finland, deep inside the Arctic Circle with flights from the UK taking around three and a half hours.
It is known as the homeland of Santa Claus and a population that’s made up of more reindeer than people. Holidays range from single-day visits or longer winter breaks.
Several other firms that other Santa trips to Lapland have already cancelled holidays for the upcoming festive season.
The announcement comes after Finland's government confirmed new entry rules that allow UK visitors to travel to the country for up to 72 hours without having to quarantine on arrival, provided they have a negative Covid test up to 72 hours pre-departure.
Tui said it was contacting customers who had already booked visits to Lapland and pledged the programme would only go-ahead if the experience was "enjoyable."
In a statement to Travel Weekly, Tui said: “We are continuously monitoring government travel advice and reviewing our holiday programme in line with this.
“We are proactively calling our Lapland customers for December 2020 to offer them the option to amend their holiday for free to winter 2021, as we know there’s still uncertainty about whether these holidays will go ahead this year.
“We know how magical a trip to Lapland is and we are working through the finer details of how we can operate our trips in a Covid-safe way, and in line with Finnish government guidelines.
"We’d like to reassure our customers that Lapland holidays will only go ahead if we believe they will be enjoyable. We’ll provide more information once it is available.”