A number of the UK's leading travel firms including Jet2, TUI, First Choice and the recently relaunched Thomas Cook have shared an update on their refund policy for holidaymakers.

We've put together what policies are in place for each holiday company.

What scheme does Thomas Cook have in place?

Online travel operator Thomas Cook has said it will issue refunds to holidaymakers within a period of two weeks, if their holidays are cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The firm’s new parent company, Fosun Tourism Group, which owns the rights to the name and brand, recently relaunched Thomas Cook as an online-only travel agent.

If the travel advice for a destination changes due to coronavirus, and a customer's holiday is cancelled, Thomas Cook says it will try to find alternatives for the holidaymaker.

The company said that if the government advice changes for a destination, it will contact customers at least two weeks before their departure in order to help them find an alternative date or location.

However, if the alternatives do not work, the company said it will offer holidaymakers a full refund within 14 days.

Alan French, CEO for Thomas Cook said: "Following our launch, and the successful delivery of our policy on only selling holidays to destinations that are on the government’s travel corridor list, we have been able to test the speed of our contact centre team to change and cancel holidays where government advice has changed.

"In light of that, we are now confident that we will be able to provide cash refunds to customers within 14 days of their holiday being cancelled.”

Additional details can be found at: https://www.thomascook.com/travel-with-confidence.

What is Jet2's new travel insurance policy?

Jet2 are offering similar reassurance to customers, by introducing a new travel insurance policy, which covers them should their holiday plans be impacted by the virus.

The new travel insurance policy includes cover for travellers if the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) changes the travel advice to their holiday destination. Although the company already has policies in place specific to Covid-19, this new addition will mean that holidaymakers are covered if new restrictions come in place.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the FCDO has been changing travel restrictions for different countries, in line with their own coronavirus infection rates.

In some cases, it has changed the advice for a specific country, advising against “all but essential travel” with less than 48 hours' notice.

However, if this situation arises in the future then Jet2's new FCDO cover means that travellers will be protected either before they travel or if they are already in the destination.

The new cover will automatically be included in all new Single Trip Travel Insurance policies to Europe, bought on or after September 17, 2020. This cover will include up to £10 million in medical cover, £5,000 cancellation cover, and £2,000 baggage cover.

It will also be added free of charge to any existing single trip policies to Europe, which were bought between April 9 and September 16, 2020.

Further information can be found at: https://www.jet2.com/flights/incident.

What are TUI and First Choice doing?

The travel firms recently introduced a free amends policy on new package holiday bookings.

The policy is valid on new bookings which include flights with TUI Airways, made before December 31, 2020 and departing between now and April 30, 2021.

TUI's coronavirus help page added: "If your holiday isn’t included under the free amends policy, and we haven’t cancelled your holiday, our normal booking terms and conditions apply. If your original travel date is more than 70 days away, then you can amend it for a £50pp fee."

The companies are also offering holidaymakers the option of a refund credit.

The tour operators said: "We understand that you may not be ready to book again just yet, so the refund credit gives you the flexibility to book your travel in future.

"Plus, if your original booking was for a package holiday, you’ll get a separate booking incentive.

"Also, if your original booking was part of a package, your refund credit will carry the same ATOL protection. If your Marella or TUI River Cruises booking was cabin-only or sailed from a UK port, your refund credit is protected under the ABTA bonding scheme. You can therefore be confident that you have financial security."

More information can be found at: https://www.tui.co.uk/destinations/info/coronavirus.