Hays Travel is to start reopening its shops in England from this Thursday and plans to have all open by the beginning of July.

The travel agency chain said shops will open as they are made safe and have staff available.

A spokeswoman could not say how many of its 650 branches nationwide would open this week but the locations will be published on its website this Thursday.

MoreMiles Morgan Travel to reopen stores on June 29

Entry to the shops will be limited, and customers will be encouraged to call ahead to book appointments in store while phone, email and video appointments will also be available.

It is hoped that stores will open with a full compliment of staff. As well as screens, there will be new social distancing and hygiene measures in place.

The company said the safety of its customers and staff will be its priority. It employs more than 4,500 staff in total.

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.”

The company said it was continuing to rebook clients and process refunds.

Irene Hays, joint owner, added: “We are very proud of the way our staff have pulled out all the stops to help people wanting to rebook or needing refunds and as long as the Foreign Office restriction is in place we will continue to do all we can to get refunds quickly from our tour operators.

“It’s encouraging to hear that there may soon be reciprocal arrangements with some countries to allow holidays in parts of Europe later in the summer.

“Like everyone else we will wait and see but in the meantime we are here and available in different ways to help our customers.

“It’s good to be getting back to normal gradually – even if it’s a little bit
different to what we’re used to. We really appreciate everyone’s patience and support in these extraordinary times.”

Customers can check which shops are open on the Hays Travel website.

MoreMiles Morgan Travel to reopen stores on June 29

Webcast: John and Irene Hays