Cars Coach company Shearings collapses into administration
Transport services slashed as demand collapses
Train, coach and bus frequencies are being cut amid a collapse in demand and Government advice on social distancing.Train, coach and bus frequencies are being cut amid a collapse in demand and Government advice on avoiding non-essential travel.
The owner of Europe’s largest coach tour operator Shearings Holidays has collapsed into administration.
More than 64,000 bookings have been cancelled and around 2,500 jobs lost due to the failure of Specialist Leisure Group (SLG).
Travel trade organisation Abta said the coronavirus pandemic is the main reason for its failure, as it struggled to issue thousands of refunds while new bookings ground to a halt.
Shearings Holidays, based in Wigan, was founded in 1919 but was an amalgamation of companies dating back as far as 1903.
Debenhams could go into administration, putting thousands of jobs at risk
Retail analysts warn that 20,000 Debenhams stores could remain closed even after the UK recovers from the pandemic . According to figures from the Centre for Retail Research, this is a massive jump on the 4,547 that closed in 2019. Weeks of lockdown will lead to 235,000 jobs being lost, up from 93,000 in 2019, which was the worst year for retail in twenty-five years. Research also suggests the economic repercussions of the pandemic will be felt by British city centres and industries for the rest of 2020. Nigel Frith, a senior market analyst at www.asktraders.
SLG owned several travel brands, including National Holidays, Wallace Arnold Travel and Bay Hotels.
In a statement obtained by Travel Weekly, SLG chief executive Richard Calvert said: “This is a terribly sad day for employees, customers and commercial partners of the Specialist Leisure Group and its subsidiaries which have entered into administration.
“The effects of Covid-19 on our 117-year-old company and the wider travel industry have been devastating.
“In the most trying of circumstances, over these past few months, we have fought tooth and nail to save the group and the jobs of our 2,400 loyal employees serving over 1.1 million customers annually.
“It is heart-breaking that the required funding or investment could not be secured to get us through this unprecedented crisis in order to save SLG and our amazing travel brands.”
Coronavirus: new tensions in several prisons in the face of detention conditions
© PATRICK KOVARIK / AFP In the context of the health crisis, the prison administration says it understands the concerns of detainees over the suspension of visiting rooms, but wants to send a message of firmness to acts of violence that have taken place in different prisons.
The vast majority of SLG’s cancelled bookings were coach package holidays, which are financially protected under the Bonded Coach Holidays scheme.
Anyone with a package holiday including a flight can claim their money back through Atol, which is operated by the Civil Aviation Authority.
Customers with hotel-only bookings are advised to contact their credit or debit card provider in a bid to retrieve their money.
CPT's Graham Vidler reacts to the news that Shearings has gone into administration
— Confederation of Passenger Transport (@CPT_UK)
John de Vial, Abta’s director of membership and financial services, said: “The Specialist Leisure Group included two of the UK’s best known coach holiday brands, Shearings and National Holidays, two much-loved holiday companies who for many years have provided holidays both at home and overseas to a very loyal group of customers.
“Today is a very sad day for these customers and the thousands of staff who will have lost their jobs.
“The fact that two such well-known brands with a loyal customer base have had to call in administrators is a stark indication of the pressure that the holiday industry is under as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Abta has repeatedly highlighted to the Government the urgency of the situation and the need to set out a coordinated strategy with clearer communication if it wants to help avoid significant job losses and support companies to weather the storm.”
Trump administration promises 100 million coronavirus testing swabs by the end of 2020 .
The Trump administration sent Congress a national coronavirus testing strategy in time to meet a Sunday deadline, The Washington Post reported, citing a copy of the 80-page "Covid-19 Strategic Testing Plan" it obtained. The report promises that the federal government will buy 100 million swabs by the end of 2020, and distribute them to states to help them expand testing. The document did not outline federal testing goals for each state, rather it listed testing targets states reported to federal officials for May.