Operators are placing their spring and early summer Tibetan programmes on hold as Chinese authorities continue their crackdown on Tibetan protesters demanding self-rule.

The latest security measures introduced by the Chinese authorities have seen the entire capital Lhasa sealed off to the outside world as all the city’s inhabitants, even babies, are required to apply for passes to move around the city.

The lock down is from May 1 to June 20 when the Olympic torch is due to pass through the city and when more trouble is expected. No tourist visas are being handed out during this period.

Wendy Wu Tours director Jonathan Wilson said the operator had cancelled six tours with up to 30 UK bookings this spring because of the problems. He added: “We’re being very flexible with our customers, it is not something they wanted or we wanted so we are making the best of it.”

Cox and Kings India product manager Balaji Kandasamy said the operator had cancelled one tour scheduled for June although three others taking place later in the year are still on sale.

He said: “From what we hear it looks like problems will continue until the games start.”