Travel company On The Beach offer free Covid tests in industry first

Travel company On the Beach has been offering free Covid tests to holidaymakers in an industry first.

© Oliver Sjöström via Unsplash: https://unsplash.com/photos/MOeRYee8HIE Free holiday Covid tests 080921.jpg

The tour operator has decided to hand out free antigen and PCR tests after a study revealed the price was preventing people from travelling.

Customers who book holidays in September to Spain, Greece and Cyprus for 2021 qualify for the deal.

A spokesperson said: “These tests are known for being a bit on the pricey side, but if you book a 2021 flight-inclusive package holiday to Spain, the Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Greece or Cyprus with us before the end of September, we’ll get you your tests for free.”

On the Beach has been pouring more than £1 million into the scheme which is partnered with the government-backed testing provider Collinson.

Tests will be ordered and delivered to the lead passenger’s address within a minimum of 48 hours before take off.

All travellers aged two and over will get one antigen test to be taken on holiday plus one PCR test to be taken no later than two days after returning to the UK.

On the Beach research revealed almost a third of people said the main reason why they had not booked a holiday for 2021 was because of the costly PCR tests.

© Provided by Evening Standard Nice, France (Melvyn Swingler)

This was second only to concerns their trip would be cancelled.

A quarter of people who are not planning holidays this year said they would be more likely to book if they were offered free Covid tests.

All jetsetters based in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland are eligible for the free tests.

Customers who are not fully vaccinated would need to buy and complete an additional PCR test to take on day eight of their return to the UK.

Other holiday companies offered their customers subsidised coronavirus tests earlier this year.

This includes Tui which advertised its cheapest test package for just £20, including a lateral flow and a PCR test.

Register now for one of the Evening Standard’s newsletters. From a daily news briefing to Homes & Property insights, plus lifestyle, going out, offers and more. For the best stories in your inbox, click here.