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Travel company On the Beach has announced that it will offer free Covid tests to holidaymakers returning to the UK, after research found that the cost was proving prohibitive to travel.
In an industry first, the tour operator is providing free antigen and PCR tests for all bookings made in September for holidays in 2021 to Spain, Cyprus and Greece. Customers’ tests will be ordered automatically following their holiday booking and delivered a minimum of 48 hours prior to departure. The company is spending more than a million pounds on the scheme and has partnered with the government-approved testing provider Collinson.
Research conducted by On the Beach found that a third (32 per cent) of people cited the cost of PCR tests as one of the main reasons why they had not booked a holiday for 2021, second only to concerns that the holiday would be cancelled. A quarter of people who are not currently planning holidays this year said that free Covid-19 tests would make them more likely to book.
Simon Cooper, CEO of On the Beach, said: “We are thrilled to launch this industry-leading offer for our customers and remove the financial burden of PCR testing for holidaymakers as they get to grips with the new normal of holidaying.”
Other tour operators have previously subsidised the cost of Covid tests for holidaymakers, including Tui, which has offered kits for as low as £20.
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