On the Beach restarts holidays with free Covid tests for Spain and Greece

By Julie Delahaye

On the Beach is restarting summer holidays - complete with FREE Covid-19 tests for Brits heading to the likes of Spain and Greece in September.

The holiday giant had announced back in May that it would not sell summer holidays from June to August due to uncertainty around travel. Now, it has reopened package holiday bookings including plenty of popular destinations in September for those hoping to get some of that last summer sunshine.

As part of the restart, On the Beach is currently offering free Covid-19 tests for any new bookings to Spain, Greece, as well as the Spanish and Greek Islands, provided the booking is made before September 30 for a departure in 2021.

(You can check out On the Beach's Spain holiday deals here, and Greece holidays here.)

Would you be more tempted to book a holiday if the package includes free Covid tests? Let us know in the comments below.

The firm has teamed up with testing provider Collinson. Customers' tests will be ordered automatically following their holiday booking and delivered a minimum of 48 hours prior to departure, with one Antigen test to be taken on holiday prior to return to the UK and one PCR test to be carried out on or before Day 2 following arrival in the UK.

(It's worth noting that Spain and Greece are currently on the amber list. This means that adults who are not fully vaccinated against Covid will still need to self-isolate for 10 days, and take an extra PCR test on day eight which isn't included in the On the Beach offer).

Currently, the free Covid tests will be offered to those living in England and Northern Ireland only, for departures in 2021.

You can find out more about the free tests on the On the Beach website here.

The free Covid tests are available on holidays to Spain and Greece, including the islands (Getty Images)

The holiday firm says it has created a £1.5million fund dedicated to helping rebuild consumer confidence in travel, which will be used to fund the free tests.

The decision to offer the free antigen and PCR tests came after research by On the Beach found that the costs of tests are the second biggest barrier for those considering a holiday. The top cause was concerns that a holiday would not go ahead as planned.

In fact, a quarter of people surveyed who are not currently planning holidays this year said that free Covid-19 tests would make them more likely to book for 2021.

Simon Cooper, CEO of On the Beach, said that the "time is now right" to restart holidays, after the company 'carefully monitored the ongoing travel updates, the data at home and in our key destinations, and the sentiment among our customers".

He added: "We’re encouraged by the easing of travel restrictions for the fully vaccinated and the rollout of vaccination programmes in the UK and in our most popular destinations. This has also settled the traffic light system in recent weeks. And, whilst demand has a way to go to get back to pre-pandemic levels, we are seeing green shoots and a growing appetite amongst consumers to make up for missed summer getaways."

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