Tui has secured a deal with a testing company to offer PCR Covid tests for its customers travelling to destinations on the government’s ‘green list’ from as little as £20.
The deal, with government-approved firm Chronomics, includes delivery and return costs of the postal tests. Tui is subsidising the cost when bought alongside its package holidays.
Four testing packages have been agreed.
The £20 tests contain one pre-departure lateral flow test an one inbound PCR test for day two.
A £60 package is available, which includes one outbound PCR test with courier costs, one pre-departure lateral flow test and one inbound PCR test for day two.
Tests for travellers heading to amber list destinations are priced from £50.
The £50 package contains one pre-departure lateral flow test and two inbound PCR tests, for days two and eight.
A £90 option is also available, with one outbound PCR test with courier costs, one pre-departure lateral flow test and two inbound PCR tests for days two and eight.
Pre-departure lateral flow tests will include test verification and certification to fly back to the UK.
As well as the inbound testing packages required by UK regulations, Tui customers can also select kits that include an additional outbound PCR test should that be a requirement of the destination they are travelling to.
If a booked destination moves from the amber to green list, Tui said it would refund the difference in the testing prices.
The company is including Covid-19 Cover protection for all package holiday customers travelling from May 17 to August 31, and allowing free amends up to 14 days before departure.
Andrew Flintham, managing director of Tui UK & Ireland, said: “We have always believed that cost-effective testing solutions, as well as maximum flexibility, will make travel a possibility this summer and beyond.
“Our research has shown that customers are looking forward to their much-needed holiday overseas, but affordable and easy testing solutions was imperative to make this a reality.
“The four new exclusive testing packages have been developed with our customers in mind; they’re offered at greatly reduced prices, include certification to travel and will be a simple process from start to finish.
“Also, should testing requirements change between purchase and travel, for example if an amber package is purchased and the destination moves onto the green list, we’ll simply refund the difference.”
Flintham added: “Whilst we await the imminent announcement of which countries feature on the different lists, we continue to plan our return to the skies from the May 17. We recognise that some customers may need to change their holiday, so any customer due to travel before the end of August can change for free 14 days before travel – and any extra costs associated with Covid-19 that wouldn’t be covered by regular travel insurance will be taken care off with our free Covid-19 Protection.
“We look forward to taking holiday makers away again soon and will continue to work closely with the Government to ensure this is done safely.”
Tom Stubbs, chief executive of Chronomics, said: “This has been an incredibly hard year for everyone, and the prospect of being able to go on holiday this summer is something that is keeping lots of people going.
“We’re delighted to be partnering with Tui UK to help make this a reality for families across the country. We’re very proud to be helping play a part in that.”
However, Rory Boland, editor of consumer magazine Which? Travel, said “Tui launching an affordable testing package for holidays to green list countries is great news – but only for Tui customers.
“Other larger holiday companies that can afford to subsidise test costs may follow suit, but medium and small travel firms may struggle to compete, and holidaymakers could face reduced choice as a result.
“People should not have to shop around for mandatory tests if they want to travel, or have their hand forced as to who they book with based on limited provision of cheap tests.
“The government must work to reduce the cost of testing across the board, rather than have consumers rely on a system that is currently fragmented and flawed.”