Move to offer various packages of pre-departure and post-return tests could save UK families hundreds of pounds
TUI will offer £20 COVID-19 tests for people travelling to countries on the UK government’s green list this summer, potentially saving families hundreds of pounds on their holiday costs.
The world’s largest tourism group has partnered with the government’s authorised test provider Chronomics to make holidays this summer “easy and affordable”.
Packages start at £20 per person for a pre-departure lateral flow test and a PCR test on day two after their return, including delivery and return costs for the tests. Customers will be able to order tests on a newly created Chronomics and TUI booking hub an hour after booking their holiday, which goes live on 10 May. Some PCR tests start from £120 each, a substantial cost for families travelling abroad.
Under the TUI scheme, passengers travelling to amber-list destinations will pay £50 per person for the required pre-departure lateral flow test and two PCR tests upon return.
The government is expected to unveil its traffic light system on Friday. Green-list destinations are expected to include Portugal, along with Malta, Gibraltar, Iceland and Israel.
Other popular holiday destinations such as Spain, France, Greece and Italy are likely to be on the UK’s amber list, which will require a 10-day quarantine at home and two PCR tests.
The tour operator offers two other packages which include outbound PCR tests if they are required by the destination, costing £60 for green-list countries and £90 for amber list nations.
TUI is set to resume flights on 17 May, when the UK government is expected to allow travel abroad for non-essential reasons again.
Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline, recently halved the cost of COVID-19 test kits to £60 for UK-based customers.
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.
“Also, should testing requirements change between purchase and travel, for example if an amber package is purchased and the destination moves on to the green list, we’ll simply refund the difference.”