This depends on the spa that you have. Portable spas have covers that fold in half. You simply lift the cover off of the spa. Swim spa covers are in sections and you simply remove each section.
Using a spa cover lifter makes getting the cover off easier but it also helps to make your cover last longer because the cover rarely hits the ground unlike not using a cover lifter.
Cover lifters are an accessory which are not included with a spa or swim sale but can be purchased separately through www.spastore.com.au.