3 Oct, 2020 @ 18:30
1 min read

UK and Spanish attitude to testing – it certainly is!

Plane Pic1  1

THERE are two distinct camps of people – those who will or won’t risk travelling abroad, but I think it should be down to the individual to choose.

In my case I was going back to the UK to see my son who starts university. As we live in Mallorca I’m unlikely to see him again before Christmas so this trip felt like a re-run. It’s certainly going to be very interesting to see where we are with Covid at Christmas, and how society and Governments will compromise on spending time with loved ones, whilst protecting from further spikes.

Plane Pic1  1
ROOMY: Flights were quiet. Credit: Terenia Taras

We’re only a few months off, and I for one feel more defiant about what I can and cannot do then I did at the start of this back in March when we were first forced into lockdown.

Whilst I understand people with underlying health problems, or the elderly wanting to protect themselves, I would much rather be given the option of being able to travel and be able to simply have a test done at the airport.

I’d happily quarantine myself until I received the result, and if positive, then of course I would do the responsible thing and self-isolate. Nobody intentionally wants to spread this deadly virus, but the problem is without the availability of testing and in many cases it being asymptomatic, then we’re blind to the threat of it.

Arriving at Palma Airport for our flight there was no testing, not even a temperature check. The airport was fairly quiet, but there were cafes and restaurants open even if there weren’t many people about.

The make-up and perfume stands in Duty Free were wrapped in plastic, meaning you could no longer help yourself to the sample fragrances or make-up testers. In general the whole process 

of checking in, going through security and boarding our flight was quick and efficient due to the stark numbers of travellers compared to normal. In fact the plane itself was nearly empty.

Unfortunately, for me and thousands of others like me, testing is not an option. But I don’t understand why not, when in 30 other countries, including France and Italy, they seem to be able to organise airport testing?

I even looked to see if there was an option to have a test done privately. Bupa offers an antibody test, but this will only tell you if you’ve had the virus, so it’s not much use to anyone really.

The UK Government’s website states that only people showing symptoms are able to have a test, but there was no availability for testing the day I checked. Again, it seems that there just seems to be a complete lack of tests available, and this is simply not acceptable. The onus should be on our Governments to provide testing, and not on us to keep locking ourselves away.

Follow me on Twitter @tereniataras

Terenia Taras

Terenia Taras has been a regular Olive Press columnist since April 2020 after moving to Mallorca in the same year. Having spent over 20 years working as a journalist for the UK national press, including as an investigative journalist for the infamous News of the World newspaper. When she's not venting in the Olive Press, Terenia loves to travel, read and interior design. Got a story? Email newsdesk@theolivepress.es

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