MALLORCA – Covid-19 controls in the arrivals hall of Palma de Mallorca airport led to huge queues on Sunday. Resulting in inconvenience caused for passengers returning to the island.
On Sunday evening, the chaos was complete when six flights arrived between 19.30 and 20.30 (two from Barcelona, one from Valencia, Menorca, Madrid and Prague). The lack of coordination and staff at the health checkpoints meant that several hundred people were crowded together following arrival.
Feeling of oppression
Due to the lack of space, passengers were unable to keep a sufficient distance, which caused tension and anger among the passengers. Waiting between the areas, before the baggage belts, which were logically at a standstill, created a feeling of oppression.
At the end of the corridor, there were only four staff members helping the passengers with QR codes. They could only pass if they arrived with PCR or negative coronation test. Or because they did not need them due to being off-island for less than 72 hours.
The shortage of inspectors led to delays of 30 to 40 minutes. The delays were caused because it took a long time to check each passenger individually. “It is downright shameful, especially during a health check”, “how is it possible that they don’t foresee that several flights arrive at the same time and that there are so few staff”, “is there nobody coming to do anything?” were common complaints.
Lack of staff
For residents who had to undergo a PCR or antigen test at the airport itself, the waiting time was even longer. Passengers were unhappy there was no coordinator or person in charge to organise for more staff. ‘There are more staff in front of the checkpoint than at the checkpoint,’ protested one resident returning to Palma.
On Monday morning, passengers returning to Palma from Barcelona also faced queues, although they were shorter than on Sunday.