Palma airport will have facilities for rapid antigen testing. | Archive

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From this coming Monday, the 23rd, the national ministry of health will be making available 25,600 rapid antigen tests at Palma's Son Sant Joan Airport. These will be tests for foreign travellers arriving at the airport without proof of a negative PCR test having been carried out within 72 hours of travel.

The airports authority Aena explains that three rooms are being set up in arrivals. One will be for the tests, a second will be the waiting room (for results), and the third will be for isolating any passengers who test positive. "Everything will be perfectly coordinated," says Aena.

The ministry and the airports authority are looking to be as fast as possible. The number of specialist personnel will be increased, with results from the antigen tests available after fifteen minutes. The additional personnel will be supplied by the regional health ministry and the national ministry through its external health service.

The UK and German governments (as well as others) have been advising travellers of the need to have negative PCR tests for travel to Spain. This requirement comes into effect on Monday, the Spanish government having stated that travellers face being fined if they arrive without proof of a negative PCR test. The government's regulations stipulate that airlines are responsible for ensuring that travellers present the correct test documentation when checking in. But travellers will be liable once they arrive in Spain; rapid tests being available at airports does not obviate the requirement to have a negative PCR test prior to travel.

The antigen tests will also be available at the airports in Minorca and Ibiza and at ports, as and when international traffic, e.g. cruises, resumes.