Auto-Covid centre in Palma. | M.À. Cañellas


The Auto-Covid space that’s been set up in the car park at Quirónsalud Palmaplanas Hospital is going like a fair with a constant stream of people determined to keep themselves and their families safe this Christmas by getting tested to make sure they don’t have coronavirus, so that they can celebrate without worry.

“I have been in contact with someone who’s positive and I want to make sure that everything is fine so I don’t endanger anyone else,” says María Rodríguez.

“I live with other people and I would rather sit with them at Christmas than eat alone in my room.”

Mariona Laborda has also had a relationship with someone who tested positive and although they weren’t close, she’d rather be safe than sorry.

"I live with a person at risk, so I would prefer to make sure that I don’t have the virus," she says.

Entire families are queuing up to get tested and the system really couldn’t be easier because you don’t even need an appointment, all you have to do is turn up at Auto-Covid and join the queue of cars.

Someone will give you a form to complete while you’re waiting.

A Healthcare Professional will take a nasopharyngeal or saliva sample from you and you don’t even have to get out of the car.

The results will be sent by text to your mobile or someone will call you to let you know the result within 12 hours.

Mariona Laborda undergoing Covid test at Auto-Covid.

Quirónsalud says the drive-through service was launched in response to increased demand for testing and it’s such a fast process that it’s become really popular, especially with people who are apprehensive about entering a hospital.

In the last week the number of people requesting tests has doubled because people either want to make sure they can eat with their families or they plan to travel during the holidays.

“I'm travelling to the Canary Islands tomorrow,” said one person who was waiting in line to be tested.

Auto-Covid's opening hours are:

07:00-12:00 on Christmas Eve
08:00-20:00 on December 28
08:00-20:00 on December 29
07:00-12:00 on New Year’s Eve