Not being able to go on holiday due to late test results: ‘Nobody helped’

Some dozens of people could not get on the plane to their holiday destination last week because they got the necessary results of their coron test too late. The number of tests carried out for tourists has risen sharply since a negative coronavirus test result is also required for Greece. As a result, it has become much busier at the companies that carry out the tests.

On the Facebook page of HuisArtsLab, the lab that performs tests for customers of TUI, Corendon and Sunweb, it rains complaints. Earlier this week, several travel companies received their test results at different times: for example, a mother received her results on time, but her daughter did not. HuisArtsLab has therefore already decided to change the working method. In the meantime a travel company is being tested together and they also receive the results together.

Also on the social media pages of the travel agencies many people complain about late or incorrect test results. The webcare is very busy, let TUI spokesman Petra Kok know.

Linde was at Schiphol Airport last Friday night with her boyfriend, but was not allowed to check in. The couple had been tested last Wednesday and although Linde already got a negative result on Thursday, the result of her boyfriend was delayed. Until shortly after the flight had left, to be precise. “We arrived at Schiphol at 02.00 hours, waited there as long as possible until 04.45 hours. An hour and a half later my boyfriend’s negative result came in,” Linde says to the CCeit

At the test site in Baarn, a few days earlier, the test went smoothly. The waiting time was short and after two minutes they were outside again. The stress only started on Friday afternoon, twelve hours before the flight to Zakynthos was due to depart. “We called so many emergency numbers, filled out so many emergency forms. HuisArtsLab couldn’t help, Sunweb couldn’t help. Those emergency numbers weren’t emergency numbers at all, because we never got a response”, says the frustrated Linde.

In order to be able to show a test result not older than 72 hours at the destination, the test must be taken relatively shortly before departure. Since the HuisArtsLab does not work with appointments, but with consultation hours, this sometimes results in long queues and tight times, as can be read in the complaints. “We notice that travellers are not always aware of the very tight timescale to have this test done in order to have the results on time”, says TUI spokesman Kok.

Linde said he was aware of the tight schedule. “Sunweb said we could get tested on Wednesday or Thursday and we chose Wednesday on purpose. That didn’t work in our favour in the end, because the test results were only valid until Saturday. And the next flight to Zakynthos was later.”

Uncertainty

That Saturday Sunweb offered alternative trips to other countries, but those were not options for the couple. In the end Linde got something settled with her holidays at work and they could rebook the trip to September 2nd. “Now we’re going to Zakynthos for 11 days instead of 10, that’s nice. But I don’t feel quite sure yet, because now we have to have another test like that.”

The two of them decided to go to another company this time, which is separate from the tour operator. “Hopefully that works better. We both need a holiday so badly and now it feels so insecure.”

The HuisArtsLab was not available for comments. However, a statement has been placed on the website. “Travellers should take into account that test capacity is first and foremost used for health care and contact professionals. With an increasing degree of infection, this means that tests for holidaymakers will end up at the back of the queue” The lab also depends on a German company that carries out the tests for them.


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