Forum: Set up virus testing facilities at airports to enable leisure travel

Europe and Asia currently apply very different policies towards leisure travel, both of which are not ideal (Leisure travel unlikely this year or in early 2021 as countries play safe, July 24).

Many European countries let their citizens go on holiday across Europe and beyond. This allows citizens to enjoy themselves and tourist destinations to earn needed money. But it also risks a second wave of coronavirus infections as well as having cases imported back home.

The British government last week imposed a two-week quarantine on travellers returning from Spain.

In contrast, Asian countries, even those with low infection numbers, ban holiday travel overseas altogether - people thus cannot have a break, while airlines and tourist destinations continue to struggle.

But there is a third way that allows responsible leisure travel.

Set up coronavirus testing facilities at airports that can produce test results in a few hours, and make testing mandatory before flying.

Let people go through Customs after testing. They can shop and eat while waiting for their test results.

If a person tests positive, he cannot fly and will be taken into quarantine or to the hospital. The same applies when people want to fly home again. So the other country has to apply this same strict policy.

This would give people a chance to fly and also provide the right incentive for them to stay safe while on holiday.

Nobody wants to risk having to stay longer than planned while overseas, visit a foreign hospital or waste the return ticket.

To manage the number of people flying, governments can decide which countries are eligible for visiting and whether people have to pay for the test.

Ramon Greep