I recently returned by air from Budapest. Although Hungary is considered a safe country, our flight was selected at random for Covid-19 testing at Larnaca airport. We were first sent to a departure lounge, where we waited – largely unsupervised – before being herded to the Covid test facility. The flight was fairly full, so well over 100 passengers were crammed into the waiting area, which appeared to be non-airconditioned. No effort was made to ensure social spacing, and so everyone jostled in a long, winding queue, one on top of the other. Minimal efforts were made by a lone official to ensure that masks were worn properly, so there were plenty of visible noses and many of the passengers were even wearing their masks entirely below the chin. It took around an hour to process the flight – an hour in which the Covid-positives and Covid-negatives enjoyed free and close association.
If we are going to have regular checks at the airports, they should be far better regulated. Otherwise all our personal efforts, and those of the airline on which we travelled, are compromised and there is a real risk of spreading the virus rather than containing it during the testing process.