People Are Getting Around Covid-19 Travel Bans By Making Dentist Appointments

People circumventing travel ban Covid-19 by making dentist appointment

Gary Leff at 16. February 2021.

Ireland banned non-essential travel abroad as part of its attempt to bring Covid-19 under control, but people have come to understand that if they want to spend a holiday abroad, all they need to do is make a dentist’s appointment. According to reports, thousands of people are doing it. Beach dentists are particularly popular in Spain.

Dentists in the Spanish Canary Islands report receiving up to 15 booking requests a day from arriving Irish travellers, the vast majority of whom fail to attend their appointments.

Ireland’s National Immigration Service said that about a third of travellers to Tenerife inform officials that they need to travel for important medical reasons and email confirmation of a dentist appointment. Many travel with companions who can accompany what the official guide calls a vulnerable person who needs basic treatment.

…While the country’s police chief, Commissioner Drew Harris, warned travelers to Ireland’s most popular variety show that they could face fines or even jail time, Dublin’s regular airport officials say they are powerless to arrest people with dental records.

Even if these dental visits are proven to be fraudulent, it only means a 500 euro fine, which can be budgeted for travel. Many people have extra money in their travel budget after last year’s cuts.

Dental holidays are traditionally booked by older travellers, but according to Tenerife’s dental clinic, they receive five to seven emails a day from Irish travellers – many of whom are couples in their twenties – looking for an appointment. And these people don’t show their dental records, so dentists insist on paying up front. The development by dental clinics of a system for reporting missed appointments to the Irish police is currently under discussion.

If you take advantage of the loophole and pay in advance, you can also get a cleaning, although the current law only allows travelers to be charged when they try to travel abroad, not afterwards.

There is a loophole for anythinglike B. buying an airline ticket to go to an airport bar that stays open while the airport is closed, or forging letters from key employees to allow travel abroad under a travel ban. Even the tests can be expensive, so people who don’t have the virus get false-negative tests. On one flight, 95% of passengers gave false negatives.

(HT: Paddle your own Kanoo)

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