The company calls the self ‘corona-free’ holidays, and will ensure that holidaymakers ‘have as little contact as possible with possible sources of contamination while traveling to their holiday hotel’.
Have it tested shortly before flight
Vacationers are tested shortly before the flight’s departure, according to the travel company. This happens near Schiphol, a few hours before the flight. Only travelers where the test result is ‘negative’ are allowed to leave.
After that, Corendon ensures that holidaymakers stay in a protected environment as much as possible. Employees such as bus drivers, flight and hotel staff are also regularly tested for the corona virus.
How often exactly is worked out in a protocol, but ‘in principle’ hotel staff will be retested every time they have left the site.
The company does not completely exclude that travelers do get sick during the holidays. “Of course we hope to prevent illness during the holidays, but 100 percent exclusion is not possible,” spokesperson Audrey Denkelaar admits.
The testing for the lung virus is done according to ‘scientifically researched and reliable corona rapid tests’, the travel organization promises. It is still unclear which tests the company will use, ‘we strive for the best rapid tests,’ says Thinker.
That the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment has not yet approved such tests is no obstacle. “That will likely change in the coming weeks,” the company said.
There is no approved test yet, says Marlies Heelhorst, spokesman for RIVM. “We get quite a lot of messages from parties saying they have reliable tests, but so far no one has suitable tests. So we are very reluctant to handle requests,” she says.
RIVM, the government’s main adviser in the fight against coronavirus, says that Corendon cannot guarantee a corona-free holiday. Testing does not guarantee that all infected travelers will be filtered out.
“It may be that someone has already got the virus and has no symptoms yet. Then you can still get sick in the plane or hotel,” said the spokesperson.
Also, many of the rapid tests that are now used according to the RIVM are unreliable and therefore not suitable for testing individual holidaymakers. In addition, the types of tests that quickly produce results are intended for life-threatening situations.
“For someone who goes on vacation, you have to ask yourself if it is absolutely necessary and if it is a vital situation,” the spokesman e-mails.
First to Turkey
The first available destinations for this adapted form of holiday will be Antalya on the Turkish Riviera where the travel company owns several all-inclusive hotels. In the coming weeks, consultations will be held with the authorities in other destinations in order to be able to offer holidays there as well. Examples include Ibiza and Curaçao, Sardinia and Sicily.
Travel to Curaçao also requires the cooperation of KLM, which carries out the flights. KLM demands that all travelers wear face masks, which is at odds with Corendon’s promise to its travelers.
Alternative: significant loss of turnover
For the testing of travelers Brent Corendon charges 50 euros per person, the price of which is included in the cost of the entire trip. Travelers who have a Corendon voucher for an already canceled trip will have priority when booking.
The costs incurred by the company to set up the test facility are “significant,” but only a fraction of what the company would miss in terms of sales and profits if holidays could not be sold in the summer at all, according to Denkelaar.