Video | Staff shortage causes Covid health control chaos at Malaga airport

Crowds in the arrivals terminal at the Costa del Sol airport on Sunday evening.
Crowds in the arrivals terminal at the Costa del Sol airport on Sunday evening. / SUR
  • Ten international flights landed in a two-hour period on Sunday and the system collapsed, airport operator Aena has admitted

Long queues and crowds greeted flyers who arrived at Malaga airport on Sunday night when the Covid health control system collapsed, as the result of ten international flights arriving in a two-hour slot.

The two channels were insufficient to process the flow of travellers and hour-long queues were generated, admitted the airport operator, Aena, saying it was a "one-off" event, since the arrival of several flights coincided in a short period of time.

Aena reminded that, because of the Covid situation, "You have to monitor a lot of people, take the temperature of each one who arrives and check the vaccination passports." The airport operator said the coronavirus measure contract was awarded to companies, Mitie and Quirón. The first is in charge of the administrative part of the process and the second of the health element.

In the event that a passenger does not pass the temperature control, they are transferred to a room for a more exhaustive examination and where it is decided whether to notify Junta de Andalucía health authorities or not.

"We have already spoken with the companies awarded contract to increase the staffing, especially when several planes are expected to arrive together," said the airport spokeswoman.

Rachel O'Shea, was one a traveller from Ireland, who posted a video on social media saying: "Welcome to the Covid control at Malaga airport."

The strict health protocols and the lack of sufficient personnel at the controls caused exactly what is intended to be avoided throughout the pandemic: many people together and without any social distancing in a closed place.

The incident has been widely been reported by the press in Britain.