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Thursday 30 November 2023 Dublin: 3°C

Tenerife dental clinic reports surge in Irish people booking appointments (and then not turning up)

The Tenerife based dental receptionist said that Irish callers are requesting an email to confirm the appointment.

A RECEPTIONIST AT a dental surgery on a Spanish island has said she believes Irish people are booking appointments at her clinic so they can go on holiday.

Roberta Beccaris made the claim on RTÉ’s Today with Claire Byrne and said that Irish people ask them for an email confirming the appointment and then do not turn up.

Roberta, who works at Clínica Dental Tenerife Sur in Santa Cruz, a port city on the island, believes that it is just holiday makers looking for an excuse to bypass non-essential travel rules.

“Today we are expecting two Irish patients, but we don’t know really if they’ll turn up. Obviously as they are not turning up, we now understand it is just an excuse for a holiday.

“They are taking appointments away from people who need them, who are in pain,” she said.

“In the past two weeks we have been getting a lot of bookings from Irish people, all the patients were requesting an email to confirm the appointment, which is new, and then they are not turning up.”

The surgery has been receiving as many seven emails a day, most of them from young people. She said that their normal Irish clients are older people.

 “But now they are young and they clearly just want a holiday,” she added.

Following her interview Roberta Beccaris contacted the programme again to advise that the clinic would be demanding payment up front for appointments. Her message also revealed that since she spoke on the radio show that she had received a number of enquiries from Ireland.

Fines issued for non-essential travel at airports and ports were set at €500 but Government will now increase to the penalty to €2000.

Government sources state they do not believe the €500 fine is seen as enough of a deterrent to stop people travelling abroad.

Holidaying abroad is considered non-essential travel under Level Five Covid-19 restrictions. The five kilometre travel rule only allows travel in strict conditions such as going to education, essential work, grocery purchasing or other vital purposes.

Ireland is preparing to introduce a mandatory quarantine for those arriving in the country from foreign destinations.

Passenger numbers at airports are down 97% but government statistics show two-thirds of Irish arrivals at airports are returning holidaymakers.

A further 18 countries are to be added to the list of countries from where people arriving here would be required to quarantine in a hotel, bringing the total to 20. 

Primary legislation is required before people are mandated to quarantine in hotels, but people arriving from “category 2″ countries are currently legally required to self-quarantine for a full two weeks. 

Previously, Brazil and South Africa were the only countries on this list but the Taoiseach has now confirmed that 18 other countries are to be treated the same way. 

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