Irish booking dental appointments in Tenerife to get around travel rules

Irish booking dental appointments in Tenerife to get around travel rules

The dental surgery in Tenerife said it was going to start charging payment up front to stop the no-shows.

A dental surgery in Tenerife has experienced an influx of bookings from Irish people seeking appointments only for them not to turn up.

Staff at the dental surgery say people are doing it to get around travel restrictions.

Non-essential travel is advised against at present, with those doing so without a valid reason potentially liable to be hit with a fine of up to €2,000, as the Government tries to get to grips with the Covid-19 outbreak here. That fine recently quadrupled, having been initially set at €500.

Roberta Beccaris, receptionist at Clinica Dental Tenerife Sur in Santa Cruz, told Today with Claire Byrne on RTÉ Radio 1 that when people contacted them they sought an email confirming the appointment, which hadn't previously been happening.

But, most of those people have not shown up to their subsequent appointments.

“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.” 

Ms Beccaris said they were receiving up to seven emails a day, most of them from younger people. Previously, their Irish patients would have been older people, she said. 

“But now they are young and they clearly just want a holiday," she said.

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.” 

Later on the programme, a message was relayed from Ms Beccaris saying that in future they were going to demand payment upfront when bookings were made and that she had received a number of enquiries from Ireland since her earlier interview had aired.

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