A dozen stations for the issuing of visas by the border police and the same number for the fingerprinting carried out by the Scientific. Terminal 5 of Fiumicino airport, normally used for major events and closed until a few days ago, resumed operation in 24 hours to welcome Afghans fleeing Kabul. Since August 16, about 1,800 people have arrived at the Roman airport, including today. And with great effort, the Fiumicino border police managed to reduce waiting times: 15-20 minutes for the issuance of the visa.
” We try to guarantee a stopover as short as possible even if it is not easy because the scheduling of flights is affected by the emergency and flights are scheduled day by day – explains to time.news Antonella Mari, director of the border police office of the Fiumicino airport – Today alone 400 Afghans were expected to arrive, then 600 arrived instead. There is talk of an implementation in the next few days. The management company is creating together with the Red Cross some tensile structures outside to be able to welcome the people who arrive, because the numbers are increasing ”.
” Since August 16, when the emergency began, the terminal has been developed with great speed – he says – The workstations have been gradually increased and the number of people employed with great commitment has been increased because the activity was neither planned. nor can be planned. The effort was important but above all there was the awareness at all levels of the operators and of everyone on the importance of being able to carry out our practices correctly but quickly ”.
On the procedures that are followed, the manager explains that ” as soon as people get off the plane there is a first health screening: the Red Cross asks some questions and subjects everyone to a swab ”. ” Only after the result of the negative swab – he specifies – are the procedures concerning the issuance of the visa and identification begun. People are accompanied to the stations that we have set up. When the visa issuing procedure, the identification and the fingerprinting of the scientific police are concluded, the file that follows the family unit is considered concluded. Afghan citizens are accommodated in another area where they are then placed at the disposal of the Army, which physically takes care of the accompaniment in the structures identified in the area for 10-day fiduciary isolation ”.
” This is the first link so that once Afghan citizens arrive on the territory they can continue the process of international protection and therefore to have the status of refugees – he says – So they can have a legal life in our country and the opportunity for a different life ”.
During the process at the Leonardo da Vinci airport, no particular problems were encountered either of a health nature (only one person out of about 1,800 tested positive for the swab) or from the point of view of documents. ” We had no problems with health screening for covid, we welcomed some pregnant women, many minors and several elderly people – he concludes – Most of the people had their documents with them, few families arrived without a passport or card. ‘identity. At that point we identify them, we issue them a pass with a visa ”. (by Giorgia Sodaro)