The United Kingdom has opened this morning the possibility for British tourists to return to the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands from next May 17, the date scheduled to lift restrictions on travel to other countries. The UK Ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliott, has indicated this morning in Palma de Mallorca that his country is studying that British tourists can travel to the Balearic and Canary Islands “if the incidence of the coronavirus is low, regardless of the epidemiological situation of the rest of Spain”. What both autonomies seek is to avoid being harmed, as happened last summer, by the closure of an issuing market due to the lack of control of the pandemic in Spain, despite the fact that the health situation of the archipelagos is much better.
The latest data from Health, corresponding to Wednesday, reflected that the incidence per 100,000 inhabitants in Spain had risen to 254 cases, while the figure was significantly lower in the Canary Islands (119 cases) and much lower in the Balearic Islands (60 cases). If national data are taken into account, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands would enter the so-called red traffic light and British tourists who wanted to travel to both territories would have to keep a 40-day ten-day period and pass up to three PCR tests. If the assessment is made with regional data, only one PCR test at origin and another at destination would be necessary.
Canary Islands Government sources are expectant regarding the possibility of the United Kingdom confirming already next week “that the two archipelagos are considered independent territories and that we are included within the unrestricted zones.” This is what Germany does, the other major issuing market for travelers for next summer, which does distinguish the epidemiological situation by area. “What we know is that the United Kingdom will take into account the incidence at 14 days, the percentage of vaccination, the incidence of new strains and the response of the health system, which puts us in an advantageous situation compared to northern destinations from Africa”.
The Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands would not be the only beneficiaries, since among the territories to which the trips of British tourists would also be the Greek islands, Malta, Cyprus or Madeira. The Balearic government is also confident that the Balearic Islands will be included in destinations where quarantines are not mandatory. “Our goal is for the United Kingdom to consider us as an independent territory from Spain, which could lead him to advise traveling to the Balearic Islands and at the same time advising against traveling to Spain “.
Not only are destinations putting pressure on the United Kingdom, but so are the two large tour operators (Jet2 and TUI) that fly to Spain. In fact, Jet2 decided on the 9th of opening to suspend all its operations in the United Kingdom until June 24 before the difficulties to program before the constant changes of opinion of the Executive of Boris Johnson.