Canary Islands want to reopen on MONDAY as leaders present four-week phased plan
Government leaders in the Canary Islands are asking for special permission to lift Spain’s State of Emergency from this MONDAY which could see the beaches reopen in a fortnight, restaurants in three weeks and limited holidays within a month.
The package of proposals will be presented to
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Sunday, even though the country’s confinement
rules have just been extended to May 10th.
The Spanish Government has already indicated
that different regions will be allowed to reopen in phased stages, depending on
how badly the coronavirus pandemic has hit them. In the Canaries, the death
toll is 128, with most of the deaths at 88 in Tenerife but the islands of
Fuerteventura, El Hierro and La Gomera have had no fatalities. The incidence of
positive cases is also low in the islands at 2,140.
The Canary Government has already indicated
that it wouldn’t “go it alone” and would only reopen with Spain’s
express permission. But with a predicted mutli-million euro loss since the
pandemic began, any measures to get the Canaries moving again would be widely
It would spell good news for businesses, some
tourist establishments, restaurants, shopping centres, small shops and gyms.
However, it would still be bad news at this stage for international
holidaymakers. The Canary proposal would see holidays begin again in one month
but ONLY between the eight islands, not further afield. There are various predictions
for when British holidaymakers would be allowed back in through the airports
and ports, ranging from this summer to the first quarter of 2021.
President of the Government of the Canary
Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres has spent days locked in debate with the emergency
committee to draw up a plan for the so-called “D-Day” of
The relaxed measures would see a timetable
drawn up which would allow different groups of people such as the elderly or
children to leave their homes at different times so that social distancing can
be adhered to. People will be advised to wear masks in public and to use hand
gel on a continuous basis. The first week would allow hair salons to reopen as
well as small shops.
In the second phase ie the second week, shopping
centres would be able to open their doors, together with gyms and possibly some
hotels and tourist establishments but all with conditions and health
The third week would see the opening of
restaurants, with no more than four people per table, together with the beaches
and swimming pools.
The fourth week would lift the current limit
on inter-island travel so that more flights could resume between the islands,
which include Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria. This would allow local
people to have a holiday.
It is understood the emergency committee would
like international travellers back for the summer or the fourth quarter of the
year which is the high season for the islands.
There will be access controls at the ports and
airports and the tourist will be asked to test for the coronavirus with a
negative result four days before departure to their places of origin. If not,
they must remain in the islands for 14 days in quarantine.
The Canary Government says it would review
each phase each week and change course if there were any problems.