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Tenerife gets go-ahead to take international flights 

Tenerife and four other major Spanish airports are being allowed to reopen to international traffic from Monday although strict rules remain in place regarding who can fly and it won’t be the “average” British tourist yet.

The Spanish government confirmed this
afternoon that it has expanded its list announced yesterday which originally
featured just five of the country’s airports and eight ports. They were El Prat
in Barcelona, Gran Canaria in the Canaries, Barajas in Madrid, Málaga-Costa del
Sol and Palma de Mallorca in the Balearics, together with the ports of
Barcelona, Bilbao, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Malaga, Palma, Tenerife,
Valencia and Vigo. All these have opened today.

But island leaders in Tenerife immediately
lodged an official protest, saying it had obviously been a “mistake”
to leave Tenerife south airport off the list.

This has now been added, plus Alicante,
Seville, Menorca and Ibiza. The Spanish government says the same will happen
with other airports in Spain “bit by bit”.

It doesn’t give Brits carte blanche to travel
as anyone catching an international flight into these destinations must be able
to prove their entitlement to do so and wold still have to go into 14-day
quarantine whilst this rule is in force.

The airports and ports have been chosen as
they have the capacity to deal with passengers and all the health and safety
regulations, such as temperature taking. It also augurs well for the future
once the coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

Tenerife’s president, Pedro Martín said he had
the commitment of the Government of the Canary Islands to implement all the
measures required at Tenerife Sur airport.

“It is a controlled process in the
de-escalation plan that the Government wants to start establishing to launch at
certain airports in the country under rigorous security controls,” he
said.

Tenerife has had a low incidence of
coronavirus with 151 deaths, a figure which has remained static for the last
four days. Today’s death toll in Spain is 27,563, with a daily drop to 102, the
lowest number in two months. 

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez says he will be
asking on Wednesday for a fourth extension of the State of Emergency imposed on
March 14th for another month which he anticipates will be the last. He hopes to
reach the start of the “new normality” at the start of the summer,
raising hopes that international tourists might be able to enjoy holidays some
time thereafter.

Mr. Sanchez says tourism was one of the most
important economic sectors in Spain and which accounts for 12% of the gross
domestic product.  It was, however, necessary to overcome the epidemic to
“be able to relaunch” tourism.

 “People will visit us if they are
sure that they are traveling to safe, controlled destinations,”  he
said.

He also defended the controversial measure of
quarantining all travellers who arrive in Spain. “If we rush, we could put
at risk the international credit that has taken us decades to obtain,” he
warned.

At this stage, Brits are being advised NOT to
attempt to travel unless they are legal residents of Spain and can prove it
with the right documents which have to be original and not photocopies. There are
reports of people being turned back on arrival because they have not met the
strict criteria.

Frontier workers or those who can prove they
need to enter Spain for essential reasons will be allowed in.

“Only green residency certificates will be
accepted as proof of residency in Spain and British travellers who are not
resident and/or not in possession of this certificate should not attempt to
enter the country,” said a spokesman for the UK’s Foreign and Commonweath
office.

“Padron certificates, utility bills and
property deeds will not be accepted by Spanish authorities as proof of
residency.”

The 14 days of quarantine, in homes or hotels
if applicable, will mean travellers coming into Spain will have to self isolate
with only trips for shopping and essentials allowed. This order is likely to
stay in force during the duration of the State of Emergency,