Canary Islands will “battle until the last second” to get holidaymakers tested for coronavirus
The Canary Islands say they will battle until “the last second” to get tourists, including the Brits, to take coronavirus tests before their holiday.
Spanish airports are currently requiring
arrivals to pass three requirements: filling out passenger information forms
about their health and whether they have had the virus, an automated
temperature check and finally, a visual inspection. If they fail any of the
three, they have to be seen by a doctor.
Despite this system being in place since EU
borders were opened on June 21st, the Canaries – which include the British
favourites of Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote – say the only way to ensure
absolute safety is for tourists to have a coronavirus-free certificate when
they fly. This should either be done in the UK or their country of origin or,
the second choice, at the destination.
President of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor
Torres said they were facing an uphill battle to get others to agree but they
were lobbying all European institutions and would not give up their fight.
He has previously suggested that it might cost
a holidaymaker 20 euros to take a test which they could either pay themselves
or it could be incorporated into the cost of their holiday or flight. Private
and public funding might also be possible.
Mr. Torres said: “Proof of origin is dependent
on others, not on the Canary IslandsgGovernment. What will depend on us is the
effort until the last moment to fight them. The Canaries can be sure that until
the last second what we are going to continue fighting. ”
Critics of the Spanish government’s current
airport policy say the three checks don’t guarantee that Spain is a safe
destination and there is no proof on arrival that tourists are
With the high season starting in the Canaries
in October, tourism chiefs are confident Brits will come flooding back once the
UK government lifts its own 14-day quarantine.
Holiday giant TUI has just announced it is to
start flying back to the Canaries on July 11th.
On July 8th, the Canary Islands will welcome a
flight from Madrid packed with representatives of the World Health
Organisation, journalists and travel agents who will spend a week looking round
all eight islands to see their coronavirus