Brits arriving in Canary Islands may get coronavirus tests in their hotels following airport stalemate
Brits arriving for a holiday in the Canaries may have to wait until they reach their hotels to find out if they have coronavirus following a row between the regional government and the airport authority.
But the new system could create another problem for the islands as they battle to contain new outbreaks: tourists staying in holiday flats or villas might slip through the net and NEVER get a test.
The Canary government says it is currently at stalemate with the airport authority which is reluctant to hand over space somewhere in the precinct for the testing of international arrivals. The other option would have been to set up tents in the car-parks but this has been ruled out on costs.
Tourism minister for the Canaries, Yaiza Castilla said letters had been sent on several occasions to AENA to ask for a testing area to be set up at the various airports but there had been no reply. The same problem is believed to be happening elsewhere, including in Mallorca and Ibiza.The Canary government says it will have to look at “plan B” which would involve testing holidaymakers once they arrive at their hotels. This, however, would mean arrivals using holiday flats or villas would be left out.
The tests would be free and the Canary government has already indicated that it would foot the bill for any tourist who tested positive and needed to go into quarantine on the islands.Tourism leaders say the failure of the airport authority to provide space is regarded as a major setback to their plans to reactivate the winter season and for the Canaries to be regarded as a safe destination.Spain’s tourism minister, Reyes Maroto last week announced new “protocols” for tourists heading for the Canaries and the Balearics once new safe travel corridors are agreed.The new rule says that every traveller arriving in the Canary Islands or the Balearics from a territory with an accumulated incidence (AI) of 50 or less per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days should not undergo any test upon arrival at any international airport. Those who come from territories with an AI greater than 50 will have to present a negative diagnostic test for active infection carried out 48 hours before the flight, at most. The circumstances for Brits depends on the coronavirus rate in the UK at that time.Before leaving the islands, ALL holidaymakers will have to take a diagnostic test for active infection 48 hours before their flight. These tests will be carried out by the health authorities, at no cost to the tourist. “If you test positive, you will not be able to fly and will have to quarantine at the same destination,” the Spanish government confirmed. “The governments of the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands will also take care of the necessary coverage in the event of quarantine of positive tourists, providing a series of accommodations provided for this purpose. They would also cover healthcare or hospitalisation if necessary. The working group that has designed the protocol of the tourist corridor has validated that the two archipelagos have the necessary capacities to serve potential positive tourists.”Special campaigns will be developed to promote the Covid Radar application among the tourist population in numerous languages.