Spain holidays: The Canary Islands call for travel corridor to save Britons’ Christmas

Travel ban: Epidemiologist says ‘closing borders does not work’

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The proposed safe travel corridor would include British tourists who are a top market for the Canary Islands. Many Britons travel to Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura every year.

The hotel association, Ashotel, has said there is a low incidence of infections among tourists.

It added that strict regulations in hotels should help to protect the arrivals of visitors and protect the islands.

Coronavirus cases on the islands, particularly in Gran Canaria and Tenerife, have been rising rapidly in the last few weeks.

Cases on the islands have just hit a new record high of more than 1,600 infections in a day.

Ashotel has said it fears that the tourism industry on the islands could collapse. Tourism is a major source of income on the islands.

It generates 35 percent of total GDP and more than 40 percent of employment across the islands.

Ashotel said: “The objective of a safe tourist health corridor is none other than to save the winter season, and with it, the immediate future of the Canarian economy, which cannot afford another season without taking off.”

Between December 13 and 19, only 62 cases of Covid were detected among tourists on the islands according to The Tourism Council of the Canary Government.

The data represents only 0.7 percent of the total of 8,532 cases detected across the whole archipelago.

Ashotel said: “Contrary to the general incidence of the infections, which has skyrocketed in recent days, the data from the report shows an inverse behaviour in cases associated with tourists.

“This shows, once again, that the rise in infections has nothing to do with tourist and hotel facilities, in which strict security measures are followed, based on protocols developed by the country’s tourism sector, which have been very useful and that have been ISO standard throughout Europe.

“Throughout the pandemic crisis, accommodation establishments have been shown to be safe places and where the applicable measures protect clients and workers.”

It added that only seven of the positive tourists had used public resources from the Canary Islands health services.

Ashotel said that most tourists have private health insurance or use AXA insurance if they have to prolong their stay due to Covid.

The group said it wants to welcome tourists who have a digital Covid certificate to the Canary Islands this winter.

The group’s proposal would allow teenagers who have yet to be fully vaccinated to show a negative test.

It said: “It is therefore about making tourist activity possible in the Islands this winter season, without renouncing the control and prevention of the disease.

“Otherwise, the outlook ahead is not at all encouraging, in terms of new company closures.”

On Wednesday, Spain’s Prime Minister will hold an emergency meeting with regional Spanish leaders to discuss further Covid restrictions.

Currently, regions are able to enforce some of their own rules such as Covid passports.

Additional reporting by Rita Sobot. 

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