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Canary Islands holidays may be back on – officials suggest travel ban to be lifted in days

Following a sudden surge in new cases of coronavirus across Spain, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) reinstated its travel advisory, and subsequent mandatory quarantine period, for Britons. It then put the same blanket ban in place for travel to the Canary Islands sending the travel industry into chaos.



However, it seems there could be a glimmer of hope in sight, according to officials from the region.

President of the Canaries, Ángel Víctor Torres says he is confident Prime Minister Boris Johnson will wipe out the rule for the islands which include Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has reportedly already held talks with Boris Johnson, and Mr Torres states that resuming travel is an “absolute priority” for the Canary Government.

Mr Torres said the Canaries wanted to be removed from the quarantine list and he suggested there would be a “legislative” amendment in the UK this week to allow this.

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Canary Islands Holidays: Canary Islands officials suggest the travel ban may be lifted (Image: Getty Images)

Canary Islands holidays: Travel was thrown into disarray when the ban was reintroduced (Image: Getty Images)

Further to the President’s comments, some Spanish Newspapers have reported a change could be anticipated as soon as today, thanks to the Canary Islands’ low number of coronavirus cases and deaths.

According to the latest statistics the Canary Islands has recorded 2,610 cases and 162 deaths.

“The government of the Canaries is confident that the negotiations with the United Kingdom will bear fruit and that this week the quarantine for travellers returning from the Islands can be lifted,” said Mr Torres.

Despite suggestions from the Spanish officials, the FCO has yet to make any comment on changes to the current travel bans for any nation.

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The UK Ministry of Transport says that the re-evaluation of the air bridge list continues to be done every four weeks, but adds it may introduce “changes weekly, to reflect the changing panorama of international health”.

The Canary Islands has also been working hard at utilising its own track and trace system, which according to a report of the National Network of Epidemiological Surveillance on July 15, has made some of “the most contacts” of those included in the report.

Canary Island Official’s are also calling for more testing to be done at airports across Europe.

In order to help cover the costs of the measures, the Canaries are calling for a new European tax as a temporary measure until a vaccine is found.

Canary Islands Holidays: New rules are in place to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 (Image: Getty Images)

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Calling on the European Aviation Safety Agency to introduce the new fee, Mr. Torres said it “wouldn’t be an easy decision” but there were already other countries doing this and it should become the norm across Europe.

Mr. Torres has asked Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez to raise the idea with the Agency so that tests could be put into place in all European airports. How the tax would be collected has not been specified as it could fall on the airlines or passed by them onto the traveller via ticket prices.

The Canary Islands, Mr. Torres stressed, considered it essential to implement these tests for passengers to guarantee health safety whilst travelling and thus encourage the tourist market.

The impact of coronavirus on tourism (Image: DX)

“These tests on passengers, which could be paid for with this European tax, would help keep the situation under control until there is an effective vaccine against the virus,” said the Canary president.

Mr. Torres said ten days ago that passengers might even be prepared to pay for the tests themselves which he estimated to be about 20 euros a time.

Airport testing is taking place in some countries, such as Greece.

Other nations, such as Cyprus, require travellers to pursue their own COVID-19 test results which must be taken within 72 hours prior to departure and must be shown on arrival.

Additional reporting by Rita Sobot

Source Daily Express :: Travel Feed

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