British holidaymakers could be left waiting until October for a holiday to Tenerife despite the fact that the Canary Islands hotels have plans to reopen in July or August. The news comes as regional government ministers say they will be prioritising holidays for local people first, before receiving tourists from overseas.
Speaking to local newspaper El Mundo, Canary Islands president Angel Victor Torres said they would slowly begin to bring their tourism industry back to life gradually.
“The Canary Islands were the first to have coronavirus in Spain and now we want to be the first out of confinement,” he said.
Tenerife found itself at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak in the country after the first cases were detected at the H10 Costa Adeje Palace.
An Italian doctor staying at the four-star resort tested positive, sending the hotel into lockdown with hundreds of tourists, some of whom were British nationals, being isolated inside.
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Now, the Spanish authorities have outlined a three-step recovery plan for the region, putting locals first in line to enjoy the holiday hotspot.
The graduated process will then open the islands up to mainland Spanish tourists, and finally international tourists.
Torres explained: “That way, in October, November or December, which are good months in the Canary Islands, we can begin to receive tourists from other countries.”
The minister also revealed plans to open hotels in July or August, citing the original June 1 reopening date as “too optimistic.”
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However, there is some positivity ahead for Spain’s much-loved beaches which should be welcoming visitors back to the sand by the peak summer season.
Juanma Moreno, president of the Andalucia region, remains “optimistic” about the reopening of the Costa del Sol’s beaches, however, suggests they may be monitored by police to ensure social distancing remains in place.
“It’s not what we’re used to but unfortunately while we haven’t got an effective treatment or a coronavirus vaccine, it’s something we’ll have to get used to,” he said.
Coronavirus in Spain: Tenerife was the first hit with the virus, when the H10 hotel detected a case
Spain has recently begun to lift some of its stringent restrictions, though lockdown measures are anticipated to stay in place until May 3.
Some non-essential industry workers have returned to work which includes those who work in manufacturing but they still have to follow very strict safety regulations.
The rest of Spain has been asked to work from home which means that schools and restaurants still remain closed.
Based on confirmed cases, Spain is reported as being the second most impacted country in the world, surpassing Italy.
The country has recorded a total of 204,178 cases since the outbreak began.
There have been over 21,000 deaths reported, meanwhile, 82,000 have made a recovery.
A recent setback has also seen the country’s daily death toll begin to rise again after a period of decline.
Government officials announced 430 people died today, an increase from the previously reported 399.
However, the country remains below its peak, which saw around 900 victims daily.