Tenerife is fighting to be singled out as a special case destination, allowing holidaymakers to travel to the island without having to quarantine for 14 days on their return to the UK. In a bid to further encourage the UK Government to consider its suggestion, the island’s government has said it will pay for coronavirus test for tourists.
The hope is that by securing quarantine-free status the popular holiday island will be able to salvage its winter season set to begin in October.
Tenerife’s president Pedro Martín is urging UK officials to reconsider its current status.
“Our situation is different from other islands,” he said.
The president added that the nation would be willing to provide funding for the PCR tests if the Government decided to give them the go-ahead.
“We cannot consider the winter season lost and therefore we are making an effort so that the health reality of the island is taken into account,” he said.
Before the pandemic, Tenerife was the Canary island that received the highest number of visitors in 2019.
More than two million Britons visited the island in 2017 according to the most recent figures.
Yet, in the midst of the pandemic, its usually busy tourist season has been left in tatters.
Tenerife are now pointing to Germany as an example for the UK to follow.
Though Germany’s government is advising against travel to the Canaries, it has made Tenerife an exception and has not included the island in its veto.
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The same rule is in place in Belgium too.
Mr Martín said this was an important achievement and showed that Belgium had viewed Tenerife’s coronavirus rates individually in comparison with the rest of the islands.
“We continue with contacts with representatives of the tourist-issuing countries, sending them specific information on the rate of contagion that we have, so that they value making the same decision as Belgium.
“At the moment the island is a safe destination and if we improve the data we should not consider the winter season lost.”
Mr Martín said Tenerife didn’t want to be included in the figures for the whole of the Canaries as this did not favour the island.
“We are making an effort to communicate abroad that in Tenerife the situation is different with 29.63 percent of infections per 100,000 inhabitants,” he said.
The island is still pressing for coronavirus tests on arrival and was prepared to finance them.
“Our surveys say that tourists are afraid of contagion on the plane, a circumstance that causes them to withdraw when travelling, along with others.
“It is also very important to lower the contagion curve on the island since, although the data is not bad, the reserves are linked to this index.”
Elsewhere in the Canary Islands, however, the figures are beginning to rise.
Tourist hotspots Lanzarote and Gran Canaria are particularly at risk.
Both could both face lockdowns in the coming days if measures to control coronavirus outbreaks don’t work or are not adhered to, it has been reported.
The warning has come from the president of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, who has called in 100 soldiers to help police amid the “worrying” situation.
Additional reporting by Rita Sobot
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