SPAIN hopes the UK government will lift its quarantine restrictions on the Balearic and Canary Islands today.
The complaint came from the country’s Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto during a television interview this morning, where she revealed that they had sent new statistics on infection rates in the islands to Downing Street.
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Currently, the British face a 14-day quarantine when they return to the UK after a last minute U-turn to travel to Spain.
Speaking to La Sexta TV, Ms Maroto said: “(The islands) have a low incidence rate and now need to review their indicators.
“It’s a decision of the British authorities, but we have given them all the arguments so that they can have confidence that their tourists are safe in Spanish destinations.
“If this is not the decision we are waiting for, we will continue to work with them. ”
However, a spokesperson for No 10 said at lunchtime that they were “not aware of any changes” in the travel quarantine that would occur regionally.
They added, “There were some challenges in trying to look at this on a regionalized basis. We made the decision based on careful review of the data. ”
Canary Islands President Ángel Víctor Torres has also said he is confident Boris Johnson will remove the rule for the Canary Islands in the coming days.
The move, he said, was the top priority of the Canarian government and he knew Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez had already had talks with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Mr Torres said the Canaries wanted to be taken off the quarantine list and he understood there would be a ‘legislative’ amendment in the UK this week to allow that.
He said the Canary Islands had one of the best records of low coronavirus cases and deaths and detected the most contacts in their tracking system, as confirmed by the National Epidemiological Surveillance Network report of July 15.
He confirmed he expected an announcement this week, with some Spanish newspapers now claiming it could be today.
“The government of the Canaries is confident that negotiations with the UK will bear fruit and that this week the quarantine for travelers returning from the islands can be lifted,” said Torres.
Tourism Minister Ms Maroto also told The Telegraph the country “is not considering” a 14-day reciprocal quarantine for British tourists, as they are learning to “coexist” with the virus instead.
The Canarian government is also calling for a new European tax to help pay holidaymakers to take coronavirus tests before they depart and upon arrival at all airports, including Spain, as a temporary measure until that a vaccine is found.
Calling on the European Aviation Safety Agency to introduce the new charge, Torres said “it will not be an easy decision” but other countries are already doing it and it should become the norm across the world. Europe.
He asked Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to raise the idea with the agency so that tests can be put in place at all European airports.
It was not specified how the tax would be collected. It could fall on the airlines or be passed on by them to the traveler through the price of the tickets.
The Canary Islands, stressed Mr Torres, consider it essential to implement these tests for passengers in order to guarantee health safety during their travels and thus encourage the tourist market.
“These tests on passengers, which could be paid with this European tax, would keep the situation under control until there is an effective vaccine against the virus,” said the Canary Islands president.
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The islands have been pushing for coronavirus tests for vacationers for months, and Spanish hoteliers have even agreed to pay them.
Mr Torres said ten days ago that passengers might even be willing to pay for the tests he estimated at around € 20 a time on their own.
Last week, Jet2 warned Britons in the Balearics and Canaries to end their vacations early or risk paying for their own return flights.
Hundreds of passengers whose return flights to Britain have been canceled have been urged to leave Spain earlier after the government’s quarantine reversal.
Benidorm has “snubbed the British” over the travel ban, and instead offers cheaper vacations to other tourists, especially Spanish residents.