The Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, the Azores and some of the Greek islands are to be classified as safe tourist destinations by the British Government, due to their low incidence of coronavirus infections. That implies that travellers arriving in the UK from these locations won’t have to quarantine, but they will still have to submit a negative PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours.
“We are considering a test strategy for travellers during the summer season because we understand that the cost of a PCR negatively affects family tourism,” said Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps.
The Foreign Office will update the ‘traffic light’ system for all European countries and regions over the next few weeks.
ABTA, TUI UK, Jet2, EasyJet Holidays, IAG and other airlines have been pressuring the British Government for weeks to clarify by region, not by country.
The UK’s international travel ban is expected to be lifted on May 17, so there’s an urgent need to speed up ‘traffic light’ cataloging by country.
Tour Operators have passed the epidemiological levels for the main holiday destinations to the British Administration and highlighted the low rate of infection in Mallorca and the rest of the islands.
Hoteliers, transport companies, hire car firms and restaurateurs are optimistic that the UK’s change in attitude will boost tourism.
The UK is the second biggest source market for the Balearic Islands and is extremely important for the Balearic tourism industry.
The German Government recently removed the Balearic Islands from the health list of risk areas, but German tourists must take an antigen test 72 hours before returning to their country.
“It prevented the cancellation of reservations, which would not have been possible with the requirement of a PCR test,” said German Tour Operators.
“The United Kingdom is going to implement a traffic light system and we are going to ask that it be done by region, not by country,” said The Secretary of State for Global Spain, Manuel Muñiz.
Government Spokesperson and Tourism Minister, Iago Negueruela, stressed the importance of considering the Balearics as an island territory in order to “work in a singular way vis-à-vis the United Kingdom.”
Secretary of State Muñiz highlighted the progress of the vaccination campaign and the digital green certificate or Covid Passport to facilitate mobility over the summer season. He also said it was in the Government’s interest to highlight the epidemiological situation of the Balearic Islands “which puts the Islands in a good position for the summer season.”