The recommendation, yesterday, of the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, to avoid trips if they are not essential impacts directly against the tourism, activity that feeds in more than a third the economy of the Archipelago. Evil but in the process of recovery due to the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook at the gates of the start of the high season or the closure of the Ryanair bases in January, the housing business is now facing a Holy Week with empty beds. In addition, those working in this area face the uncertainty of knowing what will happen to their jobs.
Four out of ten occupied Canaries work directly or indirectly in the tourism field. The first affected will be the eventual ones, whose jobs depend on the volume of customers. The peninsular market started this year with a decrease of -11.3% (14,937 fewer travelers) compared to January 2019. The housing employer reported the loss of connectivity due to the progress of Ryanair and the increase in ticket prices as causes of that fall.
Minister Illa’s recommendation was a jug of cold water for those – few – still hoped to reverse the situation in the face of Easter week, dates on which hotels and apartments make box before entering the spring moor that gives way to a summer in which arrivals rebound again.
The hope of the hoteliers is now that the situation does not last for a long time and the prognosis of experts who give little chance of surviving the coronavirus when the heat takes over Europe is met.
Until checking if the prediction is fulfilled, it is not possible to think that other markets cover the gap left by the Spaniards. The clearest example is Italy, whose government yesterday adopted the decision to isolate the entire country. Last year 455,383 Italians arrived in the Canary Islands. However, standing in nationalities also makes virtually no sense. Traveling, anywhere and from any point, has become an activity that carries the risk of not being able to return home on the scheduled date.
From kindergartens to universities
The Community of Madrid and the Alava city of Vitoria have suspended classes at all educational levels, from kindergartens to universities, due to the incidence of the coronavirus. The closure, which involves both public and private schools and affects more than 1.5 million students, will take effect tomorrow, and will last for fifteen days. In the case of Madrid, the suspension of classes is the spearhead of a battery of measures that also involve the stoppage of scheduled surgical activities, the home visit in Primary Care or the recommendation to companies to facilitate teleworking, all for try to stop the escalation of cases of coronavirus, which has doubled in the region, and in the whole of Spain, in just 24 hours.
The communities of Madrid and the Basque Country are the two most positive of the Covid-19 coronavirus. Of the cases recorded in Spain at the close of this edition, a total of 578 (48%) are registered in Madrid, where 17 of the 28 deaths due to the disease are also concentrated. For its part, the Basque Country has accounted for 149 cases of infection (12.3%), mainly concentrated in Álava, with six deaths. The Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, defined yesterday both the Community of Madrid and the Alava cities of Vitoria and Labastida as “areas with high transmission rate” of the coronavirus. In addition, the ministry has raised the alert scenario in Spain from containment to “reinforced containment”, which makes it advisable, explains Illa, that the working hours be flexible, staggered shifts are articulated and teleworking is facilitated whenever possible.