The Canary Islands requests to host one of the covid passport pilot projects

Arrival of travelers at Gran Canaria Airport.  |  |  JUAN CASTRO

Arrival of travelers at Gran Canaria Airport. | | JUAN CASTRO

Canarias has requested the Ministry of Tourism be one of the headquarters of the covid passport pilot test, given that Spain wants to implement this new measure to control the tourist movement progressively once the proposal is ratified by the European Parliament and the rest of the countries.

This was announced by the Minister of Industry, Tourism and Trade, Reyes Maroto, who yesterday at a meeting of the Group of World Heritage Cities held in Mérida announced her intention to test the operation of the passport in various destinations, such as the Balearic Islands. , The Canary Islands and some inland communities. Maroto, in statements collected by Efe, described as “good news” that last Wednesday the EC made a proposal for the regulation to develop said certificate and defended the position of Spain in reference to the suitability of being able to develop this certificate and guarantee “a safe mobility at the moment ”.

Immediately afterwards, his Canarian counterpart, Yaiza Castilla, requested by means of a letter in which he proposed to the minister “that one of the pilot projects be carried out in the Canary Islands”. “I am convinced that the reactivation of mobility and tourism before summer will require the implementation of a health passport, at least in Europe,” said the counselor. Castilla considers that the digital green certificate – as it is officially known – is a “very positive and complementary measure” that, once implemented, “will help regain confidence in mobility and vacation travel.”

In this way, Castillo showed his conviction that “the tourism sector may begin to see some certainty after more than twelve months of uncertainties.” And, although the sector does not consider that this measure is the panacea to recover the economy to 2019 levels, it can be a way to reactivate lost tourism. “Without a doubt it will benefit us”, as Castilla points out, which aspires that the Archipelago can enjoy a summer “with some tourist activity” that lays the foundations for a more solid recovery in 2022 and from the next high season, in November 2021. The Canary Islands are now waiting for the Ministry to give them the go-ahead, although in principle it has shown its willingness to choose the Archipelago as one of the test areas for this new control method. At the moment seven ministries are working intensely to make it a reality before the summer, because “it would not be understood” that it was not in operation by then. Maroto, however, wanted to specify that this certificate “will come hand in hand with the containment of the pandemic and the acceleration of the vaccination process.” Maroto assured that “the horizon” with which they are working is that this certification is in June, starting with some selected communities to “test their suitability and use of them.”

The State wants to carry out tests for implementation throughout the country in June

“We will have to decide when we do it and how we do it to test these certificates that are an essential and necessary tool for the restart of safe trips,” he said while proposing some key destinations for this pilot test, such as the Balearic and Canary Islands. at the moment there are no specific dates for the start of the tests “because now they are working with all the legal and digital development, which is complex.” In his opinion, from Europe accelerated steps are being taken “and that helps”, to add that “what is certain is that for us summer is the date” and “it would not be understood that we no longer have this certificate so that we can always use it. and when the evolution of the pandemic and vaccination allows it ”.

The Minister of Tourism recalled that “in the United Kingdom this process is much more advanced” and there “international travel will resume from May.” For this reason, he indicated that this passport in the European area does nothing more than benefit the Canary Islands, since “we can aspire to a summer with some tourist activity”, although still “far from pre-Covid times.”

Castillo, however, is cautious about the use of this vaccination passport. “Even to reach that summer season in which we can already see foreign tourists, the health situation has to evolve as planned today and without new circumstances unknown today,” says the counselor. And, despite the fact that this document allows greater freedom of movement – because it allows some travelers not to have to carry out a previous PCR – protection measures should not be neglected and continue to restrict life to stop the advance of the virus.

Airlines celebrate

Several associations of the European aviation sector celebrated this Wednesday the proposal presented today by the European Commission (EC) of the digital certificate with which it is intended to promote travel in the European Union (EU). In a press release, the organizations pointed out that the certificate, which will contain information on whether a person has been vaccinated, if they have antibodies for having passed the Covid-19 or if a negative PCR test has been performed, is a “key” tool for facilitate the resumption of tourism in Europe “safely” and efficiently “. In addition, they called on the Council of the EU (the countries) and the European Parliament to “urgently” approve the proposal and demanded that the certificates be guaranteed to be operational for the summer campaign. | EP


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