The succession of outbreaks detected in Spain has caused the United Kingdom to require the mandatory quarantine of all travelers arriving from Spain starting this Sunday. The decision is primarily intended as a warning to British tourists visiting Spain that if they decide to travel they would have to undergo two weeks of isolation upon returning to their country. This will have a deterrent effect and jeopardizes the attempt to recover the tourism sector after the de-escalation.
Tourist areas are still half gas
The vice president of the Andalusian Regional Government and tourism adviser, Juan Marín, has described this decision as “very bad news”. He recalled the importance that British tourism has for Spain and Andalusia and believes that it will have negative repercussions especially for the Costa del Sol. “We know what British tourism means because, although it was not activated like other years, it is one of our main” , The vice president has pointed out, who has assured that he understands that “the British Government has taken this measure to save lives, but it is very bad news”.
In the case of the Canary Islands, President Ángel Víctor Torres has requested the creation of safe and direct air corridors between the islands and the United Kingdom. In a statement, the regional government indicates that the Canary Islands is one of the areas of Europe with the lowest incidence on COVID-19, with 5.8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, making it one of the safest destinations for spending vacations. this summer. Is about a coordinated action with the president of the Balearic Islands, Francina Armengol, who also highlights the low cumulative incidence of the virus in the region and how applying this measure would be detrimental due to the repercussions it would have on the tourism sector at a time when certain connectivity with the United Kingdom was beginning to recover, main issuing country to the islands. Precisely the Tourism giant TUI already announced that it is canceling holiday offers and trips to Spain until August 9, except in the cases of the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands.
In the same pessimistic line are the Valencian hoteliers, who have warned of the “blow to tourism” of the Valencian Community that represents the quarantine imposed by the British Government. “We had good feelings for the coming weeks, with reservations that were growing and although they were far from what would be normal at this time of year, we expected them to normalize for the month of September and October,” said Toni Mayo, president of the hospitality business association Hosbec.
For its part, the Spanish Confederation of Travel Agencies (CEAV) expresses its concern about the measure by the United Kingdom because “the example that can be given is very serious” and could be extended to other countries, as has already happened with France, Belgium and Norway which They recommend not stepping on Spanish soil during these summer months except in essential cases and that especially avoid traveling to Catalonia.
From the Ministry of Health and Foreign Affairs indicate that they have been in contact with the British authorities since before the announcement of the mandatory quarantine. They assure that “Spain is in a control scenario” and that the appearance of outbreaks that “are being detected early and controlled, in accordance with the early response plan agreed with the autonomous communities, was already planned.”
In addition, regarding the outbreaks in Barcelona, Lleida and Zaragoza, they point out that the regional governments have taken “very forceful measures of social distancing, which must allow them to be controlled soon” and that of the new cases detected “more than half are asymptomatic ” “It is important to note that hospital pressure remains low: acute beds are below 1500 patients and critical beds are around 160,” says Health.
In Spain there are 281 active outbreaks of coronavirus with 3,200 linked cases, and Catalonia and Aragon are the autonomous communities that “cause the most concern” to the Ministry of Health, since in Barcelona, Lleida and Zaragoza there is community transmission. The head of the area of the Coordination Center for Health Alerts and Emergencies of the Ministry of Health, María José Sierra, stressed this Thursday that there are more and more outbreaks associated with leisure and discotheques, some with a significant magnitude that affect more than one hundred people.
It is what has led Catalonia to make the decision starting this Saturday of close the clubs and limit the night hours of bars and restaurants in Barcelona and 60 other municipalities, a measure that is expected to continue for 15 days.