Holidays: Tourism Secretary ‘desperate’ to welcome Brits to Spain
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Holidays are set to resume from May 17 under the Government’s “traffic light system”. While the quarantine-free destinations, which will be included on the “green list” have not yet been confirmed, Spain’s Balearic Island officials are confident the region will make the cut.
At the time of writing the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is advising “against all but essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic Islands.”
However, according to Rosa Ana Morilla Rodriguez, director-general of tourism for the islands, the Balearics are “confident” they have the right COVID-19 figures to be included on the “green list”.
Speaking to Sky News the tourism official said: “We have the right numbers, we have the right measures in place that will allow us to be considered ‘green’.
“It’s also about the capability of your hospitals to isolate different variants of the virus, which is something that is not done by all the hospitals in Spain, but we do it here.”
The Balearics are home to holiday hotspots favoured by Britons including Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca.
“I think Mallorca is such an important destination for the UK that I’m confident we could have this travel corridor,” said Ms Rodriguez.
“We have told the British ambassador that we have all the factors needed to be considered ‘green’ for the UK.”
While mainland Spain may not be ready to welcome back tourists until June, in line with new Covid vaccine-style passports, the Balearics say they are keen to get holidaymakers back now.
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Ms Rodriguez added: “We are safe and completely ready to welcome back British visitors.”
There is some hope individual archipelagos will be granted “green” list status, even if the mainland destination remains on the “amber” list.
Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps previously said he was in favour of an “island approach”.
This would work similarly to the travel corridors of summer 2020.
However, at the time of writing the Government has yet to confirm if any island nations will make the cut.
More information is due to be revealed about international travel ahead of May 17.
Though experts are optimistic about the future, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned holidaymakers should exercise “caution” when planning foreign jaunts.
During a visit to Hartlepool, he told reporters: “We do want to do some opening up on May 17 but I don’t think that the people of this country want to see an influx of disease from anywhere else.
“I certainly don’t and we have got to be very, very tough, and we have got to be as cautious as we can while we continue to open up.”
He added: “We will be saying more as soon as we can.
“I think that there will be some openings up on the 17th, but we have got to be cautious and we have got to be sensible and we have got to make sure that we don’t see the virus coming back in.”
More information on how international travel will resume, as well as which nations are given “green list” status is anticipated in the coming days.
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