The Canary Islands are confident that national and international flights will be reactivated at the same time, both starting in August.
THE President of the Canary Islands, Angel Victor Torres, has estimated that “starting in August but above all, in September and October” a level of “international tourism would begin, leading to normality in 2021.”
However, inter-island flights will be re-activated at the end of June, in ‘Phase 4’ (the new normality) of the de-escalation plan (which consists of five stages, from 0 to 4). It should be noted that all territories will pass from one phase to another after a minimum of two weeks, as long as sanitary conditions allow it, so there may be some regions which are more advanced than others.
Despite this optimistic recovery plan, Torres was not optimistic about the arrival of international tourists. “The countries who are suffering from coronaviruses do not have any intentions to travel, as I am sure the Canaries do not have any intentions of going abroad either,” he said.
On the contrary, he was more hopeful about the flights between islands, which he called the “safest passage,” since they will be activated once the de-escalation phase is over, when “there will be no danger of contagiousness.”
In this sense, health checks on passengers in their country of origin should be a priority and this is how the regional executive wants to avoid importing any new cases of coronavirus. Precisely, the first case of Covid-19 detected in Spain was a German tourist who was enjoying a holiday in La Gomera.
For this reason, Torres stated that the problem lies in the “re-opening of ports and airports, an option that is not on the table right now,” but will begin to be studied from June. According to the president, the low amount of cases of the virus in the archipelago has meant that there is “very small immunised population,” so if there is a regrowth there is “more risk” of locals from being infected.
It should be noted that the islands of La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa will enter, before the rest of Spanish territories, into ‘Phase 1’ of de-escalation: on May 4. The rest are scheduled to do so on May 11. Torres hopes that all the islands can go to ‘Phase 1’ that day, although he has some doubts with Tenerife, the island with the highest number of infections and deaths.