British sunseekers have been given a boost after the UK announced that it would be adding the popular Canary Islands to its safe list.
The UK’s Department of Transport said that new additions to the travel safe list were due to a decrease in the number of confirmed Coronavirus cases.
In a video message, the British Ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliott said, “The decision follows the joint biosecurity centre’s latest risk assessment for the Canary Islands, which indicates that the risk to UK public health has decreased to an acceptable level”.
The changes will apply to citizens from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland arriving back to the UK from 4 am on Sunday, October 25.
As a result of the change, those returning to the UK from the Canaries will no longer be required to self-quarantine for 14 days on their return. However, any passengers will still be required to complete a passenger locator form.
The announcement will be a welcome boost to the UK and Spanish travel industries, both of which have been heavily impacted by the pandemic.
The Canary Islands including Tenerife, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria have long been a summer favourite for British holidaymakers and a key destination for UK airlines and tour operators.
Due to their fantastic year-round climate, the islands are extremely popular with those looking for a winter break in the Spanish sun.
"The Canaries are a hugely important market for winter travel - representing over 50% of bookings for some tour operators - so this is very welcome news for the whole sector," said industry body Airlines UK.
Managing director of TUI, Andrew Flintham said that the tour operator had been restricted from offering holidays to the islands for the past 89 days.
He said, "We're therefore delighted that UK flights will now resume from Saturday 24 October. The first flights will depart to Fuerteventura and Lanzarote this weekend, with many more added in the coming days."
Unfortunately, the Balearics, another popular holiday destination will remain on the quarantine list. However, the Spanish government recently announced that they would be making proposals to create safe travel corridors to both islands for those wishing to holiday there.
Under the proposals, which were agreed between the central and regional governments, passengers would no longer need to self-isolate if they could provide a negative COVID-19 test on arrival which would have to be taken 48 hours prior to travelling.
Anyone who did test positive while on the islands would need to be placed in quarantine at a dedicated hotel and would only be permitted to leave once they had tested negative. All accommodation costs along with any treatment would be funded by the regional governments.
Despite the positive news, the UK Foreign Office still advises British nationals against all but essential international travel to Spain and its islands due to the pandemic.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
January 14, 2021