The idea of test flights for tourists has previously been proposed by the hoteliers. | Daniel Espinosa


President Armengol has suggested that there should be "test flights" with tourists in June when the Balearics enter Phase 3 of the de-escalation plan. Speaking on radio on Thursday, Armengol said that "when we have national flights, there should also be international flights", adding that the Balearics should have air connections with parts of Europe that have similar levels of infection as the islands.

Referring to the European Commission's recommendations for the reopening of ports and airports, the president stated that these needed to be more specific but that they were "going in the right direction" by proposing that flights be resumed between areas where the control of the virus is similar. She observed that national governments have powers regarding health and borders and called for there to be bilateral or multilateral agreements between Spain and other countries. She stressed the need for there to be a common app to provide a "safe formula to track infection and avoid outbreaks".

Her government, she noted, is working with an app for voluntary use. Health data can be entered into this, and the app alerts users if they are in contact with anyone who is positive for coronavirus. This operates in accordance with data protection law.

On the fourteen-day quarantine, Armengol explained that the government's concerns had been expressed to the national tourism minister, Reyes Maroto. "We need to open up economic activity, to do it safely and with health checks." She also asked Maroto for national government consideration to be given to discounts for Spanish residents travelling to the Balearics this summer. This is because people are likely to choose destinations on the mainland as it will be cheaper to get to them if they don't have to fly.

Armengol emphasised that the summer tourism season has not been lost. The national government is sensitive to the problems of the Balearics, "but is also afraid to open everything". For this reason, there needs to be an international framework for mobility with a technological solution for tracking and contact tracing.