Spanish Flag and Union Jack.

Spanish Flag and Union Jack. archive photo.

23-08-2020Jon Nazca/Reuters

There is a very, very slim possibility of a lifeline for the Tourism Industry in the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands.

There was uproar when Majorca, Ibiza and Minorca were added to no-go area lists due to increasing infection rates in mainland Spain, particularly because there were a lot less cases in the Balearic Islands and infection rates here were nowhere near UK infection levels.

Now, the British Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps is suggesting that the UK Government consider regional lockdowns instead of lumping the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands in with the rest of Spain.

That’s sent hopes skyward that maybe, just maybe there could be some light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel.

"When Spain went into lockdown, we saw the numbers coming up in one area and coming down in others, so we do need to be absolutely sure that we're capturing the disease as it actually is and sometimes it's not quite as straightforward as it sounds,” said Shapps. "Where there are Islands, I think it's something we will look at and we are looking at, it all depends on the data, but we are looking at how you can regionalise effectively.”

The British Government has been heavily criticised for slapping quarantine rules on countries at the last minute and just this weekend some 20,000 holidaymakers were forced to make a mad dash to the airport to avoid a mandatory 2 week quarantine when they got home from Croatia, Austria and Trinidad & Tobago and some of them paid eye-watering sums of money to beat the deadline.

Shapps did warn travellers that ANY air bridge could be axed at short notice, but thousands took the risk and went on holiday anyway, clearly thinking that the worst possible scenario was unlikely to happen.

Mr Shapps has acknowledged that it is incredibly inconvenient for Brits to rush home from countries placed on the red list at the eleventh hour, but said that tourists who want to travel abroad should do so with their eyes wide open.

“This is a very unpredictable virus which doesn’t play ball in the way it can take off in a country, so anyone travelling this year knows there are risks involved,” he said.

Amidst all the doom and gloom there is actually some good news, but not for Spain unfortunately.

Portugal has been taken off the UK’s risk list, which means Brits can fly there without having to isolate when they return and it will come as no surprise to anyone that flights are selling like hot cakes.


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Zoe / Hace about 1 year

Britain talks, Spain acts No this is a surprise headline, but it is my headline and it is true. My sister , a long time residence of Spain travels to UK regularly for care work. After her last assignment she left UK and after a couple of month few days ago she returned , her reaction was : “ I am aghast! And angry”. Why? She arrived in UK, no control, no taking of temperature, no filling a form to say where she is staying. Only place where there was some kind of restrictions and rule was the National Express, her temperature was taken before getting in and every other seat was left vacant. She took the tube, half of traveller had no masks on, took the train to come to us, half of the people were not wearing mask and NO CONTROL, NO CHECK. Next day as an essential worker she started at 7 am in the morning calling every test centre near and far to have a test done. The only one offered eventually was a home test. She received it within. 24 hours, and then she had to wait from Sat until Monday for the test to be picked up or dropped at some box and probably will take another 48 hours before she receives the result. Since then she has been to a mall, supermarket, walking around and nothing. Social distancing is just a joke, wearing mask seems to be voluntary (the check out lady at Sainsbury’s told me half of the shoppers are not wearing it). The so called £100 fine is not for not wearing the mask but if a shop refused you entry and you started to fight and argue and they needed calling Police , the fine is for calling the police! You can download the exemption from the internet and keep it on your phone and refuse to wear a mask and then THEY ASK YOU TO SELF ISOLATE WHEN YOU ARRIVE FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY who are so much more careful and do much more testing. Frankly I know now, that the cases in UK are tenfold what the official stats is, people just do not bother to test… I know at least two people who had the symptoms but just stayed in, and got over it without registering.


Compo / Hace about 1 year

In fairness, the uk gov have only been ‘heavily criticised’ for the quarantine policy by the countries affected and SOME of those affected whilst on holiday. Polls show it is hugely supported by the Uk public and most of those travelling accept the risks they are taking at this volatile time. If the Spanish gov had taken responsibility for their own tourist industry and restricted flights in to the Balearics from Spanish COVID hotspots, then Mallorca et al would still be fully open to uk and german visitors


David / Hace about 1 year

Dream on and do the maths. The current 7 day cumulative cases per 100k of population in Mallorca is well over 100. The threshold for UK quarantine is 20.

The Infection stats are way worse than the first wave, all because they allowed domestic tourism from high risk regions of Spain without health checks. They’ve brought it upon themselves sadly.


Steven / Hace about 1 year

Except sadly, the Balearic's rate is way over the UK's specified 20 per 100k cases to be exempt from quarantine, even if they implement a regional policy.

The best hope is a test on arrival process that removes the quarantine requirement, and lets people start moving around with some normality.


Yogi / Hace about 1 year

Don’t you lot follow the news? Cases increasing, outbreaks on a daily basis, hospital covid-wards re-opening to accommodate the expansion in critical cases. Virtually no meaningful measures put in place to try to halt the rise, but plenty of meaningless measures like a smoking ban that isn’t a ban and bleaching streets, Lifting of the travel advisory? Delusional. Having said all that Boris Govt are as dysfunctional as this lot and seem to be improvising as they go. As in the GCSE debacle. So anything could happen. Maybe I/we should stop following the news too?