Tourists at Palma Airport.

Tourists at Palma Airport.

10-04-2021Ultima Hora

Alarm bells are ringing in the Balearic Islands after the cancellation of Jet 2 flights from Britain and an increase in infections in Germany.

Jet2’s decision to delay the flights until June 24, is a massive blow for those in the Tourism Sector, particularly hotels and transport.

Government spokesperson and Tourism Minister, Iago Negueruela, said he’s very concerned about the Jet2 announcement but pointed out that other groups, such as TUI will be operating flights.

"We understand that the Balearic Business Sector is concerned about the impact of the delay in the arrival of flights to the Balearic Islands from the United Kingdom,” he said. “The Government considers it a business decision.”

Minister Negueruela also commented on the new UK ‘Traffic Light’ system, which splits countries into three sections: Red risk areas, Amber intermediate areas and Green safer areas.

It must be ratified by the European Union,” insists Minister Negueruela. “We want London to catalogue by region, not by country. The Government and the entire private sector are struggling to reach the summer with minimum levels of contagion that allow for a season.”

The British Government has also announced that all travellers returning to the UK after mid-May will have to submit a mandatory negative PCR test and quarantine for 10 days if they’ve been in a risk zone.

Employers

The Hotel Business Federation of Mallorca, or FEHM, the Balearic employer CAEB and the Transport company FEBT insist that there is a desperate need to speed up vaccination in order to convey a safe destination message in emitting markets and say they fear that the start of the season will be delayed more and more.

“The information from London was very necessary because it allows for planning,” said FEHM President, Maria Frontera. “It is vital to continue to insist on tourist corridors because they are a practical and useful model between territories with similar health indices."

“The Balearic Islands must be at the forefront of the reopening of tourism in Spain and guarantee the health of its citizens and tourists,” stressed CAEB President, Carmen Planas. “The vaccination plan is crucial to be able to convey a clear and resounding security message in European emitting markets, to make sure tourists choose the Islands as their holiday destination and accelerating the vaccination process is essential.”

Planas demanded "preferential treatment from the Central Government because we are the Autonomous Community most affected by this crisis and Balearic GDP is double the national average.” She also advocated the vaccination passport "to prevent a new tourist contraction."

"Without an effective vaccination plan we will not have a season and that would be a drama for business owners and the Balearics,” said FEBT President, Rafael Roig.

Jet2 CEO, Steve Heapy has criticised the Foreign Office's vagueness over the revival of tourism in the United Kingdom.

“We are trying to run a business so that we can take customers away, but we need the Government to provide us with clarity to achieve this,” said Heapy. “The current lack of judgment prevents us from resuming flights on May 17, hence our postponement to June.”

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Ian K / Hace 26 days

Commenting about the UK's new Traffic Light System a Minister named Negueruela has said “It must be ratified by the European Union”. Why? What part of the UK being independent from the EU does this person not understand?

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George / Hace 27 days

People just need some sort of decision to be taken, some kind of system to be put in place to enable them to be able to plan ahead. If the islands suffer another year like last year it will be catastrophic for the economy and those individuals who's business's depend on tourism. It will take years to recover if there's no tourist season this year. Next year would see tourists arriving to resorts with most business's boarded up.

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Tom / Hace 27 days

No wonder the national government in Spain fed up with the constant exceptions and alterations to every rule they impose on Spain by Balearics government that only cares about tourism and the maximum amount of planes of tourists to dump onto the Balearics ! Do these governments really think that in a window of 2-3 months of summer its feasable to dump 1 million tourists a month on to the Balearics for a very short term gain till Autumn ?

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Lisa / Hace 27 days

So only now are the alarm bells ringing??

What will it take for the Balearic government to realise the severity of the situation?

The UK has sent a clear message it’s a minimum 50 per cent vaccination of the home population - or no ‘green’ travel.

Perhaps they need to look at what the Italians are saying about giving priority of vaccinations to the islands - to ensure some tourist income?

The islands will not survive on EU handouts alone. Income from tourists is vital.

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Majorca fan / Hace 27 days

The minister doesn’t quite get it does he. The traffic light system is for conditions of entry into the U.K. from territory abroad.it is not required for ratification by the European Union. U.K. is no longer a member of the European Union. If the minister truly wants U.K. tourism trade then his government should improve vaccine rollout which would reduce Covid levels and risks to U.K. from travel to Spain and make said system irrelevant. The other is what are the terms for Brits to enter Spain which are not clear.

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Timbo / Hace 27 days

When will the EU finally understand Britain has left. I sympathize greatly with the hospitality sector in Mallorca but Boris and his team are doing an astounding job to get us out of this crisis whilst EU leaders run around like headless chickens. Jet2's decision is a business decision based on the UK Government's sensible approach to protecting the UK so for Minister Negueruela so say “It must be ratified by the European Union,” suggests the EU continues to have power of UK constitution. Did she read the headlines on 1st January 2020 - like Elvis Britain has left the building !!!

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