Worries about UK family tourism. | Archive

According to the president of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, Spain's health ministry is looking to find a "solution" to the current requirement for UK children aged 12 and over to be double vaccinated in order to enter Spain.

The Canary Islands, the most popular of Spain's regions in the low season, have been affected by this requirement. It is less of an issue for Mallorca right now, but there have been calls from other parts of Spain for an immediate change - Benidorm, for instance. But for Mallorca and all tourist regions, there are bookings for Easter and the summer to be concerned about.

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Torres says that he has been in talks with the national health and tourism ministries ever since the Spanish government adopted this measure. With Covid incidence rates having dropped significantly, the health minister, Carolina Darias, is said to now be studying a change.

The Canarian president suggests that the solution could entail single vaccination plus a negative test (unspecified as yet) and is hopeful of an announcement being made in the coming days that will "combine both health and economic activity criteria".

In recent days, hoteliers groups in Spain have been expressing criticisms of the requirement. Jorge Marichal, president of the CEHAT national confederation of hotel associations and the president of the Tenerife hoteliers association, said last week: "It has done us a lot of harm. Since December, we've lost many bookings from British families. While our competitors are opening their borders to the British market, Spain is continuing to place obstacles to those under 18 and, therefore, to family tourism.