The Minister for Social Rights and the 2030 Agenda, Ione Belarra, has announced that IMSERSO trips for the elderly will resume next October 2021, if vaccination continues at a good pace and health circumstances permit.
“We are already working on the implementation of administrative processes so that, once the health authorities consider it pertinent, both programs can be restarted: the social tourism and the hydrotherapy program. If the vaccination process continues at a good pace, and there is nothing to suggest otherwise, the next season of IMSERSO travel will begin as normal as every year ”, Belarra assured, this Wednesday, in the Commission for Social Rights and Comprehensive Policies of the Disability of Congress.
Before the crisis, according to the minister, 900,000 elderly people had been benefiting each year from the Social Tourism and Thermalism programs organized by the IMSERSO. Although, the Government suspended these trips in March 2020 due to the coronavirus crisis and, later, made the decision to permanently suspend both programs while the health situation did not allow their resumption.
“We are aware that older people have made an enormous effort this year to take care of themselves, staying at home, respecting restrictions, not seeing your sons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters. Older people deserve to be able to go out, travel and rest from this difficult year as soon as possible ”, Belarra stressed.
In addition, he said that they are aware of “the economic importance of this activity for the maintenance of many jobs in the tourism sector”, although he added that they must maintain “the principle that has governed all decisions so far: that of protect people’s lives above all else ”.
The various preparatory administrative works, such as the preparation of the offer of places or the drafting of the contracting specifications of the operators in the case of the Social Tourism program and the contracts with the Thermal establishments, began months ago, as required from the Ministry of Social Rights.
In December 2020, meetings were held and the contributions of the elderly themselves were collected, through representative groups, with the aim of receiving their demands and opinions regarding tourism and spa programs.
As explained from this portfolio, the campaign will be subject to the criteria of the health authorities and multiple factors will be taken into consideration, including: the end of the state of alarm, the development of the vaccination program against COVID-19, the verification of the maintenance of immunity over time and the general evolution of the accumulated incidence by zones or the eventual cancellations imposed by the mobility limitations if they occur.