The doubts of the ‘premier’ despair the hosts of British tourism and Portugal threatens to impose quarantine on travelers from the islands

Javi martinezWORLD

Boris Johnson has finally given the green light to English tourists to travel to the Balearic Islands with hardly any restrictions. Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera have joined Malta in the privileged list of “safe destinations” to fly from England and Northern Ireland, after a day marked by doubts and despair of the host countries of British tourism. The Canary Islands, another territory whose tourist activity is highly dependent on British tourism, still does not go to the list of safe destinations drawn up by London.

The news was received like June water by the battered tourism and hotel sector in the Balearic Islands, recently reactivated by the arrival of German tourists, but waiting for the British wave to save the summer season.
The Canary Islands and the rest of Spain will, however, continue on the “mbar” list (with a mandatory ten-day quarantine upon entry into British soil), although those vaccinated with a full schedule may possibly circumvent the restrictions as of August.

Boris Johnson himself hinted on Thursday that there is “a great possibility of opening trips” thanks to double vaccination. “More than 60% of the population has received both vaccines, 83% have already received one and we continue to advance.” , declared the premier.

As a counterpoint to the news of the inclusion of the Balearic Islands in the “green list”, with which it had been speculating for the past week, The latest data on the increase in the incidence of Covid in the British Isles have once again set off alarms. Despite having the highest vaccination rate in Europe, the UK has once again taken the lead in daily cases (16,703 infections and 21 deaths), due to the spread of the ‘delta’ or Indian variant that has put the European Union on guard.
Chancellor Angela Merkel He urged EU leaders to take a united stance and quarantine UK visitors out of concern over the new variant. The french president Emmanuel Macron picked up the witness and even the Portuguese Government is also considering the new restrictions on British tourism.

Spain, Greece and Portugal lifted restrictions on British visitors in May with the intention of reviving their tourism sectors this summer and in the hope of some reciprocity from London. Portugal was in fact on the “green list” for several weeks, before the British government suddenly decided to backtrack and include it on the “amber list”, causing serious disruption to thousands of tourists and causing considerable political friction. .

The Portuguese Prime Minister, Antnio Costa, who came to criticize the arbitrariness and the lack of logic of the British system, in fact threatened Thursday to take revenge and impose quarantines on English tourists, following in the footsteps of Germany and France. Costecalc that the United Kingdom could be added to the list of countries whose visitors are required to quarantine upon arrival on Portuguese soil due to the high level of Covid infections.

The signals sent the day before by the European Union in fact delayed the announcement of the long-awaited revision of the tricolor list for several hours. The Secretary of Transportation Gran Shapps he had planned to appear before the press to report on the slight changes and new additions to the “green list”, which contained a few dozen places such as Gibraltar, Israel, Iceland or the Faroe Islands.

Northern Ireland actually anticipated the announcement concerning England, and included the Balearic Islands, Malta and Madeira along with several Caribbean islands on the “green list”, which frees visitors and tourists back from quarantine (although they are also required to present a negative “pcr” carried out in the place of origin and undergo a new test the second day after landing).

An internal study, revealed by The Times, has concluded that only one out of every 200 visitors from mbar countries has tested positive in recent weeks, which has forced a review of the system, harshly questioned by the air industry and by dozens of deputies ” tories “, with former premier Theresa May at the helm, demanding” greater openness to the world. “


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