The weather and other favorable circumstances accompanied the steps of the recently finished Holy Week, in its two aspects. A few days before the strategy against COVID-19 enters a new phase of relaxation of security measures with the elimination of the mandatory use of the mask indoors and the recommendation not to lower our guard, this brief but intense period of reflection and leisure has met expectations after two years of limitations due to the pandemic. As is tradition, nerves and retentions complicated the return operation. Gone are the emotional expressions of devotion, the crowded beaches and the movements in the neuralgic points of connectivity.
The port of Los Cristianos yesterday registered one of the most critical days of the year, in terms of density of vehicles and passengers. Thousands of cars and travelers returned to Tenerife – most did so in the afternoon – from La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro, star destinations on these dates. This influx once again highlighted the limitations of the southern wharf, although the efforts of the workers of the Port Authority, shipping companies and Arona City Council alleviated the traffic problems at the time of disembarkation and through the streets of Los Cristianos.
Unprecedented operation in the port of Los Cristianos
To avoid the circulatory collapse of previous years, the Port Authority and the local corporation designed an unprecedented device that consisted of enabling an alternative exit route at the Chayofita roundabout, with a left turn towards the soccer field, in order to unloading the usual exit to the motorway. Even so, the caravans to leave the port area and in the nearby streets were inevitable throughout the afternoon. The presence of port police officers and municipal agents from Arona, and the Fred shipping companies, was also reinforced. Olsen and Armas collaborated by informing their travelers about the alternative exit route during the journey back to Tenerife about the alternative exit route.
Although the option, conveniently signposted with information signs, facilitated transit to the TF-1, it is not being considered as a definitive solution to the traffic problems in the area, but rather as a one-off formula on days with the greatest influx of travellers. In any case, the Councilor for Security of the Arona City Council, Francisco Marichal, confirmed to this newspaper late in the afternoon that the balance of the operation was “positive” and that the exits were carried out “in stages”.
The Canary Islands end Easter wrapped in haze and a yellow warning due to heat, strong winds and waves. The State Meteorological Agency (Aemet) reported in the afternoon that the highest temperatures in Spain had been recorded.
The classification is headed by La Aldea de San Nicolás (Gran Canaria), which reached 35ºC. Next, Arucas (Gran Canaria), with 34.7º; Tenerife South airport, 34.6ºC; Pajara (Fuerteventura), 34.2º; Adeje (Tenerife), 33.5º; Güímar (Tenerife), 32.9º; Arico (Tenerife), 32.8º, and San Bartolomé de Tirajana (Gran Canaria), also 32.8º.
The Ministry of Health has issued a statement in which it recalls the advice to combat the heat, such as drinking plenty of water, avoiding sugary soft drinks and doing without physical exercise.
In parallel, the Aemet reports that in Izaña (Tenerife) the strongest gusts of wind in the country were recorded at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, with winds of up to 63 km/h. The gusts reached 44 km/h in Agaete (Gran Canaria), 42 km/h in Arure (Valle Gran Rey, La Gomera) and 40 km/h in Tinajo (Lanzarote). Several islands will be on yellow notice today and tomorrow due to adverse phenomena: Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and several points in La Palma and Tenerife, this Monday, and Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, even on Tuesday. Gusts could reach 70 kilometers per hour.
In the economic sphere, the Federation of Hospitality and Tourism Entrepreneurs of Las Palmas (FEHT) is “surprised” by the high hotel and non-hotel occupancies in March and April, between 80% and 90% and 70%, respectively , and concerned about the impact of uncertainty on summer bookings.
During a telephone interview with Efe, the vice president of the tourist employers’ association, Tom Smulders, commented that, after the unexpectedly good month that was March, and that encouraged the sector after the damage it did at the beginning of the winter season -the high in the Canary Islands – the spread of the omicron variant of COVID, April has been no less good. For the western islands, Ashotel projected an average occupancy of 78% in Tenerife and La Gomera; 75% in La Palma and 87% in El Hierro.