Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria could be added ‘soon’ to UK green list, regional leader says
The Canary Islands could be added “shortly” to the UK’s green list, said its regional head of government.
Angel Victor Torres has said that Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria could soon welcome British tourists in a huge boost for the summer holidays.
Britons can travel abroad for the first time this year from tomorrow – but only twelve countries have made the ‘green list’ which does not require a quarantine on return.
Spain is currently on the ‘orange list’, which means holidaymakers must self-isolate at home when they return to the UK.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock today warned Britons not to book vacations in European hot spots, including Spain and Italy.
But politicians in the Canary Islands, all of whom have low infection rates, have pressured Boris Johnson to treat them differently from the rest of Spain.
Mr Torres said he hoped Canary Islands Day May 30, a public holiday in the region, could coincide with the return of British tourists.
He said: “The government of the Canary Islands is in constant contact with British authorities and the UK’s decision to treat regions separately from nations is something that will happen.
“This is something that could happen imminently.”
The Canary and Balearic Islands, which include Mallorca and Ibiza, pushed British diplomats in Spain to get the UK to treat them separately from mainland Spain.
The Balearic Islands have one of the lowest transmission rates in all of Spain, with a seven-day average of 44 cases per 100,000 as of May 10.
And the Canary Islands are also one of the best performing regions in a national comparison of transmission rates per 100,000 population – with 83 compared to 245 in Madrid or 334 in the Basque Country.
The Canary and Balearic Islands have retained control of their ports and airports for domestic travelers after Spain’s six-month state of alarm ended last weekend.
Anyone traveling from Madrid to Mallorca must still have a negative PCR test.
Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark have also announced that they will allow citizens to travel to the Canary Islands without needing to self-isolate on their return.
Meanwhile, the Italian government announced today that UK visitors will not need to quarantine for five days upon arrival in a bid to revive the tourism industry.
But Matt Hancock dashed hopes of a spring break in the sun this morning, saying Britons should only go to tourist destinations like Spain or Greece if “it’s absolutely necessary.”
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He told Times Radio: “We have a green list where it is okay to go and that’s why we introduced the green list.
“But what I would say is that people shouldn’t travel to Orange List or Red List countries unless absolutely necessary. And certainly not for vacation purposes.
Boris Johnson admitted last week that the number of countries on the green list is unlikely to change due to concerns over the spread of new variants.