British tourists to have movements tracked visiting Canary Islands

British tourists may have to prove they are coronavirus-free and have their movements tracked by an app if they visit the Canary Islands under new proposals

  • South Korea style mobile tracking will be required for British tourists on islands  
  • They will be required to hold a health certificate clearing them of Covid-19 
  • The proposals are hoped to get the Canary Islands up and running by August
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

British tourists visiting the Canary Islands could face being tracked via a mobile phone app and will have to prove they have been declared Covid-19 free before travelling, it was claimed today.

Respected island newspaper El Dia said foreign holidaymakers would be expected to download the app before being allowed to step foot in the islands.

The South Korea-style tracking strategy would enable health officials to identify the places they have visited and the people they have been in contact with in case they detect an infection.

Tourists leave H10 Costa Adeje Palace hotel, the first Spanish location to go into lockdown after a guest tested positive for Covid-19, in Adeje, Tenerife, Canary Islands, March 10, 2020

Canary Islands’ tourism chiefs are currently studying the easiest way of implementing the software, El Dia reported today describing it as a ‘second security key’ to complement a Covid-19-free certificate holidaymakers will also be expected to bring with them.

There was no immediate reaction to the report from the regional government or its Tourism Minister Yaiza Castilla, who said last week she wanted to make the Canaries a ‘world lab for tourism safety.’

Its publication coincided with the release of national health figures today showing a drop in the number of single-day coronavirus deaths to 367 – the lowest number since March 21.

Regional government chiefs in the Canaries indicated earlier this week they wanted to welcome back British tourists from October.

Guests peer out from a window at the H10 Costa Adeje Palace hotel, in Adeje, in the Spanish Canary Island of Tenerife, Spain, March 5, 2020

They said the plan was to open hotels in July or August for Spanish holidaymakers before receiving foreign tourists in autumn.

Tenerife was at the centre of an international coronavirus drama in February when the four-star H10 Costa Adeje Palace suffered Spain’s first lockdown after an Italian guest tested positive for Covid-19.

Canary Islands’ president Angel Victor Torres told local press: ‘The Canary Islands were the first to have coronavirus in Spain and now we want to be the first out of confinement.’

He also said the reactivation of international tourism was the third phase of a recovery plan based around Canary Islands’ residents first and mainland Spaniards second.

The Canary Islands with empty hotels and deserted beaches following the coronavirus lockdown. April 17 2020

Insisting the road back to recovery had to be graduated and ‘international tourism’ would be phase three, he told Spanish daily El Mundo: ‘That way, in October, November or December, which are good months in the Canary Islands, we can begin to receive tourists from other countries.’

Revealing the regional government’s plans for the reopening of hotels, he added: ‘The first forecast was June 1.

‘Today, that plan is too optimistic. If in the months of July or August we can get hotels open, we would be on the right path.’

Around 19 million Brit tourists visit Spain annually, making the country the UK’s number one holiday destination.

The Canary Islands, with 128 Covid-19 deaths and 2,094 confirmed coronavirus cases, is among the least-affected regions of Spain and far better off than areas like Madrid and Catalonia which have been hit the hardest.


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