Canary Islands is confident of tourist reactivation with the 'health passport'
The president of the EU, Ursula von der Leyen, announced yesterday that on the 17th she will present a legislative proposal to create a Covid-19 Green Digital Passport valid throughout the Eurpean Union, to restore mobility and facilitate travel between member countries. The proposal will be approved and operational for this summer, to save the tourism market.
The new document will serve as proof that a person has received the Covid vaccine, but may also include the results of PCR tests or Antigen tests for people who have not yet been vaccinated, or information that the owner has had the virus and fully recovered, and therefore has natural immunity.
At this point, the EU Commission wants to calm concerns about the “risk of discrimination, data protection, security and privacy.” They added that “This passport should make life easier for Europeans. The aim is to gradually allow them to move safely for work or holidays and leisure within and outside of the EU.”
It is now down to the member states to move quickly with preparation and deployment, after reaching an agreement on the data it should include, facilitating travel without PCR testing or quarantining.
The Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation of the Spanish Government, Nadia Calviño, assured yesterday that this Covid health passport "has to arrive before summer”, and that the Executive has formed a working group between Ministries to get it underway, “without putting issues at risk such as data protection”.
"Naturally it has to arrive before summer, Spain is the country that has the greatest interest for that , he reiterated. There are even countries outside of Europe "that are also interested in seeing the light as soon as possible, with a harmonized instrument to be able to safely recover tourism”.
In any case, Calviño stated that the "priority objective" is to reactivate tourism and stressed that after the announcement by the UK about the vaccination certification "the number of reservations has skyrocketed" due to the possibility that they can return to Spain from May. "This is very positive news that makes us think that the recovery will be very powerful, but we must take the appropriate steps to avoid putting it at risk," he said.
The Minister of Tourism for Spain, Reyes Maroto, pointed out along the same lines that the use of the vaccination passport will become widespread throughout the year. "Of course, we believe that it will be in summer when the use becomes general, but we need a volume of vaccinated population that guarantees that this mobility is safe," she said.
FRAGA EXPECTS A 'BOOM'
Finally, the president of the Association of Tourist Municipalities of the Canary Islands, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, who is also the Mayor of Adeje, has always been in favour of implementing the vaccination passport to facilitate travel, and said that “if the road opens up, from a tourism perspective we will do very well. Let’s hope we have it by summer so it can start," he said yesterday.
The mayor of Adeje is also optimistic about the boost in activity in summer. According to Fraga, "there is going to be a tourist boom, but for this situation to occur, it needs, in addition to the vaccination passport, an advance in vaccination to prop up a system that guarantees travel security."