Spain asks UK to evaluate the islands separately in 3 weeks time
Following yesterday’s announcement by Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, about which countries are on the UK’s green list for overseas travel, Spain was placed on the amber list due to the epidemiological situation of the country, which is a blow for both the Balearic and the Canary Islands whose data is, or will be, within their parameters for green list destinations.
Due to this, the Spanish Government has already requested that the United Kingdom re-evaluate Spain and look at it from a regional or even sub regional perspective, because in their opinion “nowhere offers information or facilities that are more adjusted to the evolution of the pandemic.”
They continued that “Spain respects that it is a sovereign decision of the United Kingdom on its own border regime", but conveys to the authorities of the country that "the evaluation based on national averages does not offer a vision sufficiently precise of the real epidemiological situation in regions of the country, especially the islands”.
In this situation, a separation should be more favourable to the Canary Islands due to their geographical location as an OR, an outer region. "Analysis at a regional level offers greater flexibility and is much more adjusted to the evolution of the pandemic," they said.
Currently there is a ban on all third countries outside of the EU and Schengen area entering Spain for other than essential reasons, until the end of May. The Government acknowledges that this can and, in all probability, will be amended to allow British travellers into Spain from May 17th under amber list conditions, as many people who own holiday homes or have family members living in Spain, still want to visit as soon as possible.
One of the main criteria that Grant Shapps highlighted as a reason for omission from the green list was progression of vaccinations, saying: "In this country (UK) we have managed to build a fortress against the coronavirus, but the disease is still present in other parts of the world. The success we have achieved in fighting Covid here, where two-thirds of adults are vaccinated, has not yet been replicated in many places abroad."
Spain’s vaccination program is governed nationally by the EU, although we are in the top 4 countries for numbers inoculated. It is possible, with the increase in supply and implantation of vaccines, that by the time the next green list review takes place that two thirds of the Canaries target popualtion will have received at their first jab, and the incidence rates will be stable within the necessary parameters.
The Canary Islands Government couldn’t hide their disappointment last night at being left off the green list, with the Minister of Tourism, Yaiza Castilla, saying that “We will continue working hard so that London will reconsider its criteria and include the islands in the next review in early June.”