Tourism restarts on July 1st in Gran Canaria, the Canary Islands and Spain although we don't have many details about how it will all work. Here's what we know about travel and tourism in Gran Canaria during the rest of 2020 and beyond.
Spain's borders are currently sealed to everyone who isn't Spanish, an official resident of Spain, or one of a small number of workers from key industries such as aviation, healthcare and transportation. The border closure is in place until June 30th.
The EU's borders are sealed to all non-EU citizens and and many EU countries are restricting international travel for most of 2020.
Travel between the Canary Islands is now allowed without any restrictions and some hotels and apartments are reopening during June. More will reopen during July.
The Canary Islands president and several other government sources have stated that the islands hope to welcome Spanish tourists during the summer of 2020. This will depend on the Coronavirus case levels on the islands remaining low, and on declining levels in the rest of Spain. The two main airports in Spain, Madrid and Barcelona, are in zones that have suffered most from Covid-19.
However, the Spanish authorities now regard the epidemic to be under control and national tourism will restart on June 15.
Everyone in the Canary Islands has endured a long and strict lockdown and the islands now have one of the lowest levels of Coronavirus in Europe. The virus is no longer in community transmission according to local health authorities. This is positive for island residents and for the future of tourism here although many locals worry that tourists will bring Covid-19 back.
The Canary Islands will open to tourism with the rest of Spain on July 1st. However, the working assumption in the Canary Islands is that there will be few international tourists visiting the Canary Islands in the summer of 2020. Setting up tracking apps and travel protocols will take time and even if a vaccine or effective treatment emerges it will not be manufactured fast enough to save the summer.
At best, the Islands could get 20-30% of the normal number of tourists in the last months of 2020 with number picking up at the start of the winter season in October 2020.
The situation with Great Britain is complicated because the country still has a higher number of virus cases than Spain. We are waiting for news about how the islands plan to adress this. They may insist on people getting a test before they travel.
The ongoing Brexit process also makes the future of travel between the UK and the Canary Islands more complex. If the EU keeps it external borders closed, British tourists would not be allowed to fly to the Canary Islands after the UK leaves the EU.
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