2021/04/22 14:19:50  Written by Canarian Weekly  National

The President of the Canary Islands Government, Ángel Víctor Torres, has announced this morning that the United Kingdom will include the archipelago in their ‘green list’ for international travel when the UK opens, which will be at the earliest May 17th, pending official confirmation of that date.

This is the second piece of good news for the Canary Islands this morning after the Netherlands confirmed that they are planning to resume flying to the archipelago next month, and that over 40,000 people have applied to be on the ‘test’ flight for an eight day trip in the islands, which will confirm them as a safe destination.

This announcement has coincided with the one made by the United Kingdom Secretary of Transport, Grant Shapps, who has referred to the creation of ‘green lists’ in which “the islands of Spain, Portugal and Greece” would be included, as long as they contain the virus and their epidemiological data improves over the next few weeks.

The big advantage of being on the green list is that only testing is required to travel, whereas in amber quarantine with tests on day 2 and day 8 of return are required, and in red passengers must stay in a ‘Covid hotel’ on their return to the UK.

At the moment there is no confirmation of which tests will be required. Currently it is PCR both ways, but the UK have said they want to allow antigen and lateral flow test for free, and previously the Canary Islands allowed antigen tests for anyone staying in licensed tourist accommodation, so we will have to wait and see.

It is expected that the UK will allow some international travel from May 17th, but that holidays en masse won’t be permitted until June 21st when Covid restrictions in the UK are lifted and the vaccination plan in destinations is further towards the magical 70% of population. An official announcement is expected in the next two weeks by the UK Government on what will, and won’t, be allowed.

In the meantime, Torres stressed that it is an “important announcement” for the archipelago given the weight of British tourism in the economy of the islands, and described these announcements as “two good pieces of news that show the desire to visit the Canary Islands”, and reiterating that all of us needed to hear it.