The Canary Islands’ regional government leader, Angel Victor Torres, has said that the region will be put on the UK’s green list “imminently”. If the UK Government agrees to add the islands to the list, it will be the thirteenth destination to welcome British visitors from tomorrow, May 17.
More lockdown rules are expected to be lifted tomorrow, including the ban on foreign travel.
Britons will be able to travel quarantine free to 12 countries, which were announced by Boris Johnson’s government last week.
These destinations include Iceland, Portugal, Gibraltar, Israel, and more.
The list can be updated or changed at any time, and The Canary Islands could be its latest addition.
Mr Torres said that he hopes the Day of the Canary Islands, a public holiday which takes place on May 30, could coincide with the return of British tourists to the islands.
The regional government leader said: “The Canary Islands’ government is in permanent contact with the British authorities and the UK’s decision to treat regions separately from nations is something that will happen.
“It’s something that could occur imminently.”
Spain is not currently on the UK’s green list, but its islands, such as the Canaries and the Balearics, want to be treated differently to the mainland by the British government.
The Spanish islands, which include destinations such as Majorca, Ibiza, Tenerife, and Gran Canaria, currently have control over their own ports and airports for national travellers.
Residents in Spain can travel to the islands provided they have a negative coronavirus PCR test.
The islands COVID-19 rate is lower than mainland Spain’s, with the Balearic Islands boasting one of the lowest cumulative transmission rates across the whole of the Spanish territories.
However, the Spanish region of Valencia has the lowest transmission rate of all, and its government also wants the UK to “regionalise” its green list.
If some Spanish regional governments get their way, Britons could be permitted to travel quarantine free to some parts of Spain this summer and not others.
Although the Canary Islands is not yet on the UK’s travel green list, other European countries have announced that they are allowing their citizens to travel to the region without having to self-isolate on return.
These countries are Germany, Holland, and Denmark.
Yazia Castilla, the Canary Islands’ tourism minister, has also commented on the relationship between the UK and the Spanish islands.
She told Tenerife newspaper El Día: “We have been talking with all the right people for more than a year now, without waiting in many cases for conversations to take place in the bilateral Spain-United Kingdom framework.
“Even with the traffic light the UK categorises destinations on amber, the underlying demand is intense,” Ms Castilla added.
“We’ve been intensifying our efforts to get the UK to treat the Canaries individually, separately from the rest of Spain, as Germany has done.”
“We’re not alone in this.
“Can you imagine the pressure the airline industry association is putting on Boris Johnson’s government to make him see that it’s not just something that benefits the destination but that they also need us.”