Travel corridors: Expert discusses ‘lack of transparency’
The Canary Islands were set to be one of the most popular winter sun destinations thanks to being the only place in Spain on the Government’s “safe” travel corridor list. Yet, devastation hit last Thursday when Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps announced the popular holiday hotspot would now be removed from the list.
This means Britons returning from the Canary Islands to the UK now face a mandatory period of self-isolation.
Though this can be reduced to five days as part of the Government’s new “test to release” scheme, this has not appeased “furious” Britons.
Tweeting directly to Grant Shapps, many holiday hopefuls questioned the Government’s decision, with some saying it made “zero sense” when looking at figures.
“Baffled, and furious. Yesterday booked flights for some winter sun to Fuerteventura. An island that yesterday had FORTY THREE active cases. Mr Shapps I dare you to respond and try and justify this decision,” wrote one angry holidaymaker.
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A second pointed to the number of active cases across all of the Canary Islands.
“Here’s today’s figures……..why penalise the Canary Islands as a whole? You classed the Greek Islands individually!!!!!” they wrote.
Another added: “Why not just separate the island that has an issue with cases being higher than you would like? Not every Canary island is in the same position.
“You were able to separate the Greek islands, why not the Canaries?”
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Experts have pointed to Tenerife as being the culprit for the Government’s decision after cases rose rapidly in the region.
In the seven days prior to the travel corridor decision, there were 96.1 cases per 100,000 recorded in Tenerife alone.
Throughout the rest of the Canaries figures remain relatively low by comparison.
In the same seven days, cases were recorded as being below 50 per 100,000.
The nation had also imposed new testing rules for arrivals into the country.
Many would-be tourists have since been left out of pocket.
“Please can you provide proof that Lanzarote cases are rising because I paid £240 for 2 tests today to go Sunday…I can’t go now because I can’t afford to isolate for 2 weeks,” wrote one irate Briton.
“Wasted £240 for 2 tests, more government incompetence in my eyes.”
In agreement, another wrote: “Same. Well actually £150 x 4. This morning. Now can’t go.”
The decision to remove the Canary Islands has been described as “devastating” for holidaymakers and travel providers.
Following the announcement, Paul Charles, CEO of travel consultancy the PC Agency, tweeted: “The Canary Islands (Tenerife, Lanzarote etc) are being removed from the travel corridor list due to rising infection rates.
“It’s utterly devastating news not only for consumers who booked #Xmas breaks but also for travel firms who benefited from the sales uplift.”
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