The Canary Islands is exploring planning scenarios that could see international visitors being potentially re-admitted in October, as the islands strive to become "a world laboratory for tourism safety."
All hotels, restaurants, pubs, clubs, visitor attractions, shopping malls and beaches are currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but restrictions are provisionally due to begin easing from 9 May. Minister for tourism, industry and commerce, Yaiza Castilla, has revealed that Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote are to undergo extensive renovations to protect visitors from the coronavirus and ensure social distancing.
The Canary Islands have been hit hard by travel restrictions imposed to help prevent the spread of the virus, and it is expected that they will welcome just three million tourists this year, rather than the usual 15 million. Access controls are expected to be introduced at ports and airports when international travellers are allowed to visit again, and according to island newspaper, El Dia, health screening may be one of the protocols implemented.
For example, visitors could be tracked via a mobile phone app and may have to prove they have been declared free from the illness before travelling to the islands. Canary Islands' president, Angel Victor Torres, told Spanish daily, El Mundo, that the reactivation of international tourism was the third phase of the Canaries’ recovery plan. The first phase would be based around re-opening tourism and leisure activities to residents, the second around mainland Spaniards, with international tourism being restored in phase three.
“That way, in October, November or December, which are good months in the Canary Islands, we can begin to receive tourists from other countries,” Torres said.