BRITS are to be invited back to Majorca and Ibiza ahead of the 2021 tourist season as part of a coronavirus safety test scheme – along with German tourists.

Last year, 3,000 German tourists were invited to the Balearic Islands in June to test their health protocols and travel arrangements.

The initiative was judged to have been a success but the tourism revival was then scuppered by the escalation of the coronavirus crisis which forced travel restrictions and border closures.

The new plan will include both German tourists and British tourists and is currently in the study phase by the Ministry of Labour and Tourism, the Ministry of Health and the private sector.

Brits were invited back to the islands shortly after the German tourist scheme which started on June 15, but the UK was not initially included in the project due to the escalating Covid situation at the time.

While limited numbers will be invited back this time as well, the inclusion of Brits is good news for UK travellers who are one of the most popular markets for the Spanish islands.

The Balearic's tourism minister Iago Negueruela has held various meetings with businessmen in recent weeks and has spoken about the project with some of the major hoteliers in the Balearic Islands.

However, he previously called it "utopian" to hope for a tourist revival by Easter, with holidays being written off until June.

President of the Aviba association of travel agents Francesc Mulet added: "We won't have an Easter.

"In order to have a tourist season, all the control measures will have to be applied during the first quarter of the year so that we can be 'clean' in May and June."

The government says the pandemic has caused a major problem for the Balearic economy and is planning "all possible scenarios to avoid another 2020".

A spokesman from the tourism department said: "We are working jointly with the private sector, in this case hoteliers, and the tourism pilot plan will only be launched when appropriate."

The plan will not be activated until the spread of coronavirus in the islands is under control and there is a "favourable evolution" in the main market countries, such as Britain which still has travel restrictions in force, as does Spain as a whole.

No date has therefore been set but those involved want it to be as soon as possible "because the viability of many companies in all sectors and thousands of jobs is at stake."

It already has the support of tour operators, business associations and airlines.

Last year, German tourists stayed in Majorca, Ibiza and Menorca and they stayed in a selection of hotels, apartments and their own second homes.

Following the news of the vaccination earlier this month, the Balearic Islands experienced a booking boom РMajorca saw holidays jump by 30 per cent.

Tour operators and airlines are also offering summer 2021 deals to encourage families to plan ahead, with some even extending their offers for holiday in 2022.

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