THE Canary Islands could be added to the UK’s green list “imminently”, its regional government leader has claimed.
Angel Victor Torres said Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria could soon welcome Brit tourists in a huge boost to the summer holidays.
Brits can travel abroad for the first time this year from tomorrow – but just twelve countries have made the “green list” which does not require quarantine on return.
Spain is currently on the “amber list”, meaning holidaymakers must self-isolate at home on their return to the UK.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock today warned Brits not to book holidays to European hotspots, including Spain and Italy.
But politicians on the Canary islands, which all have a low infection rate, have heaped pressure on Boris Johnson to treat them differently from the rest of Spain.
Mr Torres said he hoped the Day of the Canary Islands on May 30, a public holiday in the region, could coincide with the return of Brit tourists.
He 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.”
Both the Canary and Balearic islands, which include the likes of Majorca and Ibiza, have been pushing British diplomats in Spain to get the UK to treat them separately from the Spanish mainland.
The Balearic Islands boasts one of the lowest transmission rates in the whole of Spain, with a seven-day average of 44 cases per 100,000 as of May 10.
And the Canary Islands is also one of the best-faring regions in a national comparison of transmission rates per 100,000 inhabitants – with 83 compared to Madrid’s 245 or the Basque Country’s 334.
Both the Canary and Balearic islands have retained control over their ports and airports for national travellers after Spain's six-month state of alarm ended last weekend.
Anyone travelling from Madrid to Majorca must still have a negative PCR test.
Germany, Holland and Denmark have also announced they will allow citizens to travel to the Canary Islands without the need to self-isolate when they return.
Meanwhile, the Italian government announced today that British visitors would not need to quarantine for five days on arrival in a bid to kickstart the tourism industry.
But Matt Hancock dashed hopes of a Spring break in the sun this morning, saying Brits should only travel to tourist hotspots such as Spain or Greece if “absolutely necessary”.
He told Times Radio: “We have a green list where it's okay to go and that's why we've brought the green list in.
“But what I would say is that people should not travel to amber or red list countries unless it's absolutely necessary. And certainly not for holiday purposes.”
Boris Johnson admitted last week that the number of countries on the green list was unlikely to change amid concern over the spread of new variants.
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