Covid-19, the second chance for Lanzarote

The wave of infections in summer in the Canary Islands broke the expectations of economic growth in the tourism sector in the autumn season

When in February people began to speak of a still unknown health pandemic, in Lanzarote nobody could imagine that Covid-19 was going to devastate the Canarian economy. However, Lanzarote had the hope that, after an acceptable tourist summer, the autumn season would arrive, in mid-October, ready to begin the economic recovery. The low data of infections before August in the Canary Islands drew this positive scenario. But, as is known, happiness in the poor man’s house does not last long. In August, infections soared, the issuing countries sold us and Lanzarote lost the opportunity to get ahead. Now comes the litmus test. Take advantage of the second chance that the pandemic gives us in the Canary Islands where contagions have finally begun to be controlled downwards.


(Report published in the Lancelot of October )


Be that as it may, in Lanzarote there were many more cases in August, most of them asymptomatic, yes, but the island has lost its image of a safe island, and that has had consequences. From mid-August to September, the Canarian tourism sector has been seeing essential doors closing for it to stay afloat. First, it was English tourism that said goodbye to us temporarily and until the data improved, later, and since the number of infections was only increasing, it was German tourism that began to demand quarantine from all Germans who returned from the Canary Islands. In the middle, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, Russia … The situation turned around and concern began to increase in the Canary Islands. The challenge now is to reduce the number of infections,


We have a second chance on the table, an opportunity to recover that image of a safe and coronavirus-free destination that was aspired to and that, unfortunately, remained by the wayside, but now no failures are allowed. The number of infections must be reduced in record time, it is necessary to carry out urgent PCR at origin and destination and ensure that those who come to the island can do so with complete peace of mind. The so-called safe corridors that should have been installed in our airports when they were opened to the outside are now essential. The Government of the Canary Islands has already said yes. The state too.


Tourism announces PCR at origin and destination


The Minister of Tourism, Reyes Maroto, announced in mid-September after meeting with the President of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, that in the Canary Islands PCR tests will be carried out on tourists both at origin and destination, with the aim of creating tourist corridors insurance for the winter season. In addition, Maroto pointed out that on September 28 a joint document will be approved between those responsible for Tourism of several countries that will be sent to the European Commission. The minister has also declared that they are working on other alternatives to reactivate safe mobility in Europe, without taking into account only the cumulative incidence of Covid-19, but also its impact on specific territories.


The Canary Islands find the key to avoid quarantine for tourists


The Deputy Minister of the Presidency of the Canary Islands Government, Antonio Olivera, pointed out last month that the community is waiting for a certificate that allows the tests carried out on tourists at the airports of the archipelago to be validated in their countries of origin to avoid having to quarantine.


Olivera, who affirmed that “a lot of progress has been made” in recent weeks on this issue, being able to convince the central government to carry them out and “make the Canary Islands a safe tourist destination”, also admitted that the “key” is found in how articulate it.


Specifically, he stated that what is being worked on now is that those tests that are carried out are “accepted by the countries of origin of the tourists”, since he pointed out in statements to Cope Canarias collected by Europa Press, that what is wanted “To avoid is that when tourists return they have to quarantine.”


He added that they are looking for the certificate issued by the Spanish health authority to be recognized by “all European health authorities, which is valid”, for which he pointed out that “surely the rapid tests are not yet validated, but the PCR, already identified, yes that will be able to be used “.


A healthy youth


Our young people are healthy. It can be said that the school community of Arrecife approved the screening carried out in its schools with remarkable high. Or that the virus runs very little among the child population of Arrecife (and therefore of Lanzarote) after carrying out the PCR on the educational community of the capital.


After more than 5,000 tests carried out in three days to the entire educational community, that is, to children, youth, teachers and cafeteria staff, only 15 have tested positive, 0.3% of the total. Furthermore, all of them are asymptomatic. In other words, none of them really had symptoms when the Covid 19 infection was detected.


Positive children and their classmates are confined until they are quarantined and the second PCR is performed. Furthermore, family members and people who have been in contact with these positive children or adults (teachers) have been confined.


Health sources assure that the tests have been very satisfactory both for the speed of the screening and for the obtaining of results, a number of infected that they consider really low in the children’s community of Arrecife, if we take into account that it is the capital of Lanzarote where the most absolute and percentage infections had been detected in recent weeks on the island.


Arrecife takes action


Apart from the measures taken by the Government of the Canary Islands itself to stop the incessant increase in coronavirus cases, the Arrecife City Council also took its own measures in September. One of them was to determine that the parking area of ​​the Fairgrounds, next to the Arrecife Theme Park, would be closed at night during weekends, holidays and prior to holidays to stop the use of this public space as a place of concentration juvenile for ‘bottles’.


The results were immediate, at the end of September the figures were already notably better, and at the beginning of October Arrecife and all of Lanzarote fell below 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. An average required by our visitors.