New UK lockdown announced from Thursday, travel restrictions likely to harm Canary Islands recovery hopes
Just one week after The Canary Islands have been added to the safe travel corridors list from the UK, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tonight announced a new nationwide lockdown in England which will prevent all but necessary travel, for work or other exceptional circumstances, which is likely to scupper any recovery of UK tourist flows to The Canary Islands, which had been expected throughout November. Although not quite as restrictive as the first national lockdown, it seems travel restrictions will mean tourism is off the cards at least until early December for UK nationals.
In a live televised announcement this Saturday October 31, Johnson with his main scientific advisors Sir Patrick Vallance and Professor Chris Whitty announced sweeping restrictions, as of Thursday November 5, on non-essential travel, banning mixing of households, except in certain circumstances, asking the vulnerable to show extra care to avoid potential infections, with pubs and restaurants once again closed across the country and a raft of other measures attempting to bring infection rates down once more after a cumulative spike has been building since mid September.
Following The Canary Islands having been cleared last week for travel from the UK, a mass of new bookings were made with tour operators and airlines which now seem unlikely to be fulfilled, though many companies are trying to offer alternatives most insurance companies will not be covering cancellations as part of policies contracted after March of this year, when the pandemic situation became apparent. Holidays and leisure trips booked to start after Thursday, and for the next month at least, will now be contrary to the restrictions and thereby likely not to be going ahead, although UK airlines have said they will try to keep up to 30% of flights running.
Any holidays scheduled to leave prior to Thursday November 5 can still go ahead, and anyone who is already abroad should be able to finish their vacation, though of course there may now be added restrictions for anyone arriving back into the UK after Thursday.
The news is devastating for Canary Islands tourism that was depending on the renewed interest to boost an economic recovery over the coming weeks as we enter our peak winter season. The UK market is our biggest source of visitors annually, followed by the Germans who for now can still fly, though this bad news does not bode well for the travel industry, with many companies and associated businesses predicted to no longer be able to weather the lack of business likely to result from this latest turn of fortune.
Though disastrous for many businesses here on the islands, there are still many other source markets for Canary Islands tourism and, it is hoped, within the next four weeks, travel restrictions from the UK will once more be relaxed, though of course consumer confidence is once again likely to have been sorely tested.