The President of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, Antonio Morales, has called on the Spanish state government to immediately authorise the use of antigen tests for travellers instead of the more expensive PCR tests to save the winter tourist season in the Canary Islands.
The the island government supports the demands of the tourism sector to reactivate the main economic activity of the island, repeating that the antigen tests allow detection of the virus with a level of reliability sufficient to receive tourists in safety and thereby favors socioeconomic reactivation.
The mandatory requirement for PCR tests for anyone travelling from a high risk area is preventing in practice tourists from coming due to the high price, which can range between 150 and 200 euros, although some UK airports have subsidised the cost, however in some countries they are not freely accessible at all, as they are reserved for hospital use or for those identifiably at risk.
The Cabildo, in their considered opinion, believes that the Government of Spain has no reason not to authorise this type of test and therefore demands that it complies with the request from both the hotel businesses and the Government of the Canary Islands.
The positive evolution of the pandemic in the Canary Islands archipelago has allowed the islands to be the only open tourist destination in Europe, which represents an opportunity for tourism activity in the archipelago and for the European tourism sector that is being slowed down by this current requirement for entry to Spain.
The island president warned that if airlines and tour operators do not have bookings for the Canary Islands between now and March, there is a high risk of many dealing with bankruptcy that could permanently damage connectivity with the islands.