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Hoteliers offer to pay for tourists' Covid-testing: “Spain's contagion rate is lower than EU and UK average”
28 July 2020 @ 22:05

NATIONAL hotel chains in Spain have offered to pay for foreign tourists to be PCR-tested before they return home to avoid their having to quarantine after their trip.

The Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Apartments (CEHAT), responding to the UK's decision to order two weeks' quarantine for all incomers from Spain – including Brits coming back from their holidays – said its members were willing to pay for every single visitor from abroad to be tested for Covid-19 just prior to their return journey, so they could show proof upon arrival in Britain that they were not infected.

PCR tests detect the virus even before symptoms begin to appear – in fact, around half of the new cases in Spain since lockdown finished are asymptomatic – and some of the reason for the sharp rise in diagnoses is due to faster and more widespread testing and contact-tracing.

CEHAT's chairman Jorge Marichal said: “Covid-19 tests are essential; and not just testing prior to departure, but also in destination.

“We hoteliers are willing to bear the cost of these, and are willing to cooperate to enable reciprocal arrangements so that our customers are not just tested in their countries of origin, but can also be sent back home after being tested at their holiday destination so they can avoid having to quarantine on their return.”

“CEHAT is calling for the European Union to take urgent health measures to guarantee maximum tourist safety both at origin and in destination.”

Hotels' funding of PCR tests for foreign visitors would not be limited to holidaymakers from Britain, but would cover all tourists coming from other countries.

Boris Johnson's government announced at the weekend that anyone travelling to the UK from Spain, of any nationality and including returning holidaymakers who habitually live in Britain, would have to self-isolate for 14 days, which effectively means that British tourists hoping to book a two-week break in Spain would need to take four weeks off work, unless they work from home, and would not be able to see anyone other than fellow household members they had travelled with, or leave the house, for a fortnight after coming back.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced identical steps.

CEHAT says this is a bitter blow at a time when Spain's tourism industry was just starting to recover well and the country was already welcoming British holidaymakers, among other nationalities.

“We're working very closely with the government to make British authorities see that the necessary steps need to be taken – but only the strictly necessary steps,” Marichal says.

“The incidence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Spanish tourism destinations is very low.”

Outbreaks, although reported in every region, are localised, and the main affected areas are the Catalunya provinces of Barcelona and Lleida, and the Aragón province of Huesca, bordering the Pyrénées.

Typical 'Brit' destinations such as the Costa Blanca, Costa del Sol, Balearic and Canary Islands have seen few, or no, new cases of Covid-19 – in fact, some parts of these areas have only had one or two at the most after more than two virus-free months.

Read more at thinkSPAIN.com

 



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Astronautilus said:
01 August 2020 @ 10:07

"Typical 'Brit' destinations such as the Costa Blanca, Costa del Sol, Balearic and Canary Islands have seen few, or no, new cases of Covid-19 – in fact, some parts of these areas have only had one or two at the most after more than two virus-free months."

I'm not sure where this information came from but we're certainly seeing spikes on the Costa del Sol, especially Malaga and Marbella.

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