Canary Islands seek night curfews just as Brits enticed with cheap holidays

·2-min read
People sunbathe on a beach in Spain  (REUTERS)
People sunbathe on a beach in Spain (REUTERS)

The Canary Islands want to reintroduce night curfews to counter soaring coronavirus infections among unvaccinated youngsters that is threatening to scupper summer holidays.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed yesterday double-jabbed Brits returning from amber-list destinations will avoid quarantining later this month.

Britons are being enticed to the Canaries and the rest of Spain with bargain summer deals from just £330 per person.

But in Spain, Covid-19 cases began surging from mid-June, propelled by the Delta variant and increased socialising among younger groups.

The Canaries’ regional government called on the Supreme Court to authorise a 12.30am to 6am curfew on Tenerife, which has the highest coronavirus incidence.

On Friday, regional leader Angel Victor Torres defended the move saying it would prevent crowds building up at night and over the weekends.

Heathrow arrivals (PA Wire)
Heathrow arrivals (PA Wire)

He told Cadena Ser Radio said: “Pressure on hospitals is starting to grow.

“In Tenerife, ICU occupation is at around 15 per cent and young people are being admitted to intensive care.”

Hospital admissions have begun to edge up but remain far below levels seen earlier this year, while intensive care occupancy is less than seven per cent across the rest of Spain.

Daily deaths have been declining since April as the most vulnerable groups, such as elderly people and those with pre-existing conditions, have been vaccinated.

Since a state of emergency expired in May, regional authorities have been responsible for the pandemic response.

But they need court authorisation or a government decree for strict measures like lockdowns, travel bans and curfews.

Valencia, home to the popular resort of Benidorm, and the central region of Castilla and Leon, had already asked the central government for curfews.

Health minister Carolina Darias said on Wednesday that they were “not on the table."

Germany has since designated Spain a high-risk area and France has warned its citizens from visiting, though Spanish Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto defended Spain as safe.

Travel firms reported accelerated bookings after the Government announced that fully vaccinated Britons and under-18s will be exempt from quarantine measures when returning to England from amber-list countries from July 19.

The plans mean people travelling back from destinations, such as France, Spain and Portugal, can move as freely as from green list countries if they have been double-jabbed.

Travel firm Skyscanner said that 30 minutes after Thursday’s announcement there was a 53 per cent increase in searches in the UK compared with a day earlier.

EasyJet bookings to amber-list destinations rose by 400 per cent, the airline said.

Traffic to the British Airways website almost doubled after the announcement, with Spain and the US among the most searched destinations.

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