Ibiza and Majorca could open up for holidays in August – but with Britons told to stay away because the UK ‘took too long’ to go into lockdown
- Balearic islands including Ibiza and Majorca could open for holidays in August
- But the islands’ tourism minister hinted UK tourists would be told to stay away
- Iago Negueruela said the UK ‘took too long’ to bring in its lockdown measures
- The Balearics attracted 13.6 million tourists last year – over a third were Britons
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
British holidaymakers are facing a summer-long ban from the Balearic Islands due to the UK’s ‘delayed’ lockdown – despite plans to reopen the islands to other nations from August.
Officials in Ibiza, Majorca, Menorca and Fromentera say they are not expecting to allow tourists in May, June of July but after that hope to see a gradual reintroduction of overseas visitors.
However, Balearics tourism minister Iago Negueruela has hinted that Britons will not be among those returning to the islands this summer because the UK ‘took too long to adopt containment measures’ in the fight against coronavirus.
Mr Negueruela told local media: ‘There are countries like the United Kingdom that have taken too long to adopt containment measures. That also puts us in a different situation with respect to them.’
However, he did not elaborate on how the islands would enforce a system whereby only tourists from certain nations would be allowed to return for holidays.
British holidaymakers are facing a summer-long ban from the Balearic Islands due to the UK’s ‘delayed’ lockdown – despite plans to reopen the islands to other nations from August. A member of Balearic local cleaning team cleans the streets of Mahon, Menorca, Balearics Islands
Officials in Ibiza, Majorca, Menorca and Fromentera say they are not expecting to allow tourists in May, June of July but after that hope to see a gradual reintroduction of overseas visitors. Balearic local cleaning team uses tractors to clean the streets of Mahon, Menorca
The islands, which form an archipelago off the east of Spain, have said they do not expect to welcome any tourists until August due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
All commercial passenger flights are currently banned.
Tourism minister Iago Negueruela said holidays on the four islands could start ‘minimally’ in August, but with only 25 per cent of the usual visitor numbers.
He said this figure could gradually increase to 50 per cent over the following months.
However, he hinted that certain countries, including the UK, which took longer to take measures to restrict the spread of the coronavirus, will face a Balearics ban for longer.
Cancelling most of the tourist season is expected to cost the Balearics around €9.2 billion (£8.3 billion) and GDP is expected to fall by 31.6 per cent
Cancelling most of the tourist season is expected to cost the Balearics around €9.2 billion (£8.3 billion) and GDP is expected to fall by 31.6 per cent according to the islands’ Department of Labour.
Almost 150,000 jobs are expected to be lost on the four islands, with ministers admitting that Ibiza and Formentera, which rely most heavily on tourism, are likely to be hardest hit.
The Balearics attracted 13.6 million tourists last year, almost a third of which were from Britain, its largest overseas market, just slightly ahead of Germany.
Yesterday it was revealed that the world’s biggest and most famous tomato fight in has been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, in yet another blow to the country’s tourism industry.
La Tomatina, in which 20,000 revellers pelt each other with ripe tomatoes, is held each summer in the town of Bunol, Valencia. It attracts competitors and spectators from all over the globe and is considered one of the biggest street fiestas in Spain.
This year’s Tomatina fiesta was meant to have been held in August for its 75th anniversary but Bunol council yesterday confirmed it has been cancelled.
That news came just a day after the famous Pamplona bull run was called off because of the pandemic.
Hotels and attractions have already been thrown into turmoil by the shutdown in one of the world’s top tourist destinations.
The San Fermin celebration is centuries old and typically attended by hundreds of thousands of people.