The president of the Generalitat Valenciana, Ximo Puig, described the news that the United Kingdom has left Spain out of the list of safe travel destinations as “very negative”, while announcing that he will be meeting with Hugh Elliott, the British ambassador, to discuss the UK position.
Puig underlined the efforts that have been made by the Valencian Community to control covid, stating that “with less than 200 hospitalised patients we are the community with the lowest incidence across the whole of Spain.”
“We will do everything possible to make the British authorities understand that they have to distinguish between the different communities and areas,” he said as he presented a new advertising campaign with the slogan “Who has lived it, knows it.”
The President has insisted that “the Costa Blanca is an important and safe destination at the moment, so we would like the United Kingdom’s to reconsider it’s position. “We hope to reach an agreement,” said the president.
The poor overall situation in Spain has hurt the province’s tourism sector in the UK, which has put the country in it’s “amber channel”, forcing British tourists to quarantine for ten days when returning home.
Puig said that he applauded the move initiated by the Consell through the Regional Secretary for Tourism, Francesc Colomer, who recently held a videoconference with the British Consul in Spain, Sarah Jane Morris, whom he asked to convey to the British Government the fact that the Valencian Community in general and, the Costa Blanca in particular, can easily justify special treatment when setting the prevention requirements against covid, which will govern the visits to the area of British tourists from 17 May.
The province of Alicante , which until the onset of the pandemic received three million British tourists annually, also has 70,000 UK residents and, right now, has the lowest covid infection rates across the whole of Spain.
Puig wants the UK Government, when setting the colours of it’s traffic lights, to consider the rates of the virus in Spain by region, as they already do with the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands, and not as a whole.
“In short, the data in other communities should not penalise Valencia where we have extremely good sanitary conditions.”
Meanwhile, the International Air Transport Association has told governments that the high costs of covid tests could still make flights inaccessible and put them out of reach of the current budget of many individuals and families, halting any recovery to the travel industry.
It’s spokesman said, “To facilitate an efficient restart of international travel, tests must be affordable, timely, widely available and effective.”