Backtrack: U-turn in Mallorca: “We didn’t want any holidaymakers at Easter”
The number of infections on the Spanish Balearic island is rising again. Two weeks ago, tourists were explicitly welcomed. Greece wants unrestricted entry for vaccinated people.
1:25 p.m., March 23, 2021
In view of the increasing corona numbers on Mallorca and the violent reactions in Germany the government of the Spanish region has pulled the emergency brake on tourism. The newspaper “Diario de Mallorca” wrote on Tuesday, citing the Minister of Economics of the Balearic Islands, Iago Negueruela, that foreign tourists would come at Easter. “Easter is not a priority for us. It is important to secure the summer season.”
It is not Mallorca’s business that tourists are allowed to come again anyway, but falls under the responsibility of the governments of Spain and Germany, stressed Negueruela. However, two weeks ago, the head of government of the Balearic Islands, Francina Armengol, had expressly invited Germans to spend their Easter holidays in Mallorca.
Mallorca is rowing back
For a few days now, Corona has also been on the rise again on the Mediterranean island. The number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days rose from around 20 to 30 in one week. Therefore, the regional government wants to close the interiors of cafés, restaurants and bars, which only opened again in mid-March.
On one point, however, the all-clear was given. The university clinic Son Espases on the island denied the reports that were also circulating in Germany that the particularly contagious corona variant P1 had been diagnosed on Mallorca. “We found variant B.1.1.28. The dangerous variant (from Brazil) is B.220.127.116.11, also known as P1”, said the spokesman for the clinic, Juan Carlos González of the German press agency.
According to information from the authorities, almost 8 a.m. travelers from abroad were checked at the island’s airport over the weekend, most of them were holidaymakers from Germany. A negative PCR test no older than 72 hours must be presented upon entry. A total of 121 travelers who had inconsistencies with their entry form were subjected to a second test. None of them were positive, wrote the “Mallorca Zeitung”.
The press office of the Greek Ministry of Tourism meanwhile, confirmed plans according to which vaccinated visitors from abroad would only have to prove the vaccination upon entry in the future, but would no longer have to present a current, negative corona test and would no longer have to comply with a seven-day quarantine. A corresponding decision should be published on Tuesday, it said. It is not yet known when these measures will actually be lifted.
The Greek government is pushing Similar to the Austrian federal government since the beginning of the year, it has been working on developing an EU-wide vaccination passport. The aim is to save the Greek tourism sector, which normally accounts for almost a fifth of Greek economic output.
The current solo effort should exert pressure to make it faster with the EU vaccination certificate political observers in Athens say. Other EU countries have already taken the matter into their own hands, including Poland, Romania and Estonia.