The beaches of Canary Island remain empty due to COVID restrictions

Published on : Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Foreign arrivals in Spain have dropped almost 90% year-on-year in November, on Tuesday the official data has showed the results after authorities started new travel restrictions to restrain rise in infections.

In the initial 11 months of the year, almost 19 million international tourists visited Spain. Around 78% lesser than in the same time in 2019, the National Statistics Institute (INE) said. In November, tourists have spent 91% less than in the same month in 2019, INE said.

In the Canary Islands, the situation is even worse where mild temperatures draw maximum tourists through the winters of Europe. The beaches and hotels are completely vacant due to travel restrictions in the region, bringing local businesses to the edge of collapse.

“Right now, the situation is null, not a single person passes by during the day. They say more tourists will arrive, but we can’t find the way, every day we see no change,” said Chandni Mathrani, who owns a clothes shop in San Bartolome de Tirajana, Gran Canaria.

Germany and Britain have also added the islands to the risk areas, located off the West African Atlantic Coast, to their list of COVID-19 at the end of December after a rise in cases. From both of these countries, tourists account for about half the visitors to the islands, according to INE.

“There are maybe five flights a week, that is not enough for all the islands, it is impossible,” Mathrani added.

Between January and November, around 3.6 million foreign visitors visited the Canary Islands, 70% fewer than in the same time last year, according to INE.

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