SUNSEEKERS could be turned away from Majorca and Ibiza if there’s a big coronavirus outbreak, health chiefs in the Balearic Islands warn.
Around 20 outbreaks of coronavirus have been reported in more than 10 parts of Spain a week after it re-opened borders to international tourism
They include an outbreak at a Red Cross centre in Malaga on the Costa del Sol where the number of positives has reached 90.
Majorca, the largest of the Balearic Islands, was at the centre of a pilot scheme involving German holidaymakers which got off the ground a week before Spain re-opened to tourists properly last Sunday.
Regional government health minister Patricia Gomez, whose remit also covers Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera, said yesterday a new shutdown could not be ruled out.
She told respected Majorcan newspaper Diario de Mallorca: “We will definitely have small outbreaks of Covid-19.
“If we have an important outbreak among tourists this summer, we may have to consider closing the island again.”
Saying she was more concerned about a new outbreak this summer rather than in autumn, she added: “I’m more worried about summer in terms of us becoming more relaxed about security.
“We’ll have to see how the virus behaves and whether it is weakened by the heat.
“I am concerned there will be more cases during the holiday season.”
She also hinted tourists who fall ill with coronavirus could be made to pay for their accommodation if they test positive after arriving.
They will have to be put up in apartments in places like Calvia which have been set aside for those needing quarantine but not hospital.
She told the paper: “We will bill health costs like we always do. Both for Europeans with a European Health Insurance Card and non-EU citizens.”
Asked who would be expected to pay quarantine accommodation, she added: “That is something we still have to look at.”
The UK government’s current air bridge plan would open up travel between the UK and other countries by removing the need to quarantine for two weeks at either destination.
A traffic light system is being proposed, with red deeming the country high risk while green deems them low risk – France, Spain and Greece are considered to be the most likely to be part of the air bridge agreement.
However, Home Secretary Priti Patel has warned it will take time for these to come into place, despite suggestions they would be introduced this week.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps previously revealed air bridges will only be agreed with countries which have a coronavirus test and trace system at the same standard as the UK as well a low rate of the virus.
The safe travel corridors will be set up after the quarantine review on June 29 and the Foreign Office will change their travel advice from “against all but essential international travel” to allow travel to these safe nations.
Dr Hilary Jones said on GMB today: “Air travel is how this pandemic began in the first place.
“It’s how it spread from China to Italy, to Germany, to Iran, through air travel particularly, and we’re thinking of opening up all these air bridges.”