PCR Tests, Yes! But The Spanish No?

During a press conference at London’s “virtual” World Travel Market, the President of the Balearics Francina Armengol this week reiterated that unless someone can provide details of a positive test then they will provide a means of testing at the airports and ports. She highlighted the availability of hotels to accommodate visitors who test positive, something not offered by other Spanish regions.
From November the 23rd anyone arriving from what is deemed as a country with a high infection rate will have to provide a negative PCR test within 72hrs. To be honest that’s most of Europe except, guess who? Spain! So the Government on the one hand comes up with a great plan to ease the infection rate but on the other decides that even though they still have a major problem on the mainland you can still fly in and out, without any checks. I have a friend who constantly travels to and from the mainland and he said that last week he went to Barcelona and back without anybody checking on where he’d been or where he was going. Bearing in mind that Cataluña is in full lockdown how ridiculous is that? In fact that’s completely negligent of a Government particularly here that is on its knees and wanting a return of the tourism masses but completely by-passes checking on its own people. On the front page of the Ultima Hora on Friday it said that 12 of the seventeen autonomous regions in Spain have a higher infection rate than the UK and Germany. They must change that situation and have tests for all or you are never going to get rid of the problem. 
The President also welcomed advances made with the vaccine, confident that this will help to restart tourism in March next year. That’s all well and good as I said last week but my other comment was a lot of businesses may take the view that Easter falls too early and it would be better to save opening until the beginning of May. Having spoken to a number of people in Tourism since last week. The majority agree with that fact and therefore they will wait until May. I hope the Government is talking to businesses or plans to incentivise them to open. As you don’t want to bring people here and half the island is still closed. 
The other message came from the Tourism Minister Iago Negueruela who said that as well as intensifying health security, the Balearics’ tourism recovery strategy is based on reinforcing the commitment to quality, on family tourism and on the elimination of “tourism of excesses”I’m yet to get to the bottom of what that phrase actually means but I’m sure the Government think it’s getting rid of the younger people in Magaluf, Playa de Palma and San Antonio. Once again as I’ve said before deterring younger people to come is harming a long term love of the island. By all means set the laws in place of what the bars and clubs have to do and that people coming here need to abide by. And if you’re going to do all that then make sure it’s policed properly. I noted this week that the Mayor of Calvia said they were struggling to put a budget together for 2021. I do hope that doesn’t mean a cut back in services, especially the Police. If we’re going to manage this change then it has to be done properly with the right resources. 
So what is the “tourism of excesses”? All inclusive hotels? All inclusive cruises that come in on a daily basis? Beach clubs that shower champagne everywhere? Or people generally having a good time because they’re on holiday? Let’s be honest we’ve all been guilty of a little excess sometime, isn’t that what holidays are about? If it’s done within the rules then I personally don’t see a problem. I think the Government need to understand that. Even our own President likes a bit of excess “allegedly!”
Right now I’m not aware of what can and can’t be done in Magaluf next season. Although I’m meeting with the Mayor next week to discuss it. It will be interesting to hear what plans are in place to kick start a resort that for the majority, by the time April comes around wouldn’t have been open for 18 months! There are a lot of for sale or for rent signs around the resort which doesn’t look good. I keep saying it but for me it’s one of the best beaches on the island and given the right direction and resources can once again return to being one of the top beach resorts in the World. 
It’s been a good news week so let’s keep up that positivity. Next week I’ll have some ideas to restart the tourist industry. 
Take care everyone and enjoy your weekend! Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance! Follow him on Twitter @DadTaxi1 & Instagram @dad.taxi or feel free to email him at rprior@globobalear.com

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