Ibiza and Majorca could open up for holidays in August – but with Britons told to stay away because the UK ‘took too long’ to go into lockdown
- Holiday islands; Ibiza, Majorca, Menorca and Fromentera, to remain shut to UK
- Balearics tourism minister Iago Negueruela says UK lockdown ‘took too long’
- Islands are expected to reopen in August for other nations, Britons excluded
- The Balearics attracted 13.6 million tourists last year, over a third were Britons
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
British holidaymakers are facing a summer-long ban from the Balearic Islands due to the UK’s ‘delayed’ lockdown – despite plans to reopen the islands to other nations from August.
Ibiza, Majorca, Menorca and Fromentera will not welcome Britons this summer because the UK ‘took too long’ to bring in its coronavirus lockdown, said Balearics Tourism minister Iago Negueruela.
Mr Negueruela told local media: ‘There are countries like the United Kingdom that have taken too long to adopt containment measures.
A member of Balearic local cleaning team cleans the streets of Mahon, Menorca, Balearics Islands, Spain, 28 March 2020
‘That also puts us in a different situation with respect to them.’
The islands, which form an archipelago off the east of Spain, have said they do not expect to welcome any tourists until August due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
All commercial passenger flights are currently banned.
Tourism minister Iago Negueruela said holidays on the four islands could start ‘minimally’ in August, but with only 25 per cent of the usual visitor numbers.
Balearic local cleaning team uses tractors to clean the streets of Mahon, Menorca, Balearics Isladns, Spain, 28 March 2020
He said this figure could gradually increase to 50 per cent over the following months.
However, he hinted that certain countries, including the UK, which took longer to take measures to restrict the spread of the coronavirus, will face a Balearics ban for longer.
Cancelling most of the tourist season is expected to cost the Balearics around €9.2 billion (£8.3 billion) and GDP is expected to fall by 31.6 per cent
Cancelling most of the tourist season is expected to cost the Balearics around €9.2 billion (£8.3 billion) and GDP is expected to fall by 31.6 per cent according to the islands’ Department of Labour.
Almost 150,000 jobs are expected to be lost on the four islands, with ministers admitting that Ibiza and Formentera, which rely most heavily on tourism, are likely to be hardest hit.
The Balearics attracted 13.6 million tourists last year, almost a third of which were from Britain, its largest overseas market, just slightly ahead of Germany.
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