The Canary Islands government has vowed to cover visitors’ medical costs if they fall ill with COVID-19 while on holiday in a bid to salvage the islands tourist industry.
The regional government of Spain’s Canary Islands promised to cover all medical expenses as well as costs for an extended stay if the tourist needs to be quarantined.
The proposal is available to all tourists to the islands as the authorities look to salvage lost income caused by the pandemic and current quarantine restrictions from other governments including the UK.
The Canary Islands government said in a statement that the travel policy will be managed by French insurer AXA and will even include repatriations for health reasons if necessary.
The statement added: “It will last for one year and will exclude health conditions that were known of before the traveller concerned came to the islands.”
Regional tourism official Yaiza Castilla said the arrangement will “help the economic recovery of the archipelago”.
She added: “The Canary Islands have shown again that it is a safe holiday destination and will stand up for tourists from Spain or abroad in the fight against COVID-19 by covering costs such as medical bills, repatriation or accommodation for quarantine reasons.”
Meanwhile, travel agent Rian Rodber told Euro Weekly News: “Customers are certainly welcoming the offer, especially with winter breaks after missing out on summer holidays.
“One of the biggest fears of going to Spain is the medical situation if you contract COVID-19, now assurances have been made bookings have risen by 31.6 percent to the Canary Islands.”
According to local newspaper El Pais, the islands’ tourism sector has been badly hit by the pandemic and tourist revenue has plummeted by 66 percent.
Castilla said earlier this week that the Canary Islands will carry out PCR tests at its airports to help diagnose tourists potentially carrying the virus.
According to the latest figures from the Johns Hopkins University, Spain has registered 305,767 cases of COVID-19 and 28,499 related deaths.