When the tourism in Tenerife It was beginning to take its head out of the deep crisis experienced as a result of COVID-19 and the recovery of the sector seemed a veritable fact, the appearance of the omicron variant and, above all, the high rate of contagion in our main source markets , The United Kingdom and Germany, has once again brought a halt that shatters any optimistic forecast. Without going any further, the new restrictive measures of the Boris Johnson Government on its citizens, imposing again a PCR test on all passengers who enter the country, whether or not they are vaccinated, whether they are British or not, have created alarm among hoteliers and even bewilderment in thousands of citizens of the United Kingdom, who have caught these changes in full vacation in the Islands.
Specifically, in the south of Tenerife, hundreds of British tourists have formed queues in pharmacies to take the test, unaware that there only antigen tests (self-diagnosis) are sold, which are not enough to be able to enter their country again . A pharmacist in Los Cristianos described the situation: “They arrive at the pharmacy lost, not knowing that we only sell diagnostic tests, but they need a PCR to return to the United Kingdom and we do not do them here.” Pharmacies inform them of the PCR test they need and where they can perform it in the South area, that is, in the private hospitals Quirón and Hospiten, in the Eurofins analysis center in various towns in the South and Megalab and at the airport itself Tenerife South, by appointment.
The order decreed on Saturday by the British Government began to be executed on Tuesday and indicates the obligation to present upon entry into British territory a COVID-19 type PCR or Lateral Flow (LFD) test with a negative result, carried out within 48 hours. before the date of travel and another PCR test before the end of the second day after arrival. While receiving the negative result of this test, self-isolation is mandatory. Before that decree, the United Kingdom once again forced the use of masks in some public spaces, such as shops and means of transport. The British Executive had already eliminated the tests prior to the trip at the beginning of October and with this the increase in tourists bound for the Canary Islands increased, in such a way that the sector even spoke of a winter season similar in numbers to that of 2019 Now, again, these measures and the infection rates in the European continent stop these expectations in their tracks. “Some measures that create collateral damage to our economy,” commented the pharmacist, because “those who come to the pharmacy say that those who were going to come have already ruled out doing so.” We return to the starting box.