The Canary Islands Government is convinced that the tight control of airports has helped them, along with their geographical location, to have the best data in Spain regarding the incidence of Covid-19, so it will continue to be strict with whoever comes to the islands, when they begin de-escalation.
“Canaries will keep airports closed until at least May 31st except for the minimum flights established”
The President, Ángel Víctor Torres, has announced today that if the Ministry of Health authorizes the islands to start de-confinement, then whoever takes a plane to the islands will only be authorized to enter if they present a PCR test result, or they will be subject to 15 days confinement.
But this does not mean that normality returns to air traffic, he said: The Canary Islands will continue until at least May 31st (and that date is not final) with its airports closed abroad.
At this time, Torres recalled, the largest islands only have three or four weekly passenger flights with the peninsula and can only take those, with limited capacity and controls in place.
In a third phase, for which there is no indicative date at this time, airports would be opened internationally.
START OF DE-ESCALATION:
Torres defended the fact that his community “is in a position to begin the reduction of confinement”, because it comfortably meets all the conditions required by the Ministry of Health, and because its insular location favours it.
“Deconfinement will start when it has to start,” Torres said before recalling that taking this measure requires the authorization of the Government of Spain, but he has also specified that the scientific committee that advises the autonomous community “affirms emphatically” that they have the right circumstances to start this Monday.
The President stressed that confinement measures have worked better on the islands than in the rest of Spain and, at this time, the Canary Islands meet the parameters required by the Ministry of Health to start de-escalation: its incidence rate for the last 15 days is 12 cases per 100,000 (20 are required), it has been 23 days with a rate of infection per patient of less than 1, and the impact of the coronavirus on the health system has been significantly reduced.
At this time, Torres explained, patients with Covid-19 only occupy 15% of beds “in all hospitals in the community” (Sanidad requires that it be below 30%) and less than 25% of the ICU places (the Ministry requests less than 50%).
For this reason, the Canary Islands have their proposal to start as soon as they authorize the progressive deconfinement of their population, which would be carried out in stages, in which progress would be made only if certain control parameters are met, without ruling out taking “steps back” if any of them advises to do so.
And while this process is being carried out, the Canary Islands would continue to maintain the same restrictions on entry to the islands through ports and airports that have prevailed throughout the state of alarm.
In practice, air traffic would continue to be closed for the vast majority of the population on inter-island flights until May 18th and, as of May 31st, the community would consider whether it is in a position to open its airports abroad.
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