Thousands of German tourists due to arrive in Mallorca from Monday to take part in a coronavirus protection experiment will not be tested before they travel.
Island president Francina Armengol says she is happy with the health arrangements being made prior to the experiment which include temperature checks and detailed questionnaires to be filled in whilst in the air.
There will also be follow-up phone calls once the German holidaymakers have arrived.
Originally, it was intended to ask all arrivals to take a coronavirus test and then put them into isolation for six hours to await the result.
Francina Armengol says this won’t now happen but Madrid has approved the “rules” of the pilot project which is intended to check out the coronavirus protocols drawn up by the Balearic government prior to the full opening of international borders.
The experiment has already got over other potential hurdles, such as Spain’s 14-day quarantine regulation, due to be lifted on July 1st, but wavered for the Balearics.
Germany has also advised its citizens not to travel to Spain until August 31st but this advice has also been negated for the Mallorca plan.
And although Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez previously announced that the country would be open for holidays from July 1st, a special exception was made for the Balearics to accept German holidaymakers from June 15th.
Around 10,900 are expected to start arriving on Monday and Tuesday and will spent five nights in hotels, other accommodation of their own second homes.
According to reports in the Spanish press, requests to join in the experiment have been “flooding” in.
They will be staying in Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera. However, not everyone is happy about the experiment.
The Canary Islands have stressed they won’t be taking part in any similar plan unless visitors take coronavirus tests at source.
And the Andalusian government, which covers the Costa del Sol, says it wants to do something similar but is worried about the health checks planned by the Balearics.
Vice-president Juan Marín said: “What is the Balearic experiment doesn’t work? What if infections occur? If so, Andalusia is not going to be able to receive German tourism.”
Spain’s Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, said yesterday that the Government was “open” to study the proposal of the Canary Islands to carry out PCR tests on tourists.
However, to implement the measure, reciprocity agreements would have to be reached with other countries.
The Spanish government also says other regions of Spain can put forward their own proposals for holiday pilot schemes in the time remaining between now and July 1st.
The German tourists heading to the Balearics next week will be given public health forms (Passenger Location Card, PLC) to complete on the plane.
Union sources have shown their “surprise” at the change of plan over diagnostic tests for workers in contact with tourists but the Balearic government says all details of the plan have been approved by the central government.
This includes the numbers of 10,900 which has escalated from the original 6,000.