‘Tourism’ blamed for ‘skewing’ Balearic Covid rates to look ‘more negative than it is’

Balearic Islands a 'safe destination' for UK tourists says expert

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Spain, as well as the Balearic and Canary Islands, are currently on the UK’s amber list for travel. This means double-jabbed Britons can return from the nation without the need for self-isolation.

However, rising Covid rates across the country mean it could soon be moved to the “amber plus list”, where quarantine rules apply to all travellers regardless of vaccination status.

In particular, the Balearic Islands have been highlighted as a “serious cause for concern” by travel expert Simon Calder due to the “positivity rate”.

As of July 26, the Balearic Islands have recorded 2,014 new cases of Covid according to John Hopkins University.

Despite this, a local tourism boss has said that the Covid rates in the area are not as “negative” as they appear.

“There are many reasons why those numbers are high and I think those statistics can be skewed to make it far more negative than it actually is,” Nathan Viva, founder of Ibiza Concierge Company told Sky News.

He points out that there are many tourists visiting the islands beyond those coming from the UK.

Thanks to the European Union Digital Pass for travel, he points out travellers are able to visit Spain from across the bloc.

“You have to remember all of our numbers are put against the official population which is 147,000 and during a peak summer of a regular year we have ten times that so every single person that has to leave the island has to be tested so even asymptotic people are being tested and are being added into our positive list,” Mr Viva pointed out.

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“That goes against our actual population, not the actual number of people who are really here.

“So, the rate of infection is a lot lower than what you might expect it to be based on the pure numbers once you delve a little bit deeper.

“We don’t feel like we have any massive negative number compared to other places in the world just because our population is so low and our tourist population is so high.”

Mr Viva also stands firm that the Balearic Islands are doing all they can to ensure the region remains a “safe” holiday destination.

“It is beautiful here in Ibiza,” he said.

“We have boats going out every day, we have villas being rented every day.

“We are very busy here.

“Precautions are being taken, people are wearing masks indoors, the capacity at tables is really low.

“All of the big super clubs, unfortunately, are not open at the moment because it is very difficult to contain thousands of people dancing on the dance floor unlike in the UK where they are open.”

Mr Viva also points out the vaccination rate is on the rise across Spain.

“The vaccination levels are rising up,” he said.

“We are about 50 to 60 percent at the moment which is not far off herd immunity so we don’t feel as though there is much more we could do to make it a safe destination.”

Ultimately, though, the decision on whether or not to travel is an “individual” one.

“People have to decide whether they want to run the risk of potentially having to quarantine on the way back,” Mr Viva said.

“Can they work from home? We don’t advise anybody to ignore any advice so we don’t want people to have to quarantine and then ignore that when they get home.

“It is a personal decision.”

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