British holidaymakers who travel to the Canary Islands will find any Covid-related costs are covered by the regional government, should they contract the virus.
The islands are included in the UK’s 14-day quarantine for travel from Spain and the Foreign Office advisory against all but essential international travel, a decision that has dealt a blow to the region's tourism-dependent economy.
It is hoped that this new measure to pay any costs that Spanish or foreign tourists could incur as a result of catching the virus during an island holiday, including health expenses, accommodation fees and quarantine charges, will provide reassurance to potential visitors.
“It will help the economic recovery of the archipelago,” Yaiza Castilla, the region’s minister for tourism, said in a video posted on Twitter.
The travel policy, the first of its kind in Spain, will come into effect this week.
It will be managed by the French Insurance company Axa and will run for one year.
Health-related repatriation costs are among those covered the policy, but health conditions that were known ahead of a tourist’s visit to the islands are excluded.
The inclusion of the Canary Islands in the UK’s blanket quarantine for travellers from Spain has caused much consternation, given their low infections rates – in the last seven days the Canaries have recorded 94 cases (4 per 100,000).
Spain as a whole has saw 1,772 new cases on Wednesday – the highest daily rise since lockdown was lifted in June. The country now has 78 infections per 100,000.
However, infections are mostly concentrated in a few regions.
Catalonia, the region that includes Barcelona, one of Europe’s most-visited cities, has some of the country’s highest rates – 6,708 (88 per 100,000) in the last week.
Both Germany and Switzerland have excluded the Canaries and Balaerics from their quarantine rules on travel from Spain, with the Canaries being some 1,360 miles from Barcelona.
Around 600,000 Britons were caught up in the Government’s announcement on July 25 that it would reintroduce quarantine for travel for Spain.
The decision came into effect with just a few hours notice in answer to rising infection rates.
Spain was included on the Department for Transport’s original travel corridors list for quarantine-free travel, which was published on July 3.