The British Ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliot, has estimated that “a few hundred” British expats have been infected by the coronavirus and around “30 or 40” have died of the virus.
In an interview with voxpopuli.com, Elliot said that the numbers were estimates, since definitive figures aren’t available, but pointed out that, with 400,000 Britons officially resident in Spain, there were bound to be victims, and that British residents in Spain could count on “a great health service.”
When asked about Scotland’s proposal to ask for a two-year extension to the Brexit transition period, Elliot repeated the UK government’s line that the crisis would not affect the timetable for leaving the EU. “We recognise that the Scottish government has a different view,” he said, “But it’s the British government who is doing the negotiating for all of the British family. Our position is to work to reach a deal that will end the uncertainty for individuals and businesses, so that we all know the rules of the game.”
The Ambassador also said that he believed the coronavirus crisis may improve relations between the UK and the EU, “This drama that we’re living through is what unites us, and our common interests, rather than creating obstacles, help us to imagine shared goals.”
Elliot rejected the idea that the UK’s situation reflected Churchill’s stand against Germany in 1940. “This is a global challenge, “ he said “All nations are united against a common enemy, and the research to find a vaccine is a worldwide task shared by everyone.”
Meanwhile, Spain’s health minister, Salvador Illa, appeared at a press conference yesterday to confirm that children will be allowed to leave the house from Sunday onwards. The minister endorsed the proposals made by the government’s Family and Children ‘s Department which allow up to three children under 14 to leave the home accompanied by an adult or older sibling between the hours of 9am and 9pm. The children can take toys outside and must not travel more than 1 kilometre from their home.
These regulations, however, do not conform with Canarian proposals that would only allow children out between the hours of 4pm and 7pm., but which also provide separate “windows” for older people (11am to 1 pm) and those who wish to do exercise (5am to 9am, and 8pm to 11pm). The Canarian proposals are reliant on approval by central government, who have promised to take the regions into account in their new decree.
Canarian health councillor Julio Pérez said yesterday that central government’s initial response to the proposals had been “reasonable”, but that the measures, if approved, would be introduced in successive stages.
Rental aid on the way
The Canarian Government’s housing department will shortly be opening the process to apply for financial assistance with rent for those most seriously affected by the COVID-19 crisis. To apply, you’ll need a cl@ve pin digital access code, and if you don’t have one already this can be obtained at https://clave.gob.es.
Latest statistics: 21st April , 20:00
Increase on previous day’s figures in brackets.
Total Canarian Cases: 2140 (+27)
Cases on Lanzarote: 82 (+0)*
Deaths (Canaries): 128 (+7)
* Two new cases were registered and two false positive tests discounted