6th Apr 2020 @ 9:09 am

The Canarian Health Councillor, Julio Pérez, has said that recent statistics “give cause for optimism” but that the islands “must not drop our guard” against coronavirus.

Photo: Canarian President, Ángél Victor Torres

Pérez recognised that figures for deaths and intensive care admissions were more positive, but pointed out that “My duty is not to be optimistic, but to attend to what needs to be done – and this hasn’t changed.”

Pérez said the protective equipment for health workers is now sufficient for “a week and a half to two weeks”. The functioning of the Canarian Health Service is at “maximum level, and it is working as though this were a worst-case scenario.”

Canarian President Ángél Victor Torres also echoed Pérez’s warning about not letting our guard down, and proposed that the national government should consider relaxing the lockdown on islands that are least affected by coronavirus. El Hierro has only registered three cases, La Gomera eight and La Graciosa has not registered a single case so far, and Torres requested that the national government take this into account before the lockdown extension until April 26th is approved.

Lost summer?

Meanwhile, Canarian tourist professionals are already addressing the future of the Canaries’ most important sector.

Although the virus itself has not affected the Canaries as much as many other Spanish regions, the island’s economy is likely to face immense challenges in the near future. The usually busy Easter period will now see deserted resorts and empty hotels, and Yaiza Castilla of the Canarian Tourist Council has stated that “the return to normality will not begin until October.” Canarian President Ángel Victor Torres recently said that normality may not actually be reached until 2021.

Lanzarote has already seen the cancellation of early-summer events such as the Lanzarote Ironman and the Sonidos Liquidos festival and its busy summer programme of fiestas is also likely to be affected by the crisis.

Tourism’s recovery will also rely on other vital factors such as the lifting of restrictions and reestablishment of flights from countries such as the UK, Germany, Ireland and Italy, which provide the major part of the Canarian market.

However, unlike other Spanish destinations where tourism has always been seasonal, with little winter activity, the Canaries’ year-round tourism means it may be able to recuperate comparatively early.

Latest statistics: 5th April , 20:00

Increase on previous day’s figures in brackets.

Total Canarian Cases: 1649 (+27)

Cases on Lanzarote: 70 (+1)

Deaths (Canaries): 85 (+5)