With Spain seeing new spikes in Covid-19 infection rates, tourists to the country are now facing self-isolation on their return. Jersey, however, can offer visitors a sense of security, thanks to its carefully considered approach, says Simon Soar of the Jersey Hospitality Association.
‘Some parts of mainland Spain are facing the prospect of another lockdown, tourists in the holiday destination will now have to self-isolate on their return, and the Foreign Office is advising against all but essential travel to the country.
‘This is a situation we have worked so carefully to avoid in Jersey. We chose to make sure people coming to the island are safe. Our hotels have gone above and beyond. We have stringent testing on arrival, we’ve been diligent, and this should prevent something like this from happening here.
‘Like a lot of Europe, Spain has been blasé with how it has reopened its visitor economy – they don’t even test passengers on arrival. Sadly, this approach is going to backfire on its tourism and hospitality industries; there are only so many times a restaurant can re-open after forced closure.
‘In Jersey, we have been very careful from the start. Strict protocols were put in place, and there was the attitude that if we were going to welcome back visitors, we were going to do it properly.
‘More than 10,000 people have been through our borders in the last three weeks – we’re even looking at increasing capacity levels on flights – and we’ve only got two or three active cases. What this means is that we can offer a level of security that other destinations can’t.
‘There are going to be a lot of holidaymakers who will now be thinking twice about Spain, and we want them to be looking at Jersey. There is the potential for business opportunities, and when it comes to tourists, Spain’s loss could be Jersey’s gain.’