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Tourism estimates that 9 million tests would be needed to reactivate Valencian airports

The opening of international corridors in the Valencian Community in the midst of a pandemic would require the completion of nine million tests at Alicante and Valencia airports between November 2020 and September 2021, half for visitors entering and the other half for those leaving. A study prepared by the Hosbec employer association, in collaboration with Turismo Benidorm, the Alicante Provincial Council and the Valencian Community Tourism, concludes that this would be the estimated amount taking into account a drop in traffic of between 80 and 50% depending on the month, in case the Ministry of Tourism succeeds in getting the European countries to lift the international quarantine on the Valencian Community.

To make this calculation of diagnostic tests, the statistical study of the passengers received and emitters during the year 2019 (the last in which it was operated normally), with an estimated traffic projection that could begin to recover from November 2020 and extending this projection until September 2021.

“We understand that until then there will not be a vaccine sufficiently implanted in the population to be able to consider this crisis over, so it is important to plan the entire summer season 2021,” they indicate from Hosbec. The report also includes tests that would have to be carried out on Spanish passengers, in case it is a measure that is widely implanted.

These passenger estimates are between 20 (Italians in November at El Altet, for example) and 50% (United Kingdom in June). Where will these PCRs be performed? The employer’s association recalls that from European associations such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Airports Council (ACI), “It is being tried that the tests are done only to the passengers at the departure airport, as well as the security control in filters “.

“In some way, the controls in any European airport of origin should give sufficient reliability so that they do not have to repeat them at destination and that would make the test needs were half of those that could be raised at first “. What happens is that many countries could ask for evidence on entry and exit, and hence the estimate of nine million.

The figures with the presumed projection of tourists to Valencian airports was one of the things that the Ministry of Tourism demanded from the regional secretary of Tourism, Francesc Colomer, at the first meeting they held last Friday.

Negotiation with the Ministry

The Valencian Community it is the first peninsular region that works with the Executive to reactivate foreign markets that currently hold the quarantine in Spain, with the aim of specifically lifting certain territories with health figures more positive than the average. In this sense, the United Kingdom plans to begin exempting travelers arriving from the Canary Islands from the tests from this Sunday, and the Valencian Community has already managed to get Belgium to remove it from its black list of European areas.

In the opinion of employers, “the European Union should make a zoning by airports based on the epidemiological situation of each area.” “At the moment Madrid, La Rioja, Navarra or Catalonia has nothing to do with the Valencian Community or Costa Blanca / Benidorm in particular in terms of control of infections and rates of infected”, says the report. “Each area of ​​Europe should be classified with a color code allowing free circulation in green areas, and with diagnostic tests for yellow and red areas as a means of controlling the spread of the pandemic “.

In addition, the movement of people would be carried out in compliance with “strict security measures such as mandatory use of masks, social distance, capacity restrictions and any other measure that could be decreed by the competent governments”, such as the development of tests or the implementation of a traceability system that they are able to locate at all times where the tourist is.

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