State to assess travel exemption for Canary Islands

Beach and hotels in Costa Adeje, Tenerife.
Beach and hotels in Costa Adeje, Tenerife. Source: Wouter Hagens/Wikimedia Commons

Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas (Center) told Delfi portal Ärileht that the government is discussing making regional exemptions for tourism companies, allowing travel to be organized to regions with a lower infection rate than the particular country's average.

The minister told Ärileht (link in Estonian): "The infection rate as a whole might be high in the country but lower on the more distant islands."

Tiit Pruuli, head of the Estonian Association of Travel Agents said discussions around making an exemption from the rest of the country mainly revolve around the Canary Islands (an autonomous community of Spain) with Tenerife as the crux of the issue.

At the same time, Aas said there are some hesitations: If some countries were cut regionally for exemptions, there could be a push to do so for others.

Aivo Takis, board member at travel agency Estravel, said that there is no reason to make such regional exemptions but travel restrictions as a whole should be suspended because it is already possible to travel everywhere with connecting flights.

According to data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the infection rate per 100,000 inhabitants over the last 14 days for Spain was 293.8. ECDC does not report a precise number for the Canary Islands but marks that it is in the range of 60-119.9. Estonia's infection rate per 100,000 over the last 14 days was 43.49, as of Wednesday.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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