Spain and the Canary Islands will open her borders to the European Union’s Schengen area on June 21, according to reliable reports. Those countries include Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland.
The border to Portugal will open a little later on July 1st. We know for many of you the BIG question is the possibility of opening the air border between us and the UK/Ireland. Despite some pages and forums presuming the June 21st agreement will include the UK we prefer to wait until the government declares it so transparently. Perhaps it will be July 1st. Perhaps later than this. We DO know that the President of the Canary Islands will present the tourism plan on Thursday, June 18. Including new guidelines.
Lanzarote in Limbo
What we wonder here is not that airlines will begin to fly (it is in their immediate interests to advertise that they will as soon as possible) but rather when the large hotels will actually open their doors. You see, in Lanzarote especially, many staff are still protected by government support funding which will (at least partially, it is imagined) stop when they return to work. Although there is talk of this support being made flexible and continuing into the late summer, many hotels are afraid to open until they are sure to reach more than 50% occupancy and thus restore their team without incurring further loss.
As we have repeatedly stated throughout the crisis, social media (including ours), or this web site, is not the best method of fact checking. We urge you to rely on official government publications before you make your decision to travel or part with money. We desperately want you back and we need you back. But we know that it must be done in the safest most joyful way. So again we say, wait for the government to publish the words and then be assured of your holiday.
Currently Lanzarote is in a strange limbo. As islanders we are economically damaged but the quiet brings some unusual pleasures. We find ourselves learning more about who we are as a community adrift. One where we are currently the only occupants of the volcanoes. The photo on the post was taken today in Marina Rubicon. Totally empty apart from those residing on the boats and a single cafe. A sight that feels alien but also not unwelcome after so long in the florescent light of lockdown.
Smiling in the Masks
On the walk home we passed only three families this evening. Every adult wearing a mask. Every person greeting with a polite nod of the head and extension of an elbow that we have come to adore. Do you do this too on the streets in your town? The hidden tap of a shoe in a cafe as a signal of the invisible smile. We still don’t hug. Do you hug yet? Is it allowed where you live? We still follow all of the rules because we know that they worked. You should expect to bring masks when you visit us too.
If we were to gamble, we would say that Lanzarote will open to the UK very soon, possibly early July. Perhaps it is already agreed alongside the other nations. But it’s not clear. It’s not concrete. So let’s just wait. Perhaps in the morning the translation will be more transparent. I think we’ve all learned that travel and tourism is a complex web that has no single pathway. As long as you are still aiming yourselves here, time will carry you.
But we do smile. We smile deeply and with our hearts. Because on 21 June, the island will finish the last phase of lockdown. We will be in the new normal. Masks will continue but we will relax. Only this one little barrier between our soul and the fresh air of new beginnings.
We will always be here.