It’s been an eventful few days here in Lanzarote. With tourism still up for debate and the effective link with the UK still closed (quarantine on return to the UK still being the rules), the resorts remain in an anticipatory mood.
COVID-19 reared its ugly head. We now register 36 cases. All are described as low-load, with those testing positive all in isolation rather than hospital at this point. One case comes from a UK tourist, the others from Spanish tourism and irregular immigration. However, it’s now clear that community transmission is taking place not only here but across the Canaries, apart from the smallest islands.
The good news is that our tracing and interception efforts are working. One reason we might see such dramatic numbers now is our ability to find contacts and test them more effectively than during lockdown. Still, we are fearful of the full return of the virus to an island that achieved good results in the first lockdown. It was harsh and we don’t want to go there again.
No Restrictions on the Horizon
At the moment, it is not imagined that any island or part of an island will be restricted. Some restaurants have voluntarily closed when a staff member displays symptoms but all towns and villages remain open. With summer comes family festivity and we must remain on guard. It is between family members and especially the young that the virus seems to be taking a new hold.
In the midst of rising numbers, Pedro Sánchez, the Prime Minister of Spain, took part of his annual vacation here in Lanzarote. He stayed the at the residence of La Mareta and met with our island officials. The UK and COVID-19 were high on the agenda. He obviously felt it safe enough to come although we presume his journey to be more controlled than others!
Summer thrives here. Under this distinct conflict of safety versus freedom, we witness risk. Teenagers and young adults held back for so long meet to enjoy the blue skies together. People of every age are reunited with those flying in from mainland Spain. The risk is tremendous but we are absolutely aware of it and safety compliance is still the norm.
This is a difficult time. There are no easy answers. Our medical facilities are coping well and the numbers are still manageable (and much lower than in troubled areas of the world) but we feel dismay as the count creeps up. Lanzarote must always do more. The eyes of tourism are on us. We will resist the temptation to relax too much so that you can relax fully with us again in the future.
Stay well. Siempre Lanzarote
Photo taken this week from Villa Teguise.