8 June 2020
Welcome to the Corona AvDaily where we share relevant aviation-related links, insights and articles about the Covid-19 crisis. 
Highlight: Canary Islands to incentivise pre-testing for tourists
Last month we covered the news that the Canary Islands was testing digital health passports as a way of kick-starting the region’s tourist industry.
On Friday, Cristina Del Río Fresen, Leader of the Islands’ Global Tourism Safety Lab, took part in a webinar hosted by TravelMedia, where she provided more details of what the Islands have in mind.
According to Del Río Fresen, a number of principles underpin the Islands’ tourism plans.
First of all, she talked about the idea of creating a ‘Fortress Canary Islands’, where both local residents and tourists will have the peace of mind that they are in a reasonably safe and Covid19 free environment.
Health security must be compatible with a holiday experience
Then there is the idea that ‘’health security must be compatible with a holiday experience’’, in other words any prevention or social distancing measures can’t be so onerous that the tourist no longer feels that s/he is on holiday.
This is obviously something that the aviation industry itself has to grapple with - protecting passengers and staff, while also not putting people off flying altogether.
Finally, Del Río Fresen recognised that the pandemic was an opportunity to move to more sustainable, climate friendly travel, and raised the fact that you can’t create new problems, e.g. by having thousands of disposable face masks being washed up on beaches, something which is happening in Hong Kong.
Testing is incentivised but not mandatory
Del Río Fresen suggested that pre-testing would be highly encouraged but it would not be mandatory. Testing facilities would be available on arrival, with the ability to process 1200 tests per hour.
However, she also said that passengers who do pre-test would be given some kind of incentive on arrival, such as a voucher to spend on the island, to offset the cost of the test in their home country. Passengers who pre-test will also be fast tracked when they arrive.
As for the Digital Health Passport, where you upload health and test data, this will be trialled on a ‘proof of concept’ flight from Madrid to the Islands on July 1st. Cristina Del Río Fresen mentioned the importance of using blockchain technology as a way of ensuring the test data is secure and can’t be falsified.
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