ANDALUCIAN president Juanma Moreno has revealed he will push to see hotels and restaurants open in the southernmost region this summer.
The Partido Popular leader said in an interview on Telecinco’s Ana Rosa programme that the businesses should re-open ‘progressively and with sanitary guarantees’ to avoid ‘collapse’ and ‘economic catastrophe’ in the tourism sector.
He also demanded clarity over comments made by the Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz last week, which suggested tourism would not return until the end of the year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“I think it is possible, progessively and with the maximum sanitary measures, to open up the tourism sector,” said Moreno.
He admitted it would ‘not be the same’ as previous years, which welcomed on average 32 million visitors from around the world.
This summer, he said, it would have to rely on domestic tourists, given that it would be impossible to fully recover the British and Central European markets.
“We have to assume that it will not be be possible like last year,” he said, before insisting that he will push for the opening of beaches too.
Moreno has come up with a provisional plan with businesses in the sector, which includes establishments presenting a daily cleaning certificate and carrying out measures like taking temperatures at their entrances and ensuring tables are kept well apart.
Beaches, he said, should have a reduced capacity and be patrolled by police to uphold social distancing.
Moreno blasted the central government’s lack of a tourism rescue plan and demanded clarification over Diaz’s comments hinting at a cancelled summer.
“No one has clarified this for me and we expect a response,” he said, “we have tens of thousands of workers and thousands of small and self-employed entrepreneurs waiting.”
In the worst case scenario, a cancelled summer in terms of tourism could lose the region €15 billion and 120,000 jobs.
“We want to know if that was just the opinion of the minister or if it’s based on scientific data,” he added.
Moreno said his region should still be among the first to see lockdown restrictions lifted given its positive statistics on fighting coronavirus.
“We have to activate freedom of movement with caution,” he said, adding that police could control the access to certain towns to avoid further infections.