In circumstances where the UK has completely removed the requirement for testing for those who are fully vaccinated and given the high rate of vaccination in Gibraltar and plus the fact that we are a jurisdiction which currently has the issue under control it strikes the GSD as unnecessary that we should continue to impose the need for paid testing at a designated location on arrival here.
The effect of arrival testing for a family, say of four, will add an extra £100 to the cost of flying to Gibraltar. The irony is that on the return flight to a UK airport from Gibraltar there is no extra cost, if you are fully vaccinated. We also have to be aware that there is similarly no such extra cost if travelling to Malaga, again, if you are fully vaccinated.
For those who are not fully vaccinated when travelling into Malaga or the UK there is the ability to present documentation certifying that you have undertaken a COVID-19 test – in other words you are not obliged to take a test on arrival, thereby affording the passenger greater flexibility.
The shadow minister for Tourism, Damon Bossino said:
“The overall effect is that Gibraltar loses the competitive edge in circumstances where we must do everything reasonably possible to improve and kick-start the economy, with the travel industry being such an important contributor in that effort. We need to react to the ever-changing circumstances with agility and flexibility and forcing people to go to a specific provider, at cost, makes no sense in the prevailing circumstances.”
Perhaps the Minister for Tourism should focus more on addressing these important points quickly and in anticipation of the summer holiday season, and less on globe-trotting escapades to Bangladesh or now, more recently, Finland.