The president of the Junta de Andalucía, Juanma Moreno, has said that his government is prepared to provide rapid Covid-19 tests at Malaga Airport in a bid to refloat the tourism industry.
Faced with the summer's plummeting international tourism figures, especially affected by the quarantine period brought in by the United Kingdom, Moreno has said that he will propose that the central government open safe travel corridors with the UK, with airport testing in place.
"The Junta de Andalucía is prepared to take on the technicalities of all the tests that need to be done on arrival or departure from the Costa del Sol at Malaga Airport, even though it's not our responsibility; and in addition we're prepared to provide all the health professionals necessary to guarantee exhaustive controls," said Moreno on Thursday night in an interview with SUR's editor-in-chief Manuel Castillo on 101TV.
The president explained that there would not be a problem of a shortage of health workers and that the creation of safe travel corridors is possible now, when it wasn't in the summer. This, he said, is because of the new rapid test kits that the Junta has acquired, which are as reliable as a PCR lab test, give a result in 20 minutes.
So a British tourist would arrive at the airport and have a coffee while waiting for the test result, before carrying on with their holiday, he said.
Moreno added that his government was also prepared to test tourists before they returned to their home country.
"I'm convinced that if we make an effort between us - Aena, the State and the Junta de Andalucía - we can start to efficiently establish safety in airports."
He added that these new rapid tests, which are 99% reliable, would be a "revolution".
The regional authority has already bought two million tests of this type, and these are currently being used in the mass screening sessions taking place in areas most affected by Covid.
He also said that the same control system could be applied to shows and cultural events, which would mean larger audiences would be permitted.
This test could breathe life back into the cultural sector, he said, although for this proposal he called for private firms to help foot the bill.