Lanzarote is gearing up to offer “belated summer holidays” to British tourists in the hope that the UK government will relax quarantine restrictions on the Canary Islands.

The islands have suffered a slump in summer travellers from the UK after the Foreign Office extended its advice against all but essential travel to the whole of Spain last month.

The Canary Islands responded by becoming the first Spanish autonomous community in which tourists will have Covid-19 travel assistance coverage.

Around half of Lanzarote’s hotels had reopened prior to the quarantine measures announced by the UK government.

“We are hopefully of increasing these figures over the winter period,” Lanzarote Tourism said on the back of a suggestion by UK transpoort secreatry Grant Shapps that regional travel corridors was being considered to low risk destinations.

“We are also delighted to see that airlines and tour operators such as Wizz Air and Jet2holidays are either expanding or reinstating their Spain operations from late August onwards.

“We are confident that the combination of operators offering services from the UK and the excellent tourism infrastructure on the island will mean that Lanzarote offers the most competitive winter sun offering.”

Jet2 last week extended the suspension of flights to the Canaries until August 29.

Lanzarote tourism minister Angel Vazquez said: “It has been a trying half-year for the global travel industry at the hands of the Covid-19 pandemic, the impacts of which are still being felt across Spain and here on the island of Lanzarote given the absence of our British visitors.

“British tourists are of huge importance to the island and are always welcome on our shores.

“The change in the UK government’s travel advice has meant that this period of hardship will be extended into the near future, however this gives us all an opportunity to plan accordingly for the approaching winter sun season.

“We would like to reassure the travel trade and British tourists that Lanzarote is a safe destination due to the fact we have developed our own detection protocol which aims to detect positive cases or infections both at the airport on passenger arrival as well as during their stay in their opted accommodation.

“UK visitors and operators can have complete confidence that we are offering a rapid and rigorous health response.

“We are continuing to invest a large amount of resources in our tourism sector to restart operations safely and we are gradually seeing more and more tourism enterprises return to operations.

“Our focus now is to be in a position to offer British travellers a quality winter sun option for those still seeking a belated summer holiday.

“We will expand upon our pledge, through the Canary Islands government’s regional policy to cover Covid-related costs for British visitors who contract the disease during their stay such as medical expenses, sanitary repatriation and extension of stay of up to 15 quarantine days.”