Brits returning to the Canary Islands for a “quarantine-free” holiday from tomorrow face confusion over coronavirus tests as the UK quarantine is lifted tomorrow.
Tenerife and the rest of the islands, which include Gran Canaria and Lanzarote, have pledged to check whether tourists are clear of Covid-19 both on their arrival and departure.
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As the UK quarantine is lifted, no testing system has been agreed by local officials yetCredit: EPA
But the UK quarantine on travellers will be lifted 4am on tomorrow – and the details of the testing system on arrivals haven’t been hashed out yet.
Brits currently leaving for the Canaries do not need coronavirus tests at the airport or at their hotels.
But fresh suggestions from the Canary government that a testing regime could come in as soon as next Thursday is likely to spark confusion among tourits.
The islands’ government had suggested either putting up tents in the car-parks or to even waiting until holidaymakers arrive at hotels to test them.
But hoteliers were furious at any suggestions they would be asked to bankroll their guests’ tests.
One hotelier on the smaller island of La Gomera said: “Why should we pay for tests?
“If a test costs about 25 euros and there are four adults in a bungalow rented for 250 euros, the amount we would get would only be 150 euros. It is not feasible.”
TOURIST hotspots of Alicante and Benidorm were also slapped with curfews set to last until at least December 9.
The curfew will mean people in the Valencia region will have to stay inside between midnight and 6am every day.
Valencia region president Ximo Puig brought into the curfew this week along with other regions of Spain.
Spain has recorded the highest number of COVID-19 infections in Western Europe, with the total number of cases climbing over a million this week.
Catalonia has also brought in curfews across the region – which includes Barcelona.
And Madrid region, which opposes a curfew, said it would ban households meeting up indoors between midnight until 6am.
Bars and restaurants will still be able to open but capacity will be slashed to 50 per cent
The Madrid region said it would ban households from gathering indoors from midnight until 6 am and limit capacity inside bars and restaurants to 50 percent.
Brits can finally jet off to the Canaries without need to quarantine on returnCredit: 4Corners Images
The Canary government is reported to be preparing a new draft law set to be considered on Thursday, according to island media Canarias 7.
And officials are already working on how and on which passengers antigen tests or regular swab tests could be carried out and who will have to foot the bill.
Local media said: “In this sense, the decree must clarify whether Canary Islands and Spanish tourists must also present a PCR when they arrive and what role the accommodation establishments play in the tourist control chain.”
It is hoped the governing council will approve the strategy next week to respond as quickly as possible to the return of not only British holidaymakers but Germans too after their restrictions were also lifted.
The Canary government would prefer tourists to be tested before they leave Britain but not all the airlines agree, hence the second level of control proposed on arrival and also on departure.
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The airport authority AENA says it has not received permission from the Spanish government to carry out tests at the airport.
The controls Brits will have to follow, however, include filling out health questionnaires before jetting off, and obtaining a QR tracking code.
There will also be temperature checks at the airport and follow-up health checks if coronavirus symptoms are suspected.
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