CANARY Islands’ tourist operators have worked “intensely on reopening our destination” for holidaymakers.
So, what is the latest on the Spanish archipelago, and can Brits safely visit Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura?
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Most hotels have now reopened their doors on the CanariesCredit: 4Corners Images
Can I travel to the Canary Islands?
The Canary Islands are saying hola again to Brits, so get ready for a pre-Christmas getaway.
England – and Germany – both decided on Thursday, October 22, that the archipelago was no longer a high risk area for the coronavirus.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the good news on Twitter, saying: “Following an assessment of the latest data, the Canaries, the Maldives, Denmark and Mykonos have been added to the Travel Corridors list.
“From 4am on Sunday 25th Oct, you will no longer need to self-isolate if you arrive from those destinations.”
Spain’s Canary Islands hope that by being added to the safe travel list, it’ll save its crucial winter tourism season.
Some 5.1 million Britons and 2.8 million Germans visited the archipelago in 2019, accounting for over half its 13.3 million foreign tourists.
Grant Shapps says that the Canaries have been added to the Travel Corridors list
“It’s magnificent news,” said regional tourism secretary Yaiza Castilla.
She added that airlines and tour operators were scrambling to increase capacity and revise pricing in expectation of a rise in demand.
“The quarantine was putting the brakes on travel decisions from our two main markets,” Castilla said.
Paul Charles, CEO of the travel consultancy, The PC Agency, shared this coronavirus case data, as of October 23Credit: Paul Charles/twitter
While Spain on Wednesday, October 21, became the first Western European country to report one million Covid cases, the Canaries’ infection ratio has halved since early September to 81 per 100,000 residents.
That compares with a ratio of more than 1,000 cases per 100,000 people in hard-hit Navarra, on the mainland.
La Graciosa island viewed from Mirador del RioCredit: 4Corners Images
Are there any travel restrictions in the Canary Islands?
Brits arriving for holidays in the Canary Islands will need to be tested for coronavirus when they arrive at their hotel receptions.
Government and hotel officials are finalising the measure following a row over testing at airports.
The Spanish government and the airport authority AENA said it’s not feasible – or practical – to test millions of arrivals at the airports.
Main Beach, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, SpainCredit: Alamy
And with the lack of space at the Canaries’ congested airports, the EU isn’t in favour of the idea either.
Hotels are prepared to accommodate any holidaymaker who tests positive and must go into quarantine while visiting.
This includes at Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote.
On arrival, travellers entering Spain from the UK will not be required to self-isolate.
However, you will be subject to the following three requirements:
- Provide the Spanish Ministry of Health with mandatory contact information and any history of exposure to Covid-19 48 hours prior to travel
- Temperature check – if it is 37.5C or higher, you will undergo a medical assessment
- Undergo a visual health assessment
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Will I need to quarantine when I return home?
Grant Shapps said people returning from the Canary Islands would no longer need to self-isolate from 4am on Sunday, October 25.
The Government website states: “The requirement to self-isolate on return to the UK from the Canary Islands will be lifted for those arriving on or after 4am on 25 October.
“You must still self-isolate if returning to the UK from any other part of Spain.”
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