Canarian covid test law

From 14 November, travellers staying in tourist accommodation in the Canaries must supply a negative covid test – here are the rules:

  • applies to everyone over six years of age 
  • tourist accommodation means hotels, tourist apartments with a sole agent and reception, and residential property registered under the VV or rural tourism schemes (nothing else is legal for tourists to stay in)
  • test must be for the diagnosis of active infection, and so showing antigens not antibodies
  • test must be physically done no more than 72 hours before arrival at accomodation (so factor in time to get results, fly, get through the airport and to your accommodation)
    • if negative, the certificate can be supplied in paper or digital form
    • If positive go into isolation where you are and do not come here
    • if you’re staying in more than one place you will have to produce further tests once the previous test is more than 72 hours old; once you’ve been here 15 days you will then be able to self-declare that you’ve been in the Canaries without symptoms for 15 days and so will not require a test 
  • tourist establishments are required by law to deny access to accommodation for visitors who don’t have the test
    • they are also required by law to instruct their guests to download the track and trace app (see HERE). The Canarian Government has confirmed that this is then a legal liability on the tourist with fines of up to €60,000 for breaches of tourism law if they don’t, or if they delete it or fail to maintain it active
    • not having the right phone doesn’t give an exemption. If you can’t, don’t want to, or won’t download the app, and wish to access regulated tourist accommodation, I would advise either to change the phone or go to a destination outside the Canaries where it isn’t required 
    • one phone per group will be OK because there is a group option to enter details of travellers as is clear when you click on the site to download the app
  • fuller details are below and the law is HERE

Updated 10 November: As Sue has said in the readers’ comments below, “The posters for hotels etc that I commented on previously have thankfully now been corrected to say that the RADAR App is “obligatorio” so it is good that the discrepancy has been fixed.” Downloading the app is a confirmed legal requirement, in the law as obligatory and part of the booking-in procedure where access to accommodation is only permitted if the visitor has a test certificate showing a negative result AND has been instructed to download the app and keep it on. This is the legal requirement imposed on the accommodation providers, whether hotels, sole agents, private VV-registered owners of residential apartments.

If a visitor then disables or removes the app, the legal liability instantly transfers to them, and fines for violating emergency public health measures are up to €60,000 so for those inclined to mock it, do by all means ridicule the chances of being caught … but that’s a big sum to crowdfund from people who may be less than sympathetic to someone holidaying in a pandemic while explicitly violating emergency health measures intended to improve our chances of staying safe.

As has also been discussed in the comments below, some hotels are now offering tests here as an alternative to visitors bringing test results with them. The law views testing here as an exception but it’s the hotels that bear the legal responsibility and they can normalise it if they’re prepared to bear the expense, which some obviously are. The drawback for guests is that they’ll have to isolate in their room apart from going for the test and will have to remain there until they have their results, however long they might take to come through. After 15 days in these islands everyone is considered safe but depending on the efficiency of the lab doing the testing, tourists could be stuck in their room for the entirety of their fortnight’s holiday. Another drawback is that anyone who tests positive here won’t be able just to go home and relax in home comfort, nor even stay in their hotel, but be taken off to the ITER houses where all the positive cases will be housed until they recover or need to go into hospital.

Updated 5 November: There are plenty of hills to die on and tourism is not one of mine. But I’ve now had a few emails from prospective tourists who have been contacted by their “accommodation providers” (not further defined and, oddly the same term in each of them) to say that they should not bother getting a test before coming here because although required (which suggests regulated accommodation) they can have a private one done locally.

As I say, this is not a hill I’m remotely interested in dying on, but the decree says:

Excepcionalmente, en el supuesto de que el usuario turístico no acredite su sometimiento al test diagnóstico, pero demuestre su disponibilidad para realizárselo, podrá autorizarse su acceso y pernoctación el tiempo imprescindible para obtener los resultados. En este caso, el usuario turístico no podrá abandonar la habitación salvo para realizar el test y recoger los resultados.

Exceptionally, should a tourist not bring proof of the diagnostic test, but is prepared to have one done, then it’s permitted to let them stay for the time needed to get results … they have to stay in their room except to go for the tests and then get the results. 

Exceptionally. Not “as an alternative”, but as an exception, for cases perhaps like those who simply cannot get a test done because of a last-minute booking, or perhaps have mislaid the certificate they’re required to produce. An exception, not a routine alternative. Emails to tourists suggesting otherwise are misleading and misrepresent the law, and I would point to another clause in the overall law that the decree amends that says:

Artículo 76.- Infracciones graves. Constituyen infracciones graves a la normativa turística:

  • La publicidad turística engañosa, las ofertas equívocas, la omisión de la información relativa a los requisitos …

Serious offences. The following will be considered serious offences against tourism legislation:

Deceptive tourism advertising, misleading offers, omission of information about requirements …

Fines for infracciones graves of tourism legislation range from €3,000 to €60,000. In a pandemic where tourism law is being used as a vehicle for public health emergency measures you can be absolutely certain that they will be nearer the top end than the bottom! And in any case as I’ve posted before in various places, going by what people are saying really quite widely, private tests have anything but a solid reputation. I’m just saying.

Updated 4 November: The British Government has issued THIS updated information on the new testing rules. GovUK says:

From November 14th until further notice, if you’re travelling to the Canary Islands and are booked into regulated tourist accommodation, you will be obliged to:

  1. produce an official, negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours earlier, when checking in to your accommodation.
  2. download and activate the Radar COVID notification app throughout your stay on the islands, and for 15 days after your return home.

These measures apply to all guests aged 7 years and over, unless they have proof of travel confirming their uninterrupted presence on the islands for the previous 15 days. Any traveller failing to comply, risks being refused access to accommodation. For further information, refer to guidance from the Canarian tourist board, and check with your accommodation provider prior to travel.

In my opinion this is now as clear as it ever needed to be:

  • applies to those arriving on and after 14th November
  • applies to anyone over the age of 6 (so from and including 7 years old upwards)
  • applies ONLY to tourist accommodation – which means:
    • hotels
    • apartments that are touristic (24 hour reception, agent on site)
    • any property that is legally registered under tourism law – so VV or rural tourism (they will be displaying an official plaque saying this)

Any other tourist accommodation will not be legal and that brings a whole heap of other problems for both owner and tourist. I hope you will understnd my reasons for, now, just deleting any questions that indicate that this has not been read, and it cannot be clearer so there is no point trying to clarify for anyone who still cannot understand it.

Updated 3 November: Turismo has made available for tourist establishments a range of materials and advice about the rules, as well as posters etc that they are legally responsible for when tourists arrive. Please click HERE for full details from the Canarian Government.

Updated 2 November: Turismo has now confirmed in English that the start date for the test requirement is 14 November. Please see HERE.

Updated 5.30pm, 31/10: Canarian Government has confirmed start date for the test requirement is Saturday 14 November – THIS is from Turismo Canarias’ official account. The 13th is clearly the last day of the grace period rather than the first day of the requirement … or, in my view, they’ve taken “the next day” from publication to be a working day, and so Monday rather than Sunday (BOC publications are usually on a weekday).

Updated 5pm, 31/10: For those who prefer to view rather than read, THIS is brilliant by Tim Dowd. It’s what I’ve written below but in video form AND it includes a great Q&A session because Tim does a youtube vlog. It is super, and very very helpful.

Updated pm, 31/10: The decree, HERE, is a single measure to establish a regime for access to tourist accommodation. The Canarian Government cannot control its international borders because that is not a devolved power but it can control tourism, which is. As such, the Canarian Government says that its measures in this decree are within its powers to control tourism and restrict access to tourist accommodation: the decree will remain in place until further notice. This means that these measures are related only to those staying in regulated touristic accomodation, ie hotels, touristic complexes of apartments, and residential property registered for holiday letting under the Vivienda Vacacional scheme.

Any and all international arrivals to Spain, however, have to provide a passenger location form for track and trace purposes, paper or digital (see HERE and HERE for other rules in place). This means that anyone letting out unregulated holiday accommodation, ie illegal lets, is putting themselves at enormous risk, first for illegal letting and secondly for putting up tourists without the mandatory test that all tourists have to provide: fines for violation of emergency health measures run into the many tens, sometimes hundreds, of thousands … I’m just saying what the situation is.

So, the legislation’s provisions are:

  • A test certifying that any visitor over the age of six is not positive for covid19 is required before they are allowed to access their tourist accommodation. This test is described as “test de diagnóstico de infección activa” – diagnostic test of active infection, which is the official generic name of this type of test: the term is used because different tests are constantly being developed by researchers, some more reliable and easier to carry out than others, and the specific test is therefore less important than it being one that diagnoses an active infection. (My understanding is that what is required are PCR/antigen tests because they show active infection whereas antibody tests show that there has been an infection in the past).
  • The test certification can be provided in digital or paper form, and must show the identity of the person tested, the lab doing the testing, and the negative result. It must also show by means of date and time that it was carried out a maximum of 72 hours before arrival (I know this is an issue so this means that the test must be physically carried out no more than 72 hours before arrival at accommodation … so you have to factor in time to get the results and to fly here).
  • The test should be done before the visitor leaves their country of origin but can be done here in designated places prior to the visitor accessing their accommodation. Tourist establishments will be responsible for telling them where they can get that test and are required to deny access to any visitor not complying with this decree’s regulations. In the case of a visitor without a test certificate but who is prepared to get one immediately, they can allow access to the accommodation overnight and the visitor must remain under lockdown except to go for the test and get its results with the establishment legally liable for violation. (Anyone who gets a positive result in a test carried out here will be required to stay in isolating accommodation – see 6pm, 29/10 update below).
  • Tourist establishments are responsible for getting visitors to make a formal agreement of compliance, and verifying the certification they provide, on accessing their accommodation, and from now on for telling people at the point of booking of the requirements. They must also have signs and notices in at least five languages with information in reception areas. These must include the requirement for visitors to download the covid Radar app (see HERE) for the purposes of track and trace, and keep it active during their stay in the Canaries, and for 15 days following their return.
  • Residents who are staying in tourist accommodation but who have already been in the Canaries for 15 days can instead make a formal legal declaration for Sanidad records that they have not left the islands in that period and that they have not had symptoms in that time. They will have to supply their residence registration document as well. Non-residents can also make the declaration if they have been here a fortnight already but will be required to show travel documents to prove it if they cannot produce a Registro/TIE. This is because they will have already been here for the period in which they could be expected to become ill and therefore represent no risk for Sanidad’s capacity. Nevertheless, given the epidemiological uncertainty of the pandemic abroad as well as here, the regional Government can modify the rule to make tests compulsory in these cases too. 
  • Although not applicable at the moment, should the UK require those returning home to have test results or go into quarantine, this decree requires tourist establishments here to advise people where they can get such a test if they want one.
  • Tourist establishments are responsible for keeping records of all certifications, compliance statements, etc., for Sanidad under data protection rules.
  • The decree will be law tomorrow (day after publication), and will apply to tourist accommodation arrivals from 10 working days after that – by my calculations that is Friday 13 November.

Updated 31 October: HERE is the legislation published this morning in the BOC. I am tied up today but will deal with it later, but at least you have the link to see the law direct for now.

Updated 6pm, 30/10: This decree is likely to be published in the BOC tomorrow. It is likely but not certain to contain the following stipulations which appear to be the main concerns for visitors:

  • traveller must be over 12 years of age
  • test must be carried out a maximum of 72 hours prior to arrival and must certify that the traveller has not tested positive as a transmitter of covid19
  • tourist accommodation must provide information about the test requirements before finalising a booking
  • residents staying in tourist accommodation will be exempt provided they can show legal residence and makes a formal legal declaration that they have not left the Canaries for the previous 15 days
  • also exempt will be non-residents who can show by means of travel documents that they have not left the Canaries for the 15 days prior to arriving at their tourist accommodation
  • tourist establishments must tell tourists to whom they deny access because of the lack of a test where they can get the nearest test here in Tenerife or provide such in the establishment itself at the cost of the tourist. Visitors will be able to stay in their booked accommodation overnight or for the time needed only to get the test and results here, but in the meanwhile may not leave their individual accommodation except to take the test and collect the results.
  • all tourist establishments must make information about the test requirements available in their receptions in a minimum of five languages
  • tourist establishments must keep documentary registration information available for Sanidad (Canarias) along with accrediting documentation as required by the decree: all personal information is protected by data legislation
  • before finalising a booking, tourist establishments must inform visitors that they are required to download the covid app, keep it active during their stay and for 15 days after their return home.

Updated 30 October: I’m closing this to comments and have deleted at least a dozen identical questions that cannot be answered because as I’ve said several times already I can’t answer questions about a law that I haven’t seen yet! We have to wait for the law to be published for further detail.

Updated 6pm, 29/10: The Canarian Cabinet has approved the decree which will require all tourists staying in regulated accommodation to present a prior negative covid test for active infection carried out 72 hours beforehand with proof required before access is allowed to their accommodation. This proof will be a certificate that can be presented telematically or in paper form, confirming the diagnostic test and its result, and will include details of date and time of test, verifying laboratory, and the negative result.

We’ll have more detail when the decree is published, hopefully tomorrow or Saturday. It will come into legal effect the day after publication but won’t be applied until ten days after that, effectively giving a period of grace and time for people who have already booked flights to get a test without having to cancel.    

Meanwhile, Tenerife President Pedro Martín said today that the Cabildo has made available to Sanidad (Canarias) 100 places in the 24 ITER bioclimatic houses near the Granadilla megaport. President Martín said that he hoped Ashotel would ensure that the hotel sector would make available any extra accommodation needed for infected tourists required to isolate by Sanidad.

Updated 29 October: No, there is no more information yet. The measures have to be approved by Cabinet and that meets today. They may announce what has been decided later today, or it might be tomorrow. Even then it won’t be the published measures which will be the only secure way of knowing exactly what is required. The Bill is likely to be published in the BOC tomorrow or Saturday. As soon as they say what they’ve decided I’ll post, and as soon as it’s published I’ll post a link and try to identify any differences between what they’ve said and what they end up publishing. Until I make those posts I have no more information ….

Original post 26 October: The Canaries could soon have a law that requires covid tests for tourists from the mainland and further afield. Regional president Ángel Torres said this evening that businesses, unions and island Cabildos have backed the proposed legislation which will be put to Cabinet for approval this week. Canarian tourism minister Yaiza Castilla explained in a joint press call with Torres that the measure would require a negative covid test for arrivals to tourism establishments: these are currently unspecified but will presumably be legal tourism accommodation such as hotels, touristic complexes and residential apartments registered under the Vivienda Vacacional scheme.

We will have to wait to see the decree – assuming it’s actually approved this week – before we know exactly what the measures will comprise, but from what has been said so far it appears that a test – unclear which type – will be have to be carried out, almost certainly at the traveller’s expense, to accredit that they are not carrying the virus: at present it is not clear whether the decree will require the test to be carried out at home before departure or immediately on arrival but it appears that if before departure it will need to have been carried out around 48 hours or so beforehand, perhaps up to 72 hours. Again we need the detail from the legislation before making categoric statements.

Torres said that the plans had been put in place before Germany and the UK had lifted their no-fly advice, and it seems that those Governments’ announcements took the regional authorities by surprise. Apparently although they were hoping that the no-fly advice would be lifted they expected to have time to put such as these plans into effect ready for that event. Torres and Castilla said that the plans were unique in Spain’s regions and would not actually impose a test forcibly but would allow the regional authorities to refuse admission to regulated accommodation to anyone without one.

It’s also possible that the officially underwritten AXA insurance policy (see HERE) for those with covid-related expenses would be unavailable to anyone without one regardless of the accommodation they’re staying in … again we need the legislation for details.

I wasn’t going to post this until we had clarity but my inbox has exploded tonight …


  1. Hi Janet,
    Thanks for your posts which are incredibly helpful.
    My understanding is that you need a negative PCR test to enter the Canary Islands (under Spanish law), and a negative test (either PCR or antigen) to show at accommodation (under Canary Islands law). If I change accommodation whilst in the Canaries, am I okay to show an Antigen Test rather than a PCR test? And is it easy to get an Antigen Test in the Canary Islands? Is it possible to move between islands while visiting, or would that mean you’d need to produce a new PCR test?

    1. Author

      I’ve moved your comment to the post where this is explained, all the information that we have is above.

  2. If you have been in Tenerife for several weeks, then come into contact with someone who has tested positive, what is the self isolation period – is it 10 days from the date of the contact? Or longer? We have had a negative antigen test, but realise we still have to self isolate for the regulated period

    1. Author

      If you come into contact with anyone you need to ring the Covid Helpline immediately and they will take the record and give you advice at that time. The number is 900 112 061.

  3. The mass tests are a combination of PCR and lateral flow tests. They are both antigen tests but lateral flow is said to be less sensitive but much faster.

    I don’t know if you would get a suitable certificate from the free public health tests though. And if it needs a passport number, then probably not, as domestic health screening wont be dealing with passports.

  4. Hi, in Liverpool they are doing mass testing for those with no symptoms. Will this be sufficient to enter the Canaries?

    1. Author

      Please read the third bullet point in the post above

  5. LAMP is another form of antigen test. So it looks for the same thing as PCR but does it quicker because it doesn’t need the thermal cycling.

    I don’t know how it compares in accuracy.

  6. I think you misunderstood the question Janet. I was asking if it needs to be PCR or if LAMP (another type of test which is performed at London Heathrow Airport) is acceptable. I fully appreciate that any test would need to be negative. So my question is, does Tenerife require ONLY PCR or is LAMP acceptable. Your tenerife post does not state that it needs to be PCR Thanks.

    1. Author

      Since you’re arriving tomorrow the other post is not relevant. The only law that applies is the one in this post, the Canarian law, and as I say above, the “test must be for the diagnosis of active infection, and so showing antigens not antibodies”. I don’t know if the test you refer to does this.

  7. I am arriving in Tenerife on on Monday 14th of December. I have seen the other post you have for Spain ports requiring PCR negative test. For Tenerife do you know if it has to be a PCR negative test. Because of the weekend and 72 hour rule, this might be hard or impossible to obtain, but Heathrow airport are doing LAMP covid tests on site. Do you know if Tenerife accepts this test? Thanks.

    1. Author

      Of course it has to be a negative test. Do you think they’ll let you in with a positive result? If you get one of those you are supposed to isolate, not travel! The test required is clearly defined on “the other post” you say you’ve seen.

  8. Hello Janet,
    Am I correct in saying they have changed the date for having a negative test to the 23th of November?
    New decree by the Spanish Government overriding the BOC on this subject.

  9. I’m sorry if you have already answered this question but I can only find a similar question above. We are visiting Fuerteventura in January staying in a hotel for 14 days then taking the ferry over to Lanzarote for 14 days staying again in a hotel will we need to have 2 lots of tests. We will then return to UK & know we have to have another test before visiting Tenerife. Hope this makes sense. Than you .

    1. Author

      You will have been in the Canaries for a fortnight by the time you book into Lanzarote and so you will be able to make a declaration. As explained in the post above.

  10. Hi. I’ve spent 6 months in Tenerife this yr but going home for Xmas. I own my apt on a tourist complex in playa Fañabe. I’m sorry to ask but as far as I can read I’m still in the dark! I’m returning for new yr to Tenerife for another month or 2 so, as an owner would I need a test?

    1. Author

      yes, because you come under the category of ALL ARRIVALS … 🙂

      “All arrivals” means everyone, regardless of who they are, where they’re coming from (if red on the map), where they’re staying, whether they’re a resident, tourist, owner, tenant, illegal let occupant, a swallow, a penguin … it’s very easy now : everyone needs a test a maximum of 72 hours before arrival at the airport in Spain if their country of departure is red on the EU traffic light map.

  11. It does Una but as Janet previously explained the government here does not have the legislative pwer to implement that, only the national goverment can.

  12. I would have thought that to be tested prior to leaving the UK makes sense, do you really want to board a plane in close proximity, get tested on arrival in Tenerife and isolate until you receive your test results? What if you test positive? Seems madness to me.

  13. Sounds as though Spain will insist that all visitors have a covid test at source before travel starting early December.

  14. A lot of places in the UK are now offering testing with results available within 48h of being swabbed, and the number of locations is increasing rapidly, e.g. Boots among others, see
    There is bound to be somewhere findable through a Google search that is pretty near to where any prospective travellers live. It has to be a private test as there is no healthcare reason for doing the test but it is patently worth doing so despite any inconvenience there is really no excuse not to get tested before travelling.

  15. I think the U.K. is not equipped to do tests where they will reply with test results promptly. Also, private tests are expensive! Some of us do not live near airports and need to travel big distances to airports. How much will tests cost in Tenerife and can we get tested at Tenerife South airport? This can potentially make for a very expensive holiday.

    1. Author

      Unless we know which centres are approved for testing, we can’t know how much they’ll be … and as I say we don’t know how slow they’ll be here either!

      Everyone wants to come without having a test in the UK. And yet it may be more expensive here, and the more who do it here, the more tests the labs have to process, the slower it becomes and the longer it takes … and all the while the tourist is required to isolate in their room.

      This is exactly why the Canarian Government said that testing here was to be the exception, not the rule. They didn’t want the system overwhelmed, because that could be calamitous in terms of the pandemic, but on a much more mundane level affects us on a daily basis too beause we who live here use the health system for more than covid.

      As to the airport, that’s a very definite no, I’m afraid.

  16. The posters for hotels etc that I commented on previously have thankfully now been corrected to say that the RADAR App is “obligatorio” so it is good that the discrepancy has been fixed.

  17. Moira. I am with you on that one. Holidaying in the middle of a pandemic?? Selfish madness, to put it bluntly

  18. I received a call from Iberostar Hotels today to tell me they will be transferring us to a new hotel because the Bouganville Playa which we booked recently will now be closed until the end of November. I asked about the covid-19 test certjficate and was told if it is not possible to get one before departure, the hotel will not leave you on the street and will direct you to a test centre. Also, about the Radar Covid track and trace app which is OBLIGATORY and not law as stated in your comments a few days ago.

    1. Author

      If it is OBLIGATORY it is actually law … that’s what it means. And I stated it because the law says it and the Canarian and British Governments confirm it … whatever a hotel says.

  19. I suppose one advantage of the Canarian ‘Tourism’ approach is that I assume it applies to all tourists arriving at regulated accommodation? Does the requirement apply also to those arriving at hotels from the rest of Spain plus other Schengen block countries? An immigration approach might apply only to non-Schengen visitors, such as the British, who still have to pass through passport control upon arrival? Are these correct assumptions? It would probably be easier if folk just stayed put during a global pandemic!

    1. Author

      It applies to anyone booking into any regulated tourism accommodation in the Canaries – hotels, tourist apartments with a reception, VV registered residential apartments, camp sites, rural tourism fincas, etc – regardless of their point of departure.

  20. There’s something troubling here …. it feels like a Canarian government not wanting to stop tourism because of the cash benefits but not warmly welcoming tourists nor properly assisting and managing this for them.
    In Wales, where I live and where there is a similar ambivalence/antagonism towards visitors, the government has strongly advised against visiting the country at all.
    This does not mean that people stop visiting Wales as there are flights, trains and coaches coming in every day and definitely NO negative COVID-19 certificate requirements at accommodation or anywhere else.
    In order to get a free NHS test in UK, you have to have one of three symptoms – cough, temperature or sore throat and I’m pretty certain that having that test would mean you would be classified as a statistic under dubious state figures (the same thing happened with AIDS, as the minute you had a test you were registered officially and it affected health insurance policies and all sort of other factors).
    The only alternative is to pay for a private test which astonishingly is costing as much as £250 on the market. It will prove that you are negative on that day but will not prove anything for the duration of your stay abroad, of course, so I find it all highly dubious and questionable.
    I think I understand what the AXA underwritten policy is. The Canarian government will pay for excess cost of accommodation or health care if you are stricken or have to stay on but make no mistake, the tourist will have to pay the costs initially if this happens themselves and it will take months and years to claim it back from the government and I wonder if the government or AXA will contest nearly all claims, trying to make the tourist pay.
    Why does this certificate not need to be shown at departure and arrival airport but only at your accommodation and if you went from one hotel then booked into another later on would you need another certificate?
    What constitutes a legal certificate under this Canarian government rule and what would happen if you didn’t have one or lost it?
    Is it possible that things could change by January 2021?
    What is the cheapest way of getting a valid certificate currently in the UK?

    1. Author

      The reason why this certificate does not need to be shown at an airport is because, as I have now explained umpteen times, the Canarian Government does not have immigration powers. Border control is a national jurisdiction, as it is in the UK. The Canarian Government has tourism powers, and education, health etc but not immigration. It cannot impose border controls but can control tourist accommodation. It really is as simple as that the Canarian Government is acting within the powers it has, and cannot act beyond them!

      As to what constitutes a legal certificate, it is one provided by a validated test laboratory, as I have already said. Also, as I’ve said as well, what would happen if you didn’t have one or lost it is that you would be denied entry to your accommodation unless you agreed to a test here as soon as possible, and in the meanwhile, were confined to your tourist accommodation.

      Of course it is it possible that things could change by January 2021. How on earth can anyone know how things will develop? Only this afternoon there is talk of a new vaccine … but look at the numbers of anti-maskers around, and anti-vaxxers, usually the same idiots, and they will resist so where does that leave those with a brain, or the pandemic?

      As to the cheapest way of getting a valid certificate currently in the UK, you are far better asking in the UK where people might know.

  21. Do you think that some potential visitors are misreading information on hotel sites and mistakenly believe that the ‘hotel tests’ are being offered as a standard alternative to having the test done in the U.K. rather than, as I thought, as a backstop for a tiny minority of tourists who, for whatever reason, turn up without a negative test certificate? Are some hotels actually presenting a test in Tenerife as a genuine alternative? Given that a shockingly high percentage of those tested turn out to be positive but asymptomatic (and thus contagious) this would seem to be storing up problems for the island and potentially for the quarantine accommodation. It is such a pity that the devolved powers of the Canarian government don’t extend to legislating to require everyone entering the island to produce a certificate as a condition of entry at border control. That would have addressed the issue of owners or their friends and family guests (genuine or otherwise) being able to enter without a certificate. It would also have made the flight out safer, although not the return flight unfortunately. Could Madrid be lobbied to do that or are their powers unable to be exercised piecemeal on immigration matters so that such a requirement couldn’t be applied only to the Canaries but would have to apply to the whole of Spain?

    1. Author

      Yes, they’re presenting this as a genuine alternative which, legally, they can do if they want. To comply fully with the legal measures, the tests will have to be done at the officially approved testing centres, but I don’t know which they are, but they can’t just send someone to the nearest farmacia, or private clinic, for example.

      As to border control, it would be great if they could but they can’t legislate regionally … that is against the Spanish Constitution itself because the country is like a federation: it’s actually not a federation as such but is defined as a decentralized unitary nation, and effectively border control, like defence and national security, is controlled centrally as is constitutional for a single country. Madrid can’t be lobbied to approve measures that violate the country’s own Constitution, which is why a State of Emergency has to be “national” even if there are then regional “exceptions”.

      This is why these are the measures they’ve passed here, because tourism is a devolved power. It means then that our pandemic safety measures are being legislated through the vehicle of tourism powers, which is why the responsibility has been placed on tourist establishments. They have been seeking ways of legislating this within their powers given that Spain won’t or can’t close its borders to stop people moving around.

  22. Hello Janet , we own an apartment on a residential block we haven”t been able to come at all this year and as time goes on we feel the need to come and check everything is ok (who knows whats going on inside an apartment that has been empty for a year ,!!! we have the chance to book flights on the21st of November if we took them would we be allowed to fly and would we have a problem at the airport to enter Tenerife , we would of course have the test before we leave

    1. Author

      You can’t leave England for a foreign visit but if you’re coming from elsewhere you can enter Spain but you must fill out the passenger location form (see HERE) 2 days before departure.

      You don’t need a test since you are not booking into something that is tourist regulated accommodation and you aren’t checking in anyway because you’re going to your own property!

      The test has nothing to do with the airport: border control is only concerned with your passenger location form. For the other rules in place while you’re here, see HERE.

  23. I plan to arrive in Puerto de la Crz in December, as I have done for 40 years. Casablanca are doing COVID tests on arrival do I also need a test before leaving UK
    Thank you

    1. Author

      As I explained in a comment just above, if you have one here because your hotel is offering one, it negates the requirement to have one before leaving the UK, but if you don’t bring a negative result with you, you’ll have to isolate in your room until the result is available from the lab here, and I at least haven’t seen an indication of how long that might take. Also, if testing positive here, you won’t be able to stay in your hotel but will be taken to accommodation officially designated for positive cases until they have recovered or need to be taken to hospital. It is way better to get tested before coming here.

  24. There seems to be a lot of “ illegal” letting of apartments on the island as can be seen through eBay and many adverts on free ad sites and with many in the UK not knowing the law in Tenerife it’s a real minefield for those looking to rent
    Not sure what the Authorities can do to stop it?
    As to the Covid test as I know one hotel group actively looking at this but in terms of getting one in the UK @ £120 + each that would cost us about £1000 extra next year and we know of many elderly friends who stretch their finances to come, renting for a week or two, that have said they will have to cancel
    Your Government is stuck between a rock and a hard place on this and for that we are sorry as we 100% understand the reason for the test
    We can only hope they have a “exit strategy “ in place once the Covid situation improves since many hotels that were open recently are now like ours in December is closed until February

  25. I too am shocked that someone would go to the lengths of trying to change a booking just to avoid having a test. Where on earth is their sense of social responsibility in that they are willing to come here, possibly infected, and pass it on to residents or other tourists? Is their desire for a holiday more important than being respectful of other people? We are in the middle of a pandemic and there should be no room for such selfishness. We have worked so hard to keep our numbers down and we continue to do so. We deserve better.

  26. Hi – I have saw that some hotel chains are offering tests on arrival. Does this negate the need for a test prior to leaving the UK??

    1. Author

      Yes. Tourist accommodation like hotels are required to demand test results or to tell guests where they can get a test if they arrive without results. The law views testing here as an exception but it’s the hotels that bear the legal responsibility and they can normalise it if they’re prepared to bear the expense, which some obviously are.

      They will have complied with the law in getting a test result from all guests, though one drawback for guests is that they’ll have to isolate in their room other than to go for the test until they have the results, however long they might take up to the 15 days after which we’re all considered safe.

      Another drawback is that anyone who tests positive here won’t be able just to go home and relax in home comfort, nor even stay in their hotel, but be taken off to the ITER houses where all the positive cases will be housed until they recover or need to go into hospital.

  27. Hi Marta
    For the respect the of the people living and working here I thought you would have the decency to have a test done and stop trying to avoid it by changing your booking to the day before. Well done to the owner for requesting a test. If you think you are above having a test done then I suggest you stay in your own country and do us all a favour as we all have to abide by the rules here to save people’s lives.

  28. Hello Janet, we want to change our booking to the 13th of November and arrive on the 13th but the owner is saying that this does not change anything and we have to be tested anyways. So what’s the reality? If the law comes into life on the 14th how come they can ask me for test results on th 13th?

    1. Author

      Since you’re trying to change a booking, it depends on the nature of the original terms under which you booked. Do the terms and conditions allow a change? If so, do they allow the booking to be changed with no alteration to the terms? A booking is a contract whether it’s with a hotel, or a sole agent in a tourist complex, or a private owner of a VV registered residential apartment … and in any of these cases it depends what the agreement says.

      In general terms, however, anyone letting out holiday accommodation can set their own criteria. Legally, tests are required from the 14th but that’s the Canarian Government’s requirement. Any given owner can set a requirement of their own in addition – they could ask for test results from tomorrow, for example, or ask for two test results! They can ask for whatever they like provided it’s not less than the Government requires by law.

      Even those letting completely illegally and so offering unregulated accommodation can still demand a covid test for their own protection. For new holidaymakers that’s then a free choice, but in your case it depends on what type of booking you have that you’re trying to change.

  29. Thank you Audrey, for having a social conscious enjoy your holiday and keep healthy. Let us all work together to keep safe

  30. Thanks janet for your excellent information. we arrive hopefully on the 5th dec have booked covid tests. yes there expensive but worth it for peace of mind for us and the residents of beautiful lazarote

  31. Usual selfish story Janet as it’s obviously an illegal cash in hand (“family and friends” ) let much to the annoyance of not only the residents and the owners who even through this pandemic still continue to believe they are above the law and they will never get caught. Let’s hope someone is made an example of but in reality it probably won’t happen. Enjoy your holiday Maureen and let’s hope you are responsible enough to have a test for the other residents peace of mind.

  32. Just to be sure Maureen take a test then you will know you are not bringing covid to our beautiful isle

  33. We are staying in a friends apartment on a complex. We dont have to check in we just get keys at apartment door. Do we need to have a covid test 72 hours before. Sorry just want to be sure. We are arriving for xmas/new year.

    1. Author

      Not all complexes with legal apartment lets have a reception because some are in residential complexes where there’s no reception but where the particular apartment is being let through the VV registration scheme. As such I won’t presume that you have booked an illegal let but it sounds just like an illegal let would sound, and so the only question really is whether your booking is legal or not.

      If it is legal because the apartment is a VV registered residential one then you need a test because you are arriving at regulated tourist accommodation for which a test is mandatory. If it’s illegal (either unregistered residential or a tourist apartment bypassing the sole agent) then you don’t because it’s under the radar and the owner is cheating the system … and so your problems are far greater than whether you have a test or not, as particularly are the owner’s.

  34. Janet. Your information in respect to type of accommodation is clear. However, I suspect there are many people including myself who stay in privately owned apartments in complexes which are booked through airbnb, home n away etc. I doubt if many of these are registered for tourism purposes. I presume this is illegal regardless of covid and would certainly complicate matters.

    1. Author

      In a nutshell, Rik! The only legal tourism takes place in hotels, apartment complexes that are designated touristic and which must by law therefore have a 24 hour reception and an on-site sole agent for holiday letting purposes, and private residential property of various types (apartments, villas etc) which have been registered under the Vivienda Vacacional scheme with owners registered for IGIC (and so able to give tax receipts for payments) and displaying a VV plaque on their properties to show they are legally registered for tourism.

      With very few other exceptions like rural tourism or camping, nothing else is legal for holiday letting under Canarian tourism law and so the AXA policy won’t be valid, normal travel insurance could refuse to cover any problems, and the owners and agents are at risk of fines that would make eyes water because not only are they breaking tourist law by illegal letting (fines of around €18,000) but also violating public health emergency measures (fines of up to €60,000, and if deemed very serious, of up to €600,000).

      Those who let illegally might hope, even expect, to get away with it nine times out of ten, but add covid to the mix and exposure becomes more likely, especially since a tourist in illegal accommodation won’t be required to provide a test so there’s an increased risk they’ll develop covid here. However small that risk is, it’s still a greater risk than “mere” exposure for illegal letting alone. People mock this stuff. I cannot imagine why because those are life-changing sums for most people, and as Government fines, if unpaid, property can be taken in the end by the state.

Comments are closed.