Christmas 2020: finally confirmation of NYE’s closing times

Photo: Arona Ayuntamiento.

  • Christmas covid rules in the Canaries:
    • groups limited to four for all get-togethers, whether in private homes or public venues apart from Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, & New Year’s Day when limit is six from three households   
    • curfew between 10pm and 6am except for Christmas Eve when it will be 00.30 to 6am and New Year’s Eve when it will be 1 to 6am
    • bars or restaurants close at 10pm every night apart from 11pm in Tenerife on NYE – would have been nice to know this before 30 Dec …
  • These are the municipal Christmas programmes published before 18 December, the point at which I decided not to post any more because they were being cancelled within days, sometimes within hours of their publication: Santa Cruz, San Miguel, La Orotava has announced the cancellation of programmed activities, Puerto de la Cruz has announced the cancellation of programmed Xmas activities, Granadilla has announced the cancellation of all programmed Xmas activities between 19 Dec and 2 Jan 

Updated 30 December: It would have been very nice to know before now but we are advised today that closing time on New Year’s Eve is 11pm in Tenerife. See Gobcan HERE.

Updated 18 December: Canarian President Ángel Torres has sent this Christmas greeting to all of us in the Canaries. President Torres says:

I share everyone’s hopes for the new year that mutual support, equality, social justice, and harmony and understanding, can be the beacon that lights our way towards a better Canaries. From the bottom of my heart I thank you all most sincerely for your exemplary behaviour and sacrifice, this year more than ever.

Updated 17 December: Even though the new measures are uncertain as far as tourism is concerned, in other respects they are already clear even if not published until tomorrow, and so today two Ayuntamientos – Granadilla and La Orotava – have announced the cancellation of Christmas events already published in their municipal programmes. As I posted HERE last month, too, the traditional Christmas Day concert by the OST in Santa Cruz harbour has been cancelled. It’ll be a quiet Christmas, whoever is here.  

Updated 4 December: “For those who have gone ahead, for those who are here, and for those who are yet to come … don’t drop your guard this Christmas.” Here’s the Christmas health campaign from Sanidad (Canarias). This will be an emotional Christmas … and perhaps for all that (“con todo esto”) there’ll be more meaning in it.

Updated 8pm, 3/12: The Canarian Government has announced, following a Cabinet meeting today from 10.30am to roughly 7pm this evening, that Christmas regulations in these islands will set a curfew from 23 December to 10 January, restricting free movement between 1 and 6am (please check the header bullet points for confirmed latest information at any point because these details might change). The move involves measures in place in the mainland as part of the national Estado de Alarma from which the Canaries is generally excluded, but this particular measure will be adopted here. Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve will enjoy an extra half hour’s liberty with curfew being 1.30 to 6am. There will be a few exemptions, such as carers, force majeure, exceptional need or other duly accredited activities.

In terms of groups, Tenerife as we know is currently in Special Measures and Further Restrictions which limit groups to a maximum of six while the rest of the Canaries are restricted to groups of ten. Over Christmas, however, the whole of the region will be limited to groups of six for all get-togethers, whether in homes or hospitality venues like bars and restaurants which must close at midnight except where special earlier closing times are imposed such as exist in Tenerife at present. These group limits can be exceeded where children under 7 years old are in the group or where a specific family group is over that figure, and the limit is set at ten anyway for, specifically, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and 6 January (Epiphany/Reyes).

Updated 3 December: The national Government has announced the measures that will apply through Spain over Christmas BUT these do not apply in the Canaries. This is because the national Christmas measures are within the framework of the estado de alarma that applies everywhere in the country apart from the Canaries. So, I won’t go into any detail about the measures, which involve group number limits, specific day curfews, etc., because our own measures in the Canaries are yet to be announced.

We can expect that announcement shortly, but for the moment we need to remember that groups are anyway limited to ten in all the islands except Tenerife, where Special Measures and Further Restrictions apply and limit groups to six. We will know more in due course about any further specific Christmas restrictions but the national ones just announced are confirmed not to include the Canaries other than travel is restricted into and from the mainland autonomous communities for all but family visits, and so any tourists here will have to stay here in these islands and tourists will not be able to visit from another region of Spain.

Updated 26 November: In the end, the weather won. Santa Cruz has had high winds and especially rain today and so the switching on of the Christmas lights was postponed until 7pm Saturday, weather conditions permitting.   

Updated 25 November: Santa Cruz will be turning on its Christmas ilghts tomorrow 26 November with some 140 streets and plazas illuminated by around three million LED bulbs, the council has said. They will be turned on in stages between tomorrow and 5 December. The council has also announced that the central feature of the fiestas at Christmas in the Canaries, the arrival of Sus Majestades Los Reyes Magos, will be very different this year BUT the Kings will still visit children! They have magic keys, after all, presented to them each year by the mayors of each municipio, and although their parades will be very much smaller, there will be no shortage of gifts for good children on the morning of 6 January … nor of the traditional lumps of coal for naughty little people either! Finally (so far!), it’s been announced that the Plaza de España in Santa Cruz itself will be the base for the nationally televised Fin de Año Campanadas (New Year chimes). The full programme for Santa Cruz’s Christmas is HERE and I’ll put it now, and any others as they’re published, in the post header for easy reference but they’ll be very different this year.

Original post 20 November: Well it’ll be different this year for many of us, and however we celebrate it in our many and various ways, it won’t be “normal”! At least people’s Christmas dinners in London will be safe from interruption as Cressida Dick promises that the Met won’t be barging in to stop people hugging and sitting too close as they pull their crackers, and Robbie Williams has released a Can’t Stop Christmas record … and indeed the festival will come and go whether we wanted to stop it or not! 

And so, here’s this year’s Christmas thread for all the things that are happening and can actually happen in Tenerife this Navidad. It’s already started, with Arona turning on the Christmas lights yesterday in the 28 barrios (neighbourhoods) of the municipio, and mayor Mena expressing the hope that this atypical Christmas will still have meaning for us all, helped by the life and colour brought to the towns and villages by the lights and some 1,700 decorations. Mena also called on everyone to shop locally this Christmas, an annual call of course, but this year the need is all the greater to support the little businesses who don’t have the wealth and clout of huge chains behind them in these terrible economic times. 

Keep safe this Christmas. The virus won’t be having a break but it might make a merry fiesta with us as victims if we don’t innovate and find a way of celebrating this Christmas differently, and as hopefully a one-off.  Sanidad says it’s imperative – vital and urgent – that we carry on with our distancing, hand washing, face mask wearing, and general care of our own personal safety. It’s the best way perhaps to end this appalling year and usher in a new year with our best foot forward. Stay safe all, and I’ll update this post as and when other things are announced.  


  1. Hola Janet & Team – my daughter is arriving at Tenerife north airport on 25th December at 9.30 p.m. We live in south tenerife. Will it be ok for me to pick her up? As I am thinking curfew time on Christmas Day will be back at 10 p.m.?
    Thank you for all your updates.
    Best wishes to you all.

    1. Author

      The legislation should be viewed, as during the last estado de alarma here, as an attempt to stop people moving about at all. As such, only those journeys are allowed, after curfew, which are quite literally unavoidable. Since public transport is available, it is avoidable to pick someone up from an airport and so is not allowed.

  2. Thankyou

  3. Janet do you know if the News Years Eve fireworks are still on in Los Christians.

    Regards Keith Mitchell

    Have a good. Christmas

    Thanks for all your info during this horrible year xxxx

    1. Author

      The post says that the rules for Tenerife will be posted when they are available. The title says “in due course” and the measures are not yet available. Also, as Janet said, she will put links to municipal programmes of events in the header at the top of the post when they’re published. Right now there is only Santa Cruz’s available so you are asking for information that clearly has not yet been published, and so is not yet available.

  4. When will we have news about numbers in house for christmas day.
    Many thanks

    1. Author

      You already have them. Whatever the national Government is doing, the Canaries’ are limited to groups of ten and Tenerife specifically, in Special Measures AND with Further Restrictions, the limit is 6, regardless of Christmas. That is not likely to change but if there is any change, of course it will be announced and I will of course post about it.

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