The Canarian Government has announced this evening that President Torres will imminently sign three decrees to regulate safe entry to the Canaries, the degrees relating separately to Canarian residents, other Spanish nationals, and foreign travellers.
With regard to Canarian residents coming from the mainland for the holidays, the Government will pay for PCR tests or antigen tests, preferably at their point of departure. The measure is intended to provide security and protection for families here in the islands and the public generally from potential infection by those returning from work placements, study at university, etc.
A second decree will cover mainland residents travelling to the Canaries for Christmas. The system will be akin to that for residents but will be charged to the visitors, and will be coordinated with a similar model employed in the Balearics so as to streamline arrangements for tour operators and airlines.
The third decree will cover tourists from outside Spain. The Government stressed that the decrees that will shortly be passed are covered by powers bestowed by the national estado de alarma even though the Canaries are currently exempted from its measures. Nonetheless it provides regional presidents with powers to take these decisions but only in line with national, Spanish, regulation which requires PCR tests from all tourists. The Government noted the positive development of the reopening of the British market, and reminded visitors of the antigen test already required for those using regulated tourist accommodation.
The Government, however, acknowledges that although it considers the antigen test sufficient, it has no power to overrule national regulation and so make it acceptable for border control purposes as well as accommodation. It will therefore “demand” that the national Health Department exempts the Canaries, and “continue negotiations to try to harmonise the anti-covid health control system for foreigners”. While that goes on, however, the PCR test remains the requirement for all international arrivals at Spain’s ports and airports, and the rules are HERE.
We’ve been here before of course, and only a couple of days ago the answer was no (see HERE), but maybe this will now put an end, however temporarily, to the fevered and groundless speculation that antigen tests were to be allowed instead of PCR tests for tourists entering the Canaries or that the regional Government would act in contravention of national State of Emergency legislation.