The UK has banned foreign travel from England between 5 Nov and 2 Dec. Outside those dates, there is an air corridor with the Canaries though the British Government continues to advise against all but essential travel to the rest of Spain.
Everyone entering Spain must comply with rules as follows:
- all visitors must have previously completed a passenger location form (digital or paper, English or Spanish – see HERE) with their personal details including where they will be staying in Spain
- from 14 November, visitors checking into any regulated tourist accommodation in the Canaries – hotels, apartment complexes with receptions, VV registered residential property, camp sites, rural hotels etc – must present a certificate showing a negative test result for active infection (this can be any test showing active infection – so either a PCR or an antigen test). On check-in they will also be required to download the track and trace RADAR app (see HERE)
- from 23 November, all visitors to any part of Spain (which includes the Canaries) from a high risk country, regardless of where they’re staying, must have a PCR test before they fly here (see HERE) – specifically a PCR test with no exception
When here, Spain is under a national state of emergency but the Canaries are exempt at present. We are therefore under the rules for the New Normal, a stage likely to last until Spain declares an end to the health emergency which is only likely to happen when a vaccine or treatment is available. Moreover, Tenerife is currently in Special Meaures, extra restrictions because of the rate of infection, and from 13 November is under even Further Restrictions because although not the worst affected island overall, Tenerife is currently the hotspot for infection in the Canaries. The principal rules from this combination of measures are as follows:
- face masks must be worn by everyone of 6 years of age and above at all times whether or not 1.5m distancing is possible. Fabric masks are legal but if attending a hospital or doctor’s surgery, masks must be of the hygenic or surgical type from a chemist or sanitary provisions supplier (see HERE). The requirement to wear a mask applies to all public spaces, indoors and out, all people in work, and including beaches and swimming pools (except when swimming or sunbathing in a designated zone), catering establishments (except specifically when eating but one can’t nurse a drink to avoid wearing one – indeed police say masks must be worn between sips), public transport or cars shared with others from a different household
- exemptions exist for those with certified medical conditions and those doing something like work or individual exercise which makes wearing a mask impossible but to avoid a fine, those with exemption should carry proof for any police who might stop them, and those working or exercising must carry a mask to put on as soon as they’ve stopped doing the activity that provides the exemption
- social groups and business meetings are limited to 6 as part of the further restrictions introduced on 13 November: elsewhere the Canaries groups are limited to 10. Other parts of Spain under the estado de alarma introduced on 25 October are limited to six, but the Canaries are currently exempt from the estado de alarma
- smoking is banned in the outside areas of all bars, restaurants, etc., and in any outdoor public spaces unless the smoker is alone, motionless, and can guarantee 2m distancing from anyone else. Smoking is already banned throughout Spain in enclosed public spaces like bars, restaurants, airports, as well as outside schools, hospitals, etc
- Physical distancing of 2m wherever possible in Tenerife, 1.5 elsewhere in the Canaries
- shops and offices including Government departments, bars and restaurants, cinemas, museums, churches, beaches, markets etc are open but with time and capacity restrictions, distancing & hygiene rules. Appointments or pre-booking may be necessary: clear information should be available on site or online
- hotels, bars, cafés and restaurants close by 11pm as part of the Further Restrictions, an hour earlier than previously under Tenerife’s Special Measures. Elsewhere in the Canaries they close at 1am. In the rest of Spain under the estado de alarma there is a curfew between 11pm and 6am but the Canaries are currently exempt from the estado de alarma
- late night bars, nightclubs & discos are closed indoors and out
- visits to and outings from senior citizens’ centres limited; day centres may be closed or with restricted hours
- events for crowds require prior Sanidad risk assessment and authorization (banned entirely where islands are in special measures)
Updated 26 November: The Canarian Government has announced that the Further Restrictions Tenerife alone is under have been extended up to and including 10 December. The regional Government says that our figures haven’t worsened significantly but despite being in Special Measures and with Further Restrictions, they haven’t improved either. So we carry on as we are for the time being.
Updated 20 November: Tenerife’s situation has been reviewed and the island will remain in Special Measures until 4 December when it will be reviewed next. The detailed report is HERE.
Updated 16 November: Sanidad (Canarias) has reminded the public that in these crucial days, with the island a hotspot of infection facing possible curfew in short order if figures don’t quickly improve, the regional Government has recommended people only to leave the house when absolutely necessary. We are not only in the red traffic light of the semaphore and so in Special Measures – the only island in the archipelago in them – we also have Further Restrictions because of the latest surge.
Staying at home is not “a requirement”, nor is it law, but it is socially responsible, the Government says, and will directly aid the fight to get our figures down so that we can relax measures soon rather than tighten them even further. I’ve been posting HERE German health authorities’ videos encouraging people to stay at home. The same message applies here in Tenerife – and it’s specifically Tenerife only, not the Canaries generally.
We should stay at home, going out only when absolutely necessary, Sanidad says, explaining that “it’s vital to cut the chain of contagion” by avoiding closed spaces and crowds, and following protection measures like hand washing, face mask wearing, physical and social distancing at all times. Anyone who feels the need for a bit of sun can relax on a balcony or terrace, or in their garden, so there’s no need for sun deprivation … just do it at home for all our sakes or we will never get out of Special Measures.
Updated 13 November: The semaphore has been updated again and Tenerife has been kept in Special Measures until at least 27 November, the only one of the Canary Islands to be in this category. The BOC has also published the Further Restrictions that apply to Tenerife immediately – see HERE.
Updated 12 November: Tenerife is the only island in Special Measures and tonight has Further Restrictions in addition. I’ve edited the list above as necessary but the detail of the new restrictions, which should come into force tomorrow when published in the BOC, is HERE.
Updated 6 November: Today was when Tenerife’s placement in Special Measures was up for review and, having been reviewed, Tenerife will remain in Special Measures to 20 November. The semaphore is HERE, detail is HERE.
Updated 3 November: It’s getting quite real to some now, I suppose. We have (assuming the HoC votes it through tomorrow) an England travel ban in two days time which has caused Ashotel abject despair: “a hard blow” is Jorge Marichal’s response to the news that this winter season, already expected to function at around only 30% of normal, has now lost most of even that. There is a small chance, Marichal thinks, of some sort of season later in December and then on until spring but no-one is putting any bets on the likelihood of the UK lifting the measures on 2 December anyway.
Meanwhile, negative covid tests no more than 72 hours old are required from all tourists who are actually allowed to come here, and they will also be required to download the track and trace app. To repeat yet again, this only applies to tourists, and that means those staying in regulated tourist accommodation, so hotels, apartments in tourist designated complexes, or residential property let to tourists legally under the VV or rural tourism schemes: no other accommodation is legal here for tourists anyway.
And now, Tenerife President Pedro Martín has said that he will ensure the island becomes more forceful still in sanctioning those breaking the rules because Tenerife’s very future and economy is at stake. We are now the worst affected island in terms of daily cases, and the main engine of infection is people relaxing and dropping their guard because Gran Canaria was the worst affected. It isn’t any more, and so Martín says he will ensure that ayuntamientos know that their municipal police forces (the Policía Local) should increase their presence and fines for any breaches they become aware of. The President is also calling in more military assistance for the track and trace programme.
Updated 10pm, 31/10: The UK Government is to ban travel abroad from England from next Thursday 5 November to Wednesday 2 December. Please see HERE for more details.
Updated 31 October: Visitors to tourist accommodation will have to supply a negative covid test on arrival from 14 November. Please see HERE for the details.
Updated 29 October: Congress has approved the Government’s proposal for an estado de alarma to 9 May next year with a review in March. After next week, the end of the first fortnight of the new estado de alarma which the Government was able to impose without Parliamentary approval, regional Governments will be able to determine their own measures according to local rates of infection. Their power to do this requires the overarching framework of an estado de alarma but this is not a lockdown as it was earlier this year. It’s more of a curfew – toque de queda – that can see regions lifting it if their outbreak appears to be easing. The national Government said that the approval of its new state of emergency provided a wide horizon of security and stability for the autonomous regions to deal with the next half year of the pandemic.
Updated 27 October: The Spanish Government has announced that it has asked Congress for an extension of six months to the new estado de alarma/toque de queda but that after 9 November, the end of the initial fortnight that the Government can impose without Parliamentary approval, the regions will be able to decide for themselves whether to maintain the restrictions or not depending on regional conditions.
The change was announced earlier today by Spanish Finance minister María Jesús Montero who said that it was to protect the constitutional powers of the regional Governments and avoid the national measures being challenged in the Courts: this way an autonomous community which resists will be able simply to lift the restrictions and not have to take a legal route to try to get them removed. It also, undeniably, makes the Government’s own constitutional situation easier since there is far more flexibility in the arrangements for which agreement is being sought.
As we know, this does not affect the Canaries because we had been exempted from the new estado de alarma anyway, the only part of Spain not to be included, but several regions have already announced the measures they will keep in place after 9 November.
26 October: I’ve split the New Normal post because it was getting too long and unwieldy. As of yesterday, Spain is again under a state of emergency, an estado de alarma that primarily imposes a curfew after 11pm every night. Please note that the estado de alarma is in effect throughout the whole of Spain with the sole exception of the Canary Islands.
The situation in these islands will continue to be monitored, however, and we will find ourselves included in the national measures if our numbers start to rise. It behoves us all, therefore, to maximise our caution and compliance with the rules that are in place at the moment if we wish to avoid the further restrictions of the state of emergency.
For his part, Sánchez said that he understands the distress this causes. The PM said it’s difficult to conquer fear and overcome the fatigue of such a situation. Therefore, he said, he thanked us, all of us for the discipline we will need, for being our best selves and giving our combined strength, This way, the PM said, we will beat the virus, united against it.
The measures have been published in the BOE HERE.
Previous posts on the outbreak are HERE – the New Normal from the end of the de-escalation to the reimposition of the estado de alarma in October 2020; HERE – the de-escalation phases from the estado de alarma between April to June 2020; and the original post HERE on the outbreak itself, with case numbers, fatalities etc.