The Canaries are under regional restrictions defined by “levels”: Tenerife is in amber level 2 until 24.00h on 7 March, and the principal rules are:
- Curfew of 11pm to 6am, and although travel around the island is not banned, the public is asked to restrict movement as much as possible
- face masks must be worn by everyone of 6 years of age and above at all times and places regardless of distancing. 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)
- exemptions exist for swimming, sunbathing in a designated zone, eating, private vehicles occupied singly or by members of the same household, medical conditions (medical proof required – in Spanish because it will be Policía Local who’ll stop and fine you), working or exercising which makes wearing a mask impossible but mask must be carried to put on as soon as exempt activity stops
- anyone using catering establishments must wear a mask except at “el momento de la ingesta de alimentos y bebidas exclusivamente” (the point of eating and drinking exclusively)
- social groups limited to six
- physical distancing of 2m wherever possible
- private cars can be occupied to a maximum allowed to be in a social group depending on the level. Masks must be worn if the occupants are from different households, and windows open or aircon switched on but with air drawn from outside, not recirculated interior air
- time and capacity restrictions, distancing & hygiene rules apply in shops and offices including Government departments, bars and restaurants, cinemas, museums, churches, beaches, markets, gyms, casinos, etc. Prior appointments/pre-booking may be required
- catering establishments close by 11pm. Restricted service (indoor 50% capacity, terrace 75%), maximum four at a table inside, six per table outside, two together at a bar
- smoking banned outside bars, restaurants, etc., and in any outdoor public spaces unless smoker is alone, stationary, and with 2m cordon (smoking already banned by Spain in enclosed public spaces and outside schools, hospitals, etc)
- late night bars, nightclubs & discos closed, and crowd events banned
- sports and physical exercise in the open air can be carried out individually or up to a maximum of six in a group
To enter Tenerife:
- 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 (national legislation)
- all visitors from a high risk country, regardless of where they’re staying, must have a PCR or TMA test before they fly (see HERE) (national legislation)
- in addition, anyone including residents checking into any regulated tourist accommodation in the Canaries – hotels, apartment complexes with receptions, rural hotels etc – must present a certificate showing a negative test result – this can be an antigen test but if arriving from outside the Canaries with a PCR test result evidently this can also be used for checking into the accommodation provided it is still no more than 72 hours old. Canarian residents can sign a formal declaration instead if they haven’t left the islands for at least a fortnight prior to checking into a hotel. Those checking into regulated tourist accommodation will also be required to download the track and trace RADAR app (see HERE) (Canarian legislation)
- all visitors from any other part of Spain outside the Canaries must have a PCR, TMA or antigen negative test result; residents in the Canaries returning home will have the test cost reimbursed (measure already extended more than once and currently in place to 24.00h, 5 April) (Canarian legislation)
- British nationals may not enter Spain by direct air or sea routes because of Spain’s ban on UK arrivals who aren’t resident which is in place currently until 5pm, 16 March; air arrivals from Brazil and South Africa have been added to the ban. The UK has also imposed measures which ban international travel except for essential reasons which do not include holidays: these are currently in place until further notice (national legislation)
Updated 4 March: Following today’s Cabinet meeting, Fuerteventura will go up to Level 2 while the other islands remain in their levels. As we know, Tenerife’s level will not be reviewed until Sunday.
Updated 1 March: Following today’s Cabinet meeting, Lanzarote and La Graciosa will move from level 4 to 3 from tomorrow, Tuesday, while the other islands will remain in their existing groups. In addition Level 1, which hasn’t had curfew so far, now does have curfew between midnight and 6am. As we’ll recall, Tenerife’s Level 2 isn’t due for revision until 7 March.
Updated 26 February: The Public Health authorities have reminded the public that they must not under any circumstances go out looking for a test if they think they might have covid symptoms. Seemingly many people, especially those not registered with the state system, are searching on social media for “cheap tests” because they think they have symptoms. Salud Pública reminds the public that they must ring the freephone number provided in every autonomous community in Spain – whether they are registered in the regional health system or not. In the Canaries, that number is 900 112 061.
Going to find a private test is just as prohibited as turning up at a local health centre because, Salud Pública says, if symptoms thought to be covid do turn out to be covid, the sufferer will have risked any number of other people’s safety when a test could be arranged individually for the sake of one phone call. All you have to do is call the freephone number that will be answered in up to seven languages including English: in an emergency, obviously call 112 instead.
The principal early symptoms to be concerned about are fever, cough, breathlessness, loss of smell/taste, chills, sore throat, aching muscles, headache, a general sense of illness or a worsening of any existing condition. If you have any of these symptoms, phone the helpline but meanwhile, the key words, which are a clear and firm instruction from Sanidad, are Quédate en casa – Stay at home.
Updated 25 February: The Canarian Government has announced that the requirement for national (not international) arrivals – ie arrivals from other parts of Spain – to bring a negative test result with them, which was in place until 24.00h this Sunday has been extended to 24.00h, 5 April. The tests can be PCR, TMA or rapid antigen test, and residents in the Canaries (eg students studying in the mainland coming home for visits) will be reimbursed.
Updated 21 February: As anticipated, Tenerife goes back up to Level 2 from midnight tonight, Canarian Health Minister Blas Trujillo announced this morning. Trujillo said that Tenerife’s figures particularly over the last week show that cases are constantly increasing, and that the measure was proportional to the need for prevention. Specifically referencing the new “more dangerous British strain”, the minister also said that other variants were appearing here as well, and all represented an elevated contagion risk. Gran Canaria, however, is to come down to Level 2 itself because of the favourable evolution of cases there, and Fuerteventura and El Hierro are also themselves down, to Level 1. Lanzarote remains at Level 4, and La Gomera, and La Palma remain at Level 1. The alert levels will be reviewed again next Sunday (subsequently extended to 4 March) except for Tenerife which will be reviewed 7 March. HERE is the current report from Sanidad (Canarias).
Updated 18 February: There was to have been one of the regular announcements today after Cabinet as to the covid measures safety Levels in force in all the islands but it has been postponed to Sunday when the extra Carnaval measures themselves expire. Tenerife is currently in Level 1 but it’s possible that we may have to go up to Level 2 because although Gran Canaria’s figures are improving, ours are worsening again. So said President Ángel Torres at lunchtime today when confirming that the next announcement will be made by regional Health Minister Blas Trujillo on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Government spokesman Julio Pérez said today that “Algo pasa en Tenerife para que lo que era una línea descendente no siga descendiendo”: something is going on in Tenerife because the reduction in cases hasn’t been consolidated. Well, let’s see, we had Level 2 with strict Christmas measures that brought our numbers down and this was then reduced to Level 1 with Carnaval measures that were widely flouted and mainly unenforced: naturally therefore it’s utterly baffling as to what could possibly be going on in Tenerife. This feels like a never-ending game of Whac-a-mole …
Updated 11 February: We knew Tenerife’s figures were good and had improved significantly following the pretty harsh measures imposed when our case numbers were soaring, and indeed, following today’s Cabinet meeting the Canarian Government has announced that this island alone will change its level, going down from Level 2 to Level 1 from midnight tonight, with review as usual in a week’s time.
Some had thought we might stay in Level 2 another week because of the next ten days being the main Carnival period – even though it is limited this year and mainly online, private parties were feared, but in the end the announcement of extra policing and serious enforcement by Santa Cruz mayor Bermúdez, together with the “extraordinary measures” introduced by the Canarian Government itself today for Carnival week, have allayed fears.
These, like Level 1, start at midnight tonight and last until midnight at the end of Sunday next week, 21 February, and will mean that groups in level 1 are set at six for that period even though normally Level 1’s group limit is ten, a curfew will be in place from 10pm to 6am (starting even an hour earlier than we’ve had to date, and applicable on all islands because Carnaval is a Canarian phenomenon not just a Tenerife one) even though under Level 1 there is no curfew normally; and closing time will be 10pm for catering establishments even though after Carnival Level 1 closing time is 1am. (edit 12 Feb: published in the BOC HERE).
The current situation of the islands, to 21 February, is as follows, and I’ve updated the main rules above:
Updated 4 February: Tenerife has been kept in Level 2 for another week, the Canarian Government has announced after its weekly Cabinet meeting. The latest full report is HERE, with all the islands in fact remaining in their existing level as follows:
Updated 22 January: The details of maximum risk level 4 into which Lanzarote and La Graciosa have been placed have been published along with the fact that the specific extra restrictions that were in place in Tenerife have been extended. Originally these measures were effective to midnight of 24 January but have now been extended until further notice. The BOC publications today are HERE and HERE, and I’ve updated the main rules above that are applicable in Tenerife.
Updated 13 January: The snow is going, and the Cabildo has reopened all the access roads to the Teide National Park. The Cabildo reminds the public, however, that the island remains on Level 3 to contain the spread of covid, and so crowds must not form, and we are advised to restrict our movement to the essentials.
Updated 12 January: Roads to Teide were closed for a couple of days because of recent heavy snowfall at altitude, but yesterday they were reopened with advice that everyone shouldn’t make a beeline for the mountains because crowds were against the rules and movement was supposed to be restricted even though not against the rules. Well, the videos are unimaginable … or rather, they’re all too imaginable, and today, the Cabildo has announced that all access roads are again closed “because of ice of the road”. Feeling how cold it is at 1000m I have no doubt of that ice, but suspect the rapid closure of “all access roads” is the result of the fact that yesterday everyone did indeed make a beeline for the National Park …
As I said in the cold weather post HERE, the public can check the official roads website HERE for up to date info on works, whether roads are open or closed, etc, but the Cabildo has again this morning reminded the public that Tenerife “is in level 3 to contain the spread of covid19. Crowds must be avoided and movement restrictions are recommended. Fat chance, but at least the roads are now barricaded. Not worth trying to go up to see the snow.
Updated 9 January: Published in the BOC today are the new restrictions in place from Monday until 24 January. Really, for Tenerife in red/level 3, the restrictions are as already in place (see info in bold above and 18 December updates below), but with groups still limited to people living together except for four non-cohabitants to a table in hostelry establishments, and schools reopening on Monday, there is much controversy on social media as to the sense or justification of the measures while groups are so restricted.
Updated 7 January 2021: Canarian President Ángel Torres has said that while the situation in Tenerife has improved somewhat, it still has the worst data in the archipelago and so the specific restrictions imposed on it will be maintained until at least next Thursday, 14 January. Torres, speaking after the weekly Cabinet meeting, said that he couldn’t commit to this being the last extension, however, but said he hoped it would be the last for the island’s extraordinary measures. Meanwhile, the situation is worsening in Lanzarote and again in Gran Canaria, both islands now being in amber on the traffic lights system, joining La Gomera. The latest detailed semaphore report is HERE.
Updated 29 December 2020: The Canarian Government has confirmed that the restrictions currently in place in Tenerife will remain in place until 10 January, and so they will cover Reyes, when crowds would otherwise almost certainly gather. The extension of the restrictions, which are described HERE, was confirmed this afternoon by Government spokesman Julio Pérez, who said that the situation in the island appeared to have stabilized but the extraordinary measures in place had to be maintained to flatten the curve of contagion.
(edit 30 December: extension published in the BOC HERE).
Updated 2pm, 19/12: And HERE we are, in black and white, in English, from Turismo Canarias themselves.
During the period between December 19, 2020 and January 2, 2021, only those tourists from outside the territory of the Canary Islands who stay in official touristic accommodation will be able to visit the the [sic] island.
During their stay in Tenerife, tourists must respect the nocturnal mobility restrictions established on the island, which limit the movement of people at night from 10pm to 6am every day.
These limitations do NOT affect the rest of the Canary Islands, which as of today maintain a Cumulative Incidence of below 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days.
What about those international arrivals who are not considered tourists? This decree is about national arrivals only and indeed the Canarian Government has no power to shut international borders.
Updated 19 December: So, this is not a travel website, but the situation is as clear as mud for travellers. On the one hand, travel to and from the “national territory” – mainland, Balearics etc – is limited only to those with valid exempted reasons for travel. On the other hand, international arrivals deemed “tourists” – those with bookings in regulated tourism establishments like hotels which, moreover, can verify their test results as required by the Canarian tourist accommodation covid test decree – can enter with proof of booking plus the negative test result (high risk countries) and passenger location form required from all arrivals. International arrivals who don’t have such a booking, however, aren’t excluded but how are they to be distinguished from those who do have a valid booking? Are they allowed just to enter with no proof other than the test and passenger location form? If so, how are “tourists” being discriminated against by being required to show proof of their booking? And discrimination it is because it excludes those who have paid good money for a holiday which happens through no fault of their own not to be “regulated” (ie an illegal let) or those who are coming to a VV let – totally legal and regulated but with no reception to verify test results as required.
I’ve asked for answers but the situation is unclear to the point that even German newspapers, which are now mainly reporting about the Canaries’ removal from Germany’s air corridors list, are so upset about the “confusion” that Sebastian Ebel, CEO of TUI Deutschland, has spoken direct to Canarian President Torres to ask what the position actually is for tourists! The answer, as we know however, is that there’s no issue with tourists, they can come with proof of booking, blah blah blah. It is the others where there is confusion, and it is a confusion that seems incapable of clarification.
In the meantime, the best that can be said is that it seems that international arrivals can come but they could be required to show proof of reason for arrival and, if not a tourist booking, might be something else as yet undefined. I have to say that all personal considerations aside, if I were thinking of coming to Tenerife and had no booking, I would not be certain of being allowed in nor of what I’d need to bring to be allowed in. And if I were a tourist staying in a hotel, I would be cheesed off to the max at being required to produce proof that someone staying in an illegal let wasn’t required to bring. This is an utterly hopeless and completely unnecessary cock-up in legislative clarity.
Updated 5pm, 18/12: The rationale behind these measures, the legislation makes clear, is that Tenerife is currently on level 3.5, with 4 being lockdown. We are that close to it again, and if these new measures don’t work, that’s our New Year. In the meantime, however, the new measures come into force at midnight tonight, remaining in force until 2 January 2021 with the possibility that they can be strengthened (lockdown!) if necessary.
- People to stay in their own dwellings except for celebrating Christmas on 24, 25, and 31 December and 1 January when groups are limited to six apart from cohabiting groups of greater numbers. One change from what was expected is that these groups can be from three households, not just two
- Curfew between 10pm and 6am except for Christmas Eve when it is 00.30 to 6am and New Year’s Eve when it is 1 to 6am
- No arrivals allowed to Tenerife from anywhere in the national territory nor journeys back from Tenerife, apart from for the reasons we’re all familiar with from the lockdown earlier this year, eg bank, doctor, work … these are listed again in the decree published today in the BOC
- All activity banned in indoor spaces where permanent use of masks cannot be guaranteed or where activities represent risk
- Capacity reductions in all other spaces according to risk level
- Crowd events cancelled
- Indoor areas closed apart from in health centres, work canteens, and hotel dining rooms exclusively for guest use, min 2m between chairs at adjacent tables and max 4 per table. Consumption at bars, buffet or self-service banned, max capacity in these interior areas 33%, terraces 50% max capacity, again with min 2m between chairs at adjacent tables and max 4 per table
When it comes to tourists, the decree allows only those who can show a reservation in tourist accommodation that has been registered in the Registro General Turístico de la Comunidad Autónoma de Canarias (General Tourist Register), and which are subject to the provisions of the public health control regime for admission to an accommodation establishment in accordance with Decree 17/2020, of 29 October, on extraordinary measures in the field of tourism to face the effects of the health and economic crisis produced by the pandemic caused by the COVID-19.
What this means is that only those using tourism establishments which have the means of checking the negative test required for admission – so, a reception – are allowed entry. This means, to be clear, only hotels and tourist complexes where guests are booking in through a reception … so not “friends and family” which is not a concept other than as personal guests of private owners, nor private bookings of holidays. I’m afraid it also appears to exclude Vivienda Vacacionales because they have no means to check test results at a reception as required, as well as private owners of apartments because they are neither booking in as “tourists” nor are they residents who are allowed to “return home”.
Updated 1.30pm, 17/12: Sanidad says that the measures will be published in the BOC tomorrow.
Updated 1pm, 17/12: The messaging from the regional Government is so inconsistent that one of its own departments has had to issue a disclaimer. I repeat it below verbatim, but note that this still needs confirmation by a published decree and as yet there is nothing in the BOC. Please also note that this is from Tenerife Turismo – they assume they are talking about legal tourism so their remarks won’t cover anyone not staying in a hotel or regulated tourist property (eg tourist complex booking through sole agent or residential property registered under the VV scheme). Finally, please note that the following is a direct quote in the form I received it, any queries about it or requests for clarity from any confusion caused should therefore be directed to its point of origin, not me.
URGENT STATEMENT FROM THE TENERIFE TOURISM BOARD
17th DECEMBER 2020
Movement of tourists to and from the island of Tenerife
In light of the confusion and doubt generated following the information issued yesterday by the Canarian Government regarding mobility to and from the island of Tenerife, we would like to clarify that, in the case of national and international tourists who have plans to come to Tenerife on holiday, they can take advantage of the exceptionalities listed among the current regulations in force, with relation to the right of admission in tourist accommodation establishments, whereby a negative Covid-19 test must be presented upon arrival that serves as proof of being completely free of coronavirus. These measures are stated in the official information issued by the regional government, which can be consulted in full by visiting the following link:
Therefore, tourist movement to and from the island of Tenerife continues to function in exactly the same manner it has been until now.
We would also like to take this opportunity to remind everyone of the current entry regulations to the island for international passengers, as established by the ruling of 11th December 2020, which can be consulted in full here: https://www.boe.es/boe/dias/
Transcript of the OFFICIAL STATE BULLETIN No. 323 Friday, December 11th, 2020 Sec. I. Page 113287 – Provision 15951
“Before departure, all passengers originating from any airport or port located outside Spain must complete a public health form entitled “Health Control Form”, via the website https: //www.spth.gob .es /, or the app called Spain Travel Health-SpTH.
Passengers coming from a country or area of risk as defined by the Ministry of Health* who cannot provide satisfactory proof of an Active Infection Diagnostic Test (hereinafter AIDT) for SARS-CoV-2 with a negative result carried out in the seventy-two hours prior to arrival, must carry out the AIDT established by the foreign health services.
As part of the documentary control carried out at the entry points, the passenger may be requested, at any time, to show the results of their AIDT. The supporting document must be the original, needs to be in Spanish
and / or English and may be submitted in either paper or digital format. The document will need to contain, at the very least, the following information: the passenger’s name, passport number or national identity number
(which must coincide with the one used in the Health Control Form), date of the test, name and contact details of the place the test was carried out, technique used and negative test result.
The AIDT for SARS-CoV-2 permitted is the PCR (COVID-19 RT-PCR). As long as their widespread use is not accepted throughout the European Union, other diagnostic tests such as rapid antibody tests, rapid antigen detection tests or high-performance serologies (ELISA, CLIA, ECLIA) will not be allowed.”
The Spanish Government has also announced that it will also allow international travellers from high-risk countries, in addition to a PCR, to use a Transcription-Mediated Amplification (TMA) test performed 72 hours before your arrival in order to prove a negative diagnosis of active infection by Covid-19.
*(the list of countries or areas of risk established in Annex II of the ruling of 11th November 2020, by the General Public Health Department, relative to the health controls to be carried out at the points of entry in Spain, as well as the criteria used for their definition, will be reviewed every fifteen days and updates will be published on the website of the Spanish Ministry of Health: https: // www .mscbs.gob.es / as well as on the website: https://www.spth.gob.es.)
Updated 17 December: There is still no officially published information but the Canarian Government right now is saying two contradictory things. First that entry to and departure from Tenerife are restricted in accordance with the Estado de Alarma in application nationally, and so entry to Tenerife may only be for set purposes as listed in those measures. These explicitly comprise reasons such as returning home, attending medical appointments, going to work or banks etc, as well as for reasons of fuerza mayor or situation of need. Secondly, however, they say that tourists can take advantage of the regional rule requiring tests to be presented on accessing tourist accommodation.
So, on the one hand we have the Government explicitly saying “Se restringe la entrada y salida de personas a la isla de Tenerife desde las 24.00 horas del día 18 de diciembre (viernes) hasta el 1 de enero de 2021 … restricción aplicada a Tenerife se aplicará salvo para aquellos desplazamientos adecuadamente justificados que se produzcan por alguno de los siguientes motivos contemplados en el artículo 6 del Real Decreto-ley 926/2020, de 25 de octubre, la norma que declara el estado de alarma en el país para contener la propagación de infecciones causadas por el SARS-CoV-2” … as I say no-one comes in or leaves other than for these specific reasons under the state of alarm.
On the other hand, the same notice says “en el caso de los turistas nacionales y extranjeros que tengan previsto venir a la isla de Tenerife de vacaciones, pueden acogerse a las excepcionalidades que contempla la normativa vigente sobre derecho de admisión en los establecimientos alojativos turísticos, donde hay que presentar una prueba sanitaria negativa que acredite estar libre de coronavirus” … tourists coming on holiday can take advantage of the exceptions provided for in current regulations on the right of admission to tourist accommodation: they mean the test required for booking into tourist accommodation.
To me this reads as though those with existing bookings in regulated tourist accommodation – either hotels or legal apartment reservations – can be admitted. I see nothing to indicate that anyone staying in a private apartment, even their own, can come in unless they are registered residents. Having said that, as always, we must wait for the decree to be published in the BOC.
Updated 16 December: The Canarian Government has announced new restrictions for Tenerife because our numbers are not going down, quite the reverse, even with an 11pm curfew and reducing groups to four. The Government said that the largest daily accumulation of cases has occurred this month, with 214 cases per 100,000 yesterday. Santa Cruz and La Laguna are the worst affected municipios, as we know, and actually count among the ten cities with the worst figures in the last fortnight throughout the whole country, but as Tenerife President Pedro Martín said yesterday, the problem is everywhere in this island, not just the north, and certainly not just in the metropolitan area.
The restrictions, which come into force at midnight (24h) on Friday and will be in place for at least two weeks, won’t comprise a full lockdown but nonetheless set us back in measures in place earlier this year when the island was sealed off. People will only able to enter or leave Tenerife for permitted legitimate reasons – these include leaving or arriving to come home, doctors, work reasons, animal care, bank, official procedures, reasons of fuerza mayor or situation of need. Sadly for those who have booked holidays here from Friday onwards, their visits will no longer be possible.
The curfew will apply from 10pm rather than 11pm, and those hostelry establishments that can open will have capacity reduced inside, and food being only permitted as takeaways. Additional measures that customers will discover include commercial centre capacity reduced to one-third and their parking reduced to half. Indoor sports are suspended and only individual sport is permitted out of doors. No crowd events are allowed, fairs, dances, or markets, and increased restrictions will apply to centros de mayores and family visits to those in residential care. Buses and trams will have their capacity reduced, also, to 50%.
The biggest effect, however, will be on Christmas get-togethers with Canarian residents advised to avoid moving between municipios but with an actual ban on gatherings involving more than two households. the maximum of that group being six in any case. These specific restrictions apply on 24, 25 and 31 December, and 1 January.
Updated 15 December: As I posted in the covid figures post yesterday, things are getting worse, and yesterday’s 10,906 cases for Tenerife have today gone over the 11,000 mark. It’s obvious they will need to do something more than the Special Measures, Further Restrictions and Extraordinary Restrictions that I’ve detailed HERE. None of it is working, and Tenerife President Pedro Martín has said today that the situation is worrying throughout the island, not just in the metropolitan area, and that he considers the main problem the unacceptable lack of public responsibility.
Whether we blame social irresponsibility, however, or lack of adequate enforcement or a combination of both, something clearly has to change, and it will because Sanidad has confirmed that a covid summit is being held today between the Canarian Government, the Tenerife Cabildo, and representatives of every Ayuntamiento in the island. In addition to this meeting to collate ideas and generate an action plan, the Canarian Government will hold another extraordinary Cabinet meeting tomorrow ahead of the usual Thursday meeting to decide on new measures which they hope will start to turn the tide. Many will inevitably think, however, that whatever measures they decide to impose must be accompanied by action to back them up. For once.
Updated 11 December: It will surprise no-one that after Tenerife’s curfew was extended for a week to bring it into line with the other Extraordinary Measures, the island has been kept in Special Measures for another week, to be reviewed again on the 19th. So, we are in Special Measures, Further Restrictions, and Extraordinary Measures. Please see the section in bold at the top of the page for the restrictions as they affect us daily, and HERE for the nutshell version. For details about the outbreak generally in the Canaries please see HERE.
Updated 10 December: Tenerife’s curfew has been extended a week, the Canarian Government announced today after its regular Thursday Cabinet meeting. The curfew will now be reviewed together with the restrictions concerning groups, etc., which also came into force a week ago but which were originally in place for a fortnight. The decrees are in the 5 December update below, and the new decree extending the curfew will be published in the BOC tomorrow.
Updated 8 December: The situation of “federated sport” being banned under the latest Extraordinary Restrictions has come under fire from Tenerife’s politicians for “causing confusion” – and I can vouch for that confusion from my own mailbag. The CC-PNC (nationalist parties) group in the island Cabildo has criticized the “chaotic situation” that the rule has caused for sport in Tenerife. Group spokesperson Verónica Meseguer said that “there are inconsistencies in the measures that show a clear lack of planning that has damaged thousands of sportspeople and their clubs in Tenerife”. Meseguer said that she understood the measures were for health emergency safety reasons but insisted that they should be clear! “Such confusion has been caused”, she said, “that federated sportspeople aren’t allowed … but non-affiliated users are. In other words, they have criminalised federated members while allowing the non-federated free scope. This is absurd”.
Perhaps part of the absurdity is the lack of clear definitions here. Golf is a federated sport, confirmed by legal definition and, informally, to me by the police. There is even a Canarian Golf Federation of which most clubs here seem to be members. And yet golfers are questioning whether they can play and it seems that the answer could be yes or no, and that it might depend. On what exactly it might depend is clearly the definition that is lacking … and that really is absurd. I’ve approached the Canarian Golf Federation for a comment and will report back if anyone can provide any confirmed clarity.
Updated 5 December: The measures have been published in the BOC today, two publications because one measure HERE relates to the curfew in place for one week reviewable and strengthenable depending on developments, and the other HERE relates to the other restrictions, eg groups of four maximum, in place for two weeks currently. For much more detail, see the anexo to the pdf version of the measures HERE.
Updated 4 December: As feared, our figures are not improving and indeed have worsened, and so the regional Government has announced that after an unscheduled (extraordinary) Cabinet meeting today, more restrictive measures have been introduced for Tenerife. President Torres said that we are therefore under curfew from tomorrow between the hours of 11pm and 6am, clearing the streets again as we had earlier this year, the measure in place for one week but to be reviewed and possibly strengthened depending on developments.
Moreover, social and family groups are limited to four regardless of location, including beaches. In catering establishments diners may only eat at tables, not at bars, and all non-professional sporting activities are banned though gyms may remain open but only for a maximum of 15 people. All these measures other than the toque de queda (curfew) are in place currently for two weeks.
Essentially, Tenerife has voluntarily entered the estado de alarma that is already in place throughout the rest of Spain where a curfew is set between those hours. Torres said that Tenerife’s cumulative figures put the island in the high risk category, reaching the highest peak of the entire outbreak yesterday and the largest growth in cases in November with 2,530 infections.
Nonetheless, the regional authorities won’t confine people to their own municipios, at least at present, and Tenerife remains in the red traffic light for the semaphore which means we remain in Special Measures, but the President calls on the public to behave itself because, he said, “you can’t cheat the virus into stopping spreading” by tricking the security forces, and with Christmas approaching we have a perfect breeding ground for it.
The new regulations should be published tomorrow in the BOC. We were advised, told, warned, chastised, and begged … nothing worked, and so here we are.
Updated 27 November: As we might have expected after yesterday’s announcement that Further Restrictions continue to apply in Tenerife until 10 December, it has been confirmed that the island will remain in Special Measures until the same date. The imposition of Special Measures had been due for revision today and was in place unti the 4th. Whether Special Measures and Further Restrictions will continue beyond that is, the authorities say, down to us. The official publication of the extension is HERE, the document as usual containing a detailed breakdown of figures.
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.