Since comments are frequently on unrelated posts, it seems more sensible just having one page for readers to comment as they please about anything that interests them … within the context of being Tenerife related, obviously! The readers’ recent comments list has therefore disappeared from the right hand column, and instead there’s a link to this page just under the search box and the twitter icon. Please post your comment in the box at the bottom of this page.

Please feel free to chat, though I’ll prune older comments when it gets too unwieldy. If you have a question, please check first that it hasn’t already been answered – just type a key word or two in the search box on the right hand side of your screen. If you’re just here to insult, abuse, or troll, you and your posts will be binned.

228 Comments

  1. Author

    It has, but my mailbag shows that many people still think that the only law applicable, in the universe, is British law …

  2. I thought that Spain has banned British visitors until the 31st of May.

  3. As Jon comments there will be a lot of disappointment Spain is not on the Green list although in the review in 3 weeks time the prediction is that it will be designated Green
    What has been surprising for some time are the reasons for not treating the Canaries as a separate entity when UK Foreign Office advice has not advised against travel to it for many months
    No doubt Covidcases/vaccinations would play a part in the reasoning?
    It is also surprising that twice vaccinated people are not given any concessions for travel in either direction
    Those that can afford the PCR tests will no doubt be tempted to travel from May 17 if allowed to by the Spanish Government
    At the end of the day what matters most is the safety and well-being of the island’s residents once tourists begin to arrive from Europe

  4. Loving the UK govs “Lists”…. Might be a few eclectic holidays to be got there! Fortnight in Oz with a side trip to The Falklands in winter…. Nah! I’ll stop along o’ GC a while longer I think.
    A few disappointed people about I guess.

  5. Hi Janet,
    I was pleased to see that you recommended ASSSA for private health insurance.
    My husband and I are insured with ASSSA and we have nothing but praises for the service the company provides.
    The personal attention from the local presentative, Carola Jager, is truly outstanding !!!
    Veronika W.

  6. Author

    Jon that’s brilliant! So glad you’re fully done and have the certs to prove it! Well done, both of you.

    … and yes, 3,000 ft/1,000m is chilly! It’s our norm to go out with a change of clothes when we’re heading off down to the coast!

  7. And so to yesterday’s second little prick…… in the arm.
    10am appointment at our local Centro Salud. A centre that is built, cunningly, on top of a near vertical street of slippery cobblestones. I guess there is a theory there that, should you actually make it to the door you should be fit enough that they have a decent chance of saving you.
    Parking is almost impossible since the streets were never intended for the infernal combustion engine and so, with parachutes onboard for the descent afterwards, we went down early! (I say “down”…. they’re at virtually the same level as our casa, 3000 feet, but to get there we have to go up to 4000+ and then back down!)
    10am at 3000 feet, as I’m sure Janet can confirm, tends towards cool so we took jerseys etc…. (naturally since we had them, it was hot!)
    Arrived at 0940 to be greeted by “Para vacuna?” “Si.” “Entra directamente!”
    No sign of the Sinister doc. A lovely girl with dandelion-clock hair about to tell the time instead. No, she didn’t want our TIEs. Which arm would we like to lose the use of? Nothing about paracetamols, beware of the chills or any of that stuff. Just “Go outside, wait 15 minutes, try not to die before you leave.”
    I gotta say, it was far more painful this time…. she stuck a plaster on our arms. Ok for smooth-skinned girls…. not so much for hairy blokes! Sheila kindly ripped it off with a claw hammer later leaving a hole in me fur coat. (It’ll grow back)
    Anyway. 27 hours have passed. Apart from a bruise on my thigh, not from the vaccine you understand, but from Sheila getting a cramp at 4am and almost kicking me onto the bedside table, absolutely nothing to report.
    Certificates downloaded this morning from Sanidad. Confirmed as the Pfizer vacuna. Me 67, Sheila 72 going on 17, both state care and with digital certs.

  8. Just for information, the NHS app (not the covid app) also gives detailed info of your jabs. So could also be part of any new digital travel passport.

  9. Mary – thanks for the info. I was told last week (on same telephone number) that Magna was currently doing the years 1952 – 1955 having missed my appointment text. I’m not bothered one way or the other, they’ll get to us all in time and meanwhile what are we doing? The joy of being retired!! I’m still a little unsure about any vaccination having had such serious problems after them in the past. Meningitis caused by smallpox one was no picnic!!!
    I hope when they do call for me this time they let me know before the date/time not after as on 23 April.

  10. Janet , again thanks for information & update on link https://www3.gobiernodecanarias.org/dragoweb/
    Indeed if you have a Digital Certificate or Cl@ve or access to Digital SCS using this link ,you can access your Vaccination Certificate Digitally for print out under Vacunas – Cartilla de Vacunación
    It will come up as a PDF that can be printed out or stored on your mobile/computer.
    This should save you a trip to medical centre .

  11. Author

    That’s great Julie .. the link is HERE for anyone else who would like to download it, and yes, I agree, hopefully it will be part of the digital certification.

  12. We have downloaded the Sanidad app miHistoria and that has a link to show your vaccinations received. I wonder if that may be used as part of the digital certification in the future? Lovely to see we are moving forward little by little. Now if only I could place an online order of more patience…

  13. This has been on the Foreign Office website for 12+ months and may be the reason some in the UK think they can book to come to the Canaries , literally now! and before the UK and Spanish Governments give official approval to do so
    ……”The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic Islands but excluding the Canary Islands, based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.”….
    It would seem from Tour Operators comments the majority in the UK are aware they have to wait for the Traffic Light countries list, May 17 and Spain’s requirements for entry
    I strongly echo Janet’s comments and hope that the entry to Tenerife requirements laid down by the Spanish Government are such that those entering initially are fully vaccinated and pose the absolute minimal risk to residents ,

  14. Author

    No supply issues for AZ, and there’s a whole range of views about the ideal time between AZ doses 1 and 2. Spain seems to be abiding by the general idea especially since AZ itself has suggested a second dose any time between one to three months after the first. As to the certificates of vaccination, I understand you get them from your GP … they won’t be issued to everyone, only those travelling are likely to want one so pointless to issue them to everyone because most people here won’t be travelling.

  15. Delighted at getting my J&J at Magma, 71 yrs , they phoned me to come earlier than my appointment ! Only thing is no certificate of proof , maybe send it by email later .
    Guy at 68yrs got the AZ but told 10 weeks for 2nd dose , may be a supply issue ?
    Phoned for appointment for my wife 68 yrs but was told there was a problem & couldn’t give me an appointment but to phone in a few days . Magma not particularly busy.
    Elderly German Couple with only private insurance & no Spanish turned away & referred to 012 phone number .

  16. Theresa. Rang the 012 number today and was told that in south Tenerife they are only up to those born in 1948 or earlier, despite people being advised to ring if they were born in 1951? It might be because I rang for my other half who can’t have the Astra Zeneca or JJ vaccine as he already takes blood thinners due to clotting issues. They were optimistic it wouldn’t be long though

  17. Great news Tenerife moving to level 2. Let’s hope vaccinations rise fast and cases continue to drop so that we can get back to support an island we all love

  18. John – it’s good news the current vaccinations at Magna are for ladies born in 1951 – that includes me, not heard anything yet but my previous appointment text was received a couple of days after the appointed date and time! I hope this time they let me know before not after the event!

  19. Author

    Good luck, Jon, sure all will be fine but please let us know.

  20. “Yes, I know its shopping day tomorrow. Be here at 10am for your second dose…. or else!”
    i do love our doctor. So few have a sense of ooomer.
    And it wasn’t Moderna, ‘t’was Fizzer/BioDetergent.
    Time to test that theory about reactions again!

  21. Hi Janet , thanks to original poster RT? , I followed most of their procedure in filling out & adding paperwork to Granadilla on line at weekend , received my confirmation letter on Monday , registered at Salud today & have a vaccine appointment tomorrow (71 yrs) at Magnum !
    Very grateful for your assistance & excellent work & the original posters for their contribution .
    They are doing Ladies born in 1951 at moment .

  22. Author

    The fines vary, David, from hundreds to thousands … technically they can fine over the tens of thousands. Effective? Not a hope when faced with those who disbelieve covid or the value of masks and distancing, and business owners whose only concern is their regular takings rather than anyone’s health. Those who are complaining most loudly about the restrictions and the havoc they’re causing their businesses are among the worst.

    As Jon’s comment shows, those who could do something to help are so concerned about their own selfish wants that they don’t give a damn about others’ lives.

    Meanwhile, à propos of absolutely nada, I can recommend Asssa if anyone’s looking for an insurance company …

  23. Norwegian announcement: The early hints that millions are likely to lose their livelihood due to this pandemic.
    I have been in a discussion most of the day with a representative of the health insurance market (He represents one of the major players.) today. Listening mostly to the whines that nobody is buying his insurance products, i attempted to explain that this is due to the perceived lack of integrity of the health insurance industry over its abject failure of its customers in respect of vaccinations.
    He was trying his best to justify the reaction of the insurers by saying they are “Not allowed to vaccinate” whilst I countered with an assurance that no one wanted them to but would appreciate it if they would at least engage with Salud to enable some kind of discussion as to how their customers would get seen.
    He went into defensive mode instantly, crying that his twenty employees who need their jobs to live would be thrown on the scrapheap if new business stopped coming to him.
    It seems they can’t even recognise the problem of trust they now have, let alone understand why they need to actually DO something.
    Methinks my idea that one insurance company could clean up if they just got their act together for once is dead in the water.

  24. Worrying to hear the reports here about what seems frequent Covid rule breaking in Adeje and Arona , the lack of self discipline and difficulties in policing
    I appreciate the comments made earlier about the need for self discipline
    I wonder Janet if you can explain what fines are given and if you think they are effective

  25. Author

    What it seems they’re doing is giving themselves time to offer an alternative to groups that shouldn’t (by current rules) have had the AZ to begin with. Chances are their eventual solution will be within EMA guidelines.

  26. Yes. Saw that Janet but did not appreciate that Spain was going against current EMA advice. Clearly, from the reuters piece, they are. Should have made my point clearer in my first post.

  27. Author

    It’s correct, and as I posted it only this morning HERE. It only applies to the under 60s who had AZ before they withdrew it for that age group.

  28. ‘Ere. I’ve just realised that my reply to Menceys “Sinister” query about our “dexterous” doctor with the missing arm never got sent. It’s been sitting here on an old tab for a couple of weeks! Most annoying…
    Yes, he was indeed most sinister. Somehow I didn’t think telling everyone we’d been inoculated by a sinister doctor would have the same encouraging tone 😂
    I admit it took me an hour or so before the Sestertius dropped though. I should be more alert with you two. Especially as we lived in Calleva Atrebatum from 1975 until we invaded Gran Canaria in 2019!
    Anyhow…. Very clever to catch me out….

  29. For those of you getting your vaccine at the Magma center, you can park in the upper parking area free and this will allow you to be closer to the Vaccination area. I live near Magma and all day, people are parking in the gravel lot(near the Police Station) and then having to walk all the way around(uphill) as you can not enter the front of Magma.

  30. It is so ironic that the two areas in south Tenerife which have the highest number of incidents of police sanctions for breaking covid regulations on curfew, mask wearing, social distancing and too many people are the areas with the greatest number of tourist bars and restaurants. People working in the hospitality/tourist industry have been particularly badly hit and complain about it, understandably. BUT, until people stop going out and about like they have always done, as though there is no pandemic, stop hugging people they don’t live with (for Facebook posts mostly) and don’t walk away from any bar that allows this or doesn’t stop people walking from table to table for a chat etc, this will never be over until the majority of people are vaccinated, months from now. It is up to us to police ourselves, there can’t be a police officer on every corner. So many complaints on social media of premises breaking the rules but no-one seems to want to report them? Fortunately, Kris and I have a very small list of places we KNOW will enforce the rules and where we feel safe. Obviously, we look forward to more “normality”, to seeing more people, to having people round for dinner etc but we accept it will take time – and everyone to just obey the rules, whether you like them, or agree with them or not.

  31. Author

    There are clear pockets here that will simply not comply … it’s that simple. Idiots and selfish b******s … and not just in the north ….

  32. I’ll be damned if I understand the current figures!
    (Tenerife remains in level 3 etc…)
    Our figures here in GC have dropped quite dramatically against the expected Easter Surge whilst Tenerife’s have risen equally dramatically. A week or so ago you were only just in front of us, about 150 I recall, and suddenly you’re over a thousand in front again!
    What the hell happened there that didn’t here? Or are we indeed looking at someone with a dartboard being paid to set the figures?
    I’m pretty sure our idiots are equally as idiotic as your idiots although we have one or two less I suppose, but the figures seem to be swinging wildly about, I think we were down to just 38 or 39 a day this week sometime, whilst yours suddenly had a fit and went to well over a hundred a day…. Are we ahead in the jab’emall stakes? Can’t find any figures for that aspect.
    Whatever. I’m glad we’re getting it right and sorry you’re struggling. Let’s hope the effects of the vaccines really do begin to load the dice favourably for us all.

  33. Author

    And not forgetting of course the friend who wrote the original information that I posted this morning HERE.

  34. Doesn’t affect me personally, but very well done ‘RT’ for taking the trouble to update clearly everyone with this good news,
    Congratulations also for sorting it yourself!
    Very impressed, indeed!
    Dennis G

  35. Author

    so just like the person who wrote up the report for today’s post, pre-retirement. There was a spell several months back of a few of these being rejected so it’s really good to hear that the system of universal healthcare is working provided people supply the correct documentation.

  36. We’re both 63.

  37. Afternoon good news from RT on a successful
    Application for state health care.
    Can RT divulge there age as that also maybe a
    Criteria in getting an application accepted.
    Good news thou and thanks for sharing
    Tom Reid

  38. In case this is useful for anyone that has been resident in Tenerife since before 24 April 2012 but has only ever had private health, this is what I did to register with the Spanish healthcare system. It was very straightforward.

    First I phoned the Department of Work and Pensions 0191 218 1999 to request a Legislation Letter to prove that I wasn’t in the UK NHS. The letter arrived 12 days later.

    As soon as the document arrived, I went to the website https://sede.seg-social.gob.es/ in order to register with Spanish National Healthcare Service. I clicked on the link “Presentación de otros escritos, solicitudes y comunicaciones (Instituto Nacional de la Seguridad Social)”

    Then I scrolled down to Acceso directo a trámites and clicked on “Sin Certificado”

    and filled in the simple online form.

    In the box for “Escrito, solicitud o comunicación : (*) Explique el motivo de su escrito, solicitud o comunicación” I put “Deseo solicitar la asistencia sanitaria. He estado residente en Tenerife desde antes de Abril 2012”

    I uploaded the following pdf documents onto the form:

    Copy of my passport and old green NIE care (back and front)

    Copy of my TIE (back and front)

    Up to date copy of my Padron certificate

    The legislation letter

    Within half an hour I received an email with my social security number and a document certifying my right to healthcare with instructions to take this letter to the Health Centre (in my case in Los Cristianos) to request the health card the following day.

    The following day I took the document, copy of my Padron and TIE to the health centre where they issued me with a temporary card and assigned me a doctor. I can pick up the card in 10 days time. I called 012 to check that I was on the register for the vaccine and I already was.

    Very impressed.

  39. Author

    Again I say that I post announcements when they’re made … no post means no announcement, or it means I can’t post it for some reason. Either way “is there any news” is not really a meaningful question …

  40. David, the ban, which expires tomorrow, includes a list of exceptions by country. (It does not include the UK.) The list is provided by the EU and, although it is reviewed every 2 weeks, it has not changed since February. The EU Recommendation gives 5 criteria for a country to be included on the exceptions list, one of which is a 14 day cumulative infection rate of less than 25 cases per 100,000 population. The current UK 14 day rate is about 49 so if the Spanish non-EU ban is extended after tomorrow it’s unlikely that UK will be excepted.

  41. Is there any news yet on the extension or modification to the ban on entry by UK citizens for ‘non essential’ reasons, which runs until 24.00 hours on 30 April?

  42. I have Private Health Insurance, and have today received an email from my insurance provider which says they have been asked by the state to provide a list of clients who wish to avail themselves of the vaccine. How long this takes before I get the vaccine is another matter, but its the first positive news I’ve had.

  43. Vaccination Info.

    State system
    Mine (75 yrs) at San Juan, was Pfizer, and 2nd jab in 21 days.
    My wife (74yrs) at Magma, was Johnson & Johnson – only one jab necessary.

    Dennis G

  44. For Tom Reid, Janet & all.

    I am indeed on the state system, and have no complaints at all about my general treatment (apart from being obliged, for a routine doctor visit , to STAND locked out in the street in open hot sun for over an hour at PD Santiago CDSalud despite arriving on time for an appointment arranged by them).

    The difference in CDSalud in San Juan, (for the jab) was that there were spaced SEATS provided, and an offer made to customers to take a sheltered space indoors if needed..very good.

    More good news is that my wife (74) was telephoned this morning and offered a first jab at Magma this afternoon, which again was brilliantly and pleasantly done, on the state system.
    Well done all involved, and many thanks.
    Hope all get covered soon.
    Dennis

  45. Author

    Tom they are not private patients at the moment … only state patients right now, apart from a handful of exceptions.

    BUT I second Tom’s request for confirmation, would be helpful added info.

  46. This is for Dennis at 75 who has had the vaccine.
    To help others who are trying to get the vaccine and cannot get into the state system at moment.
    It would be good to record if you and future correspondents say it they were on the state system or not.
    Thanks very much

  47. Author

    Thanks Jon, that makes total sense! And is reassuring!

  48. Janet, a doctoring friend of ours said he has always felt that the body’s reaction to foreign bodies is as much an indicator of our own attitude to similar things.
    As in, we see something new and interesting and go “Wow! That’s exciting/novel/wonderful etc” and react to it accordingly or we see something we’ve seen before and no longer has the excitement so we go “Oh. Yes. That.” And basically go about our daily chores as before.
    His view is therefore that a strong reaction such as yours indicates something new and interesting/frightening has appeared, whereas our, mine and Sheilas, reactions were more “Oh. You again. Just sit there quietly and I’ll throw you out in a minute.” suggesting our immune system had already seen and acknowledged the invader before. Something we found unsurprising since at the start of this we came back on the ferry at the end of Feb 20 with a load of Italians who had been coughing, sneezing and farting their way across the Atlantic with us. However, a source of delight for you should be, at the second jab your immune system should by then be blasé about the jab and equally dismissive of it!

  49. English Resident, aged 27,394 days (ok 75 yrs) was telephoned on land line in Los Gigantes, on 21 April, with appointment for next day at Centre de Salud, San Juan, at 1300.
    What a nice place (outdoor seating and offer for protection from direct sun) and brilliant handling.
    Pfizer with 21 day return of jab 2.

    More importantly, nice people and clear, caring service.
    Well done Spain/Canaries.

    Thank you
    Dennis

  50. Author

    well that’s me told … and there was I thinking that at least I had the benefit of high immunity for my bloody suffering … 😂

  51. Mencey
    Certainly no research on correlation between reaction and effectiveness of the Covid vaccination although the AZ and P teams are looking at this as well as immunity effectiveness of all those vaccinated
    As a geneticist I cannot see a link
    Side effects are also being further investigated using information provided by those experiencing them after vaccination
    Appreciate this is not relevant to Tenerife but you may like to know at vaccination people are being given information upon the blood clot issue that was not given at first vaccination
    Hope all you you have your vaccinations soon and those not in the State system manage to get included soon

  52. Author

    I think I should point out that there is no correlation between reaction and effectiveness, so those who experience no reactions should not think that their immunity is any different to those who suffer severe reactions. At least, I can’t find any report of a correlation, but if anybody has any scientific data on this, I would be interested to see it.

  53. Author

    Really glad to hear these reports … the system had a slow start because the EU unrolling of the programme was sluggish but that’s changing now and starting to get really impressive production figures. Spain has already said that when we reach this stage, there’ll be virtually no notice given for an appointment, sometimes just half an hour … they are like a steam train now! But they do implore the public to drop everything to ensure they attend the appointments they’ve been allocated.

    Hope everyone gets a reaction to show it’s all working but not too bad a reaction like my own 36 hours cricket bats jobby … 🙄

  54. Also had the Janssen vaccine today at Magma Centre. Very organised and kind to us who were nervous. Thay asked some straight forward medical questions then explained which vaccine l would get. Got the call Friday 6 30pm to attend at 9 45am Saturday. Only need one dose. Seven hours later and have just had some mild chills otherwise feel well.

  55. Mencey. I’m so glad the hospital was able to go ahead. It will have a massive impact on the health of all those who voluntarily ate so many slugs to enable its construction.
    Your post goes some way to answering a long-standing question of why so many slugs arrived here with sunglasses, buckets and spades and suitcases and clutching brown envelopes with suspicious amounts of moolah in them.
    I have long venerated slugs of all races. I am deeply against the whole racially-profiled, socio-empathetic, anti-slug movement, and the politician who stepped on cousin Whitey is to face a horrible end of his own.
    As soon as we are fully able to send the signal for his sentence to be carried out, (A high-five is the agreed signal), we shall rise up! Rise up I say! And slay the ……Aaaah. A problem has just been noticed. I knew we couldn’t trust that damn politician! The High-Five was his idea!
    Bugger!

  56. I just had the Astra Zeneca vaccine at El Mojon. The experience was exactly as Janet described it. The lady in front of me at the reception desk didn’t have an appointment so they told her to go away. I can’t detect any side effects ( it was only an hour ago) and my body is aching after playing golf yesterday. Second dose forecast for the 3rd of July.

  57. Author

    My view is that having had an appointment, I would go and try anyway, explaining why I missed it. The system is not a specific time for one person, but (in my case) a bunch of people at (say) 15 minute intervals. If someone were to turn up a day late with proof of an appointment, they might take a sensible view. Or not.

  58. Author

    Thing is that SCS are mass texting from computers and landlines don’t accept text messages. Local health centres are phoning landlines, however, so maybe that’s because they have fewer people to contact, but it does seem ridiculous that arrangements for mass testing centres are only by text … especially in a public health emergency where they actively want people to be vaccinated! All I can suggest is call 012 and explain … they can be really helpful …

  59. I, apparently, received a text message at 11.24 on Thursday evening (one night I was in bed before midnight) which I didn’t see until Friday afternoon at about 15,40. An appointment had been made for me at Magma for vaccination on Friday at 15,45. 5 minutes to get there, no chance!! It was impossible to find a telephone number on the message to cancel so I was probably regarded as a ‘time waster’ and go to the bottom of the list, however, I don’t carry my mobile because I only use it for banking, transferring funds from the UK and the like, I don’t give my mobile number to people so I wonder how the appointment makers managed to find it. Why the hell don’t they ring landlines (for those who have them) for appointments then they know for sure the information has been received. A couple of people have TOLD me I MUST carry my mobile with me at all times. Why? I’m not carting a ‘phone around everywhere I go and looking at it all the time as most people seem to do these days just in case ‘someone’ wants to speak with me when I have 3 perfectly good handsets for my landline at home. I’ve had enough years of being tied to mobile ‘phone. There must be a lot of people who don’t want to use a mobile, not just me surely?

  60. Author

    Brilliant Stewart! Thanks for the confirmation about the Magma and Janssen.

  61. My wife got a text on Thursday evening calling her to the Magma Centre at 11>29 on Friday morning for her vaccination. All very quick and easy, they even had signs pointing to the parking area. They were using the Jannsen vaccine which is single dose. She has no side effects at all almost 24 hours later.

  62. Author

    The El Mojón hospital is a fabulous new service for the south of Tenerife. We must be really thankful that not one single local politician has any financial interest in private medicine and that they are all of impeccable moral standing so that their own interests did not have any influence on their tireless efforts to serve the community. If it had been otherwise, the construction of the hospital might have been delayed for decades.

    I think the actual delay of a mere forty years was entirely due to the unfortunate discovery of a vulnerable species of slug, and building was immediately postponed for environmental considerations. There was only one slug remaining when a heroic local politician squashed it to enable construction to continue. I might have got this story wrong, it’s confusing talking about politicians and slugs. Anyway, they all deserve medals, methinks.

  63. Author

    No, Tom, Mencey said “Some people may find themselves in this awkward position of not being able to change the licence in time through no fault of their own, and that is very unfortunate. But I do wonder how many people there are in Tenerife who would have been able to swap the licence when they should have done, but just didn’t bother.” … he wasn’t generalising. Some didn’t have time but many didn’t bother.

  64. In reply to mencey comment in regards to RESIDENCE having 2 year to change there British licence to Spanish.
    Yes they did have plenty time
    But people who became residents in autumn 2020 have been trying to get licence changed without success due to covid and very limited appointments.
    Same goes trying to get a social security number with all the correct documents.
    Impossible
    Do not generalise that everyone buried there head in the sand.
    Thanks Tom Reid

  65. Author

    I doubt whether the number of drivers driving illegally will actually change much. Those who were resident here while the UK was in the EU had the legal obligation to change their British licences within two years (I think) and those that did not were driving illegally. This might not have incurred a fine because it would need a traffic cop to know how long somebody had been resident. But if there is an accident, knowing how insurance companies here are outraged at the idea that they might actually have to pay out anything at any time, they will do everything to show that a licence is illegal and therefore the insurance is invalid. Now with the June deadline, the police and the insurance companies are far more likely to be aware, so the chance of serious problems will be much greater.

    Some people may find themselves in this awkward position of not being able to change the licence in time through no fault of their own, and that is very unfortunate. But I do wonder how many people there are in Tenerife who would have been able to swap the licence when they should have done, but just didn’t bother. And I would love to know how many of them voted for the Brexit which created this problem for them.

  66. Author

    I don’t think there are plans, Tom, I’ve not heard of them anyway other than “I wish they would” sort of thing.

    Thanks for the non-vac question!!!

  67. Janet not about covid vaccine bet your glad.
    British driving licence to Spanish licence
    As wee know the change over is proving difficult
    Can you advise if there are plans to extend the deadline from June to later In year.
    Otherwise a lot of drivers may drive illegally
    On Tenerife roads therefore incurring a fine and
    Making there car insurance void.
    Thanks Tom Reid

  68. Author

    That’s undeniable, Mary. Shysters, I consider them. Some have even told their clients outright that they have no entitlement to a vaccine. Not just through the insurance, but no entitlement at all under any circumstances because they’re foreign. A clearer case of ‘bugger off and don’t bother us’ selfishness is difficult to imagine, during a global pandemic, and where the national Government itself has ordered them to join in the national effort … and where that Government has explicitly said that anyone of any status in the country who wants a vaccination will get one. The insurance companies are an utter disgrace.

  69. To be honest, I feel the major share of “blame” (for want of a better word) for this situation re residents not in the social healthcare system lies with insurance companies. They have been ducking and diving for months trying to avoid having to pay for vaccinations for their clients, the same clients who pay high fees for their services. Ok the government has been lax in not finding a way yet to force them to do so, but the insurers are the main culprits. it is shameful and the world will judge Spain for this in the fullness of time.

  70. Author

    I don’t disagree with you, and have said myself that there might be a case of discrimination. I didn’t take your comment as a criticism of me either. But you said that to punish the Government you’d start penalising shops, bars and restaurants – privately owned businesses. I don’t see the justice of that, nor what it achieves.

  71. I am sorry Janet, my comment was no way a criticism of youself, I was simply trying to make the point that the government are willing to take our monies in all aspects of life here but do not seem prepared to consider us as equals. Just my opinion

  72. Author

    Sorry but what do shops, bars and restaurants have to do with this? They have no part to play in vaccine procurement, supply or distribution, nor of how the supplies received are administered. It is meaningless to say they don’t want to treat you as an equal.

    I have, though, already said in the post that I think there’s a case to answer of discrimination … but that needs someone like you – in your situation and personally affected – to do something about it apart from complain to me. I’ve suggested a legal class action, a complaint to the Defensor (of Patients’ Rights or the Pueblo) … taking this out on shops seems an odd way to seek to achieve anything, in my personal view.

    The UK’s programme, though, to be clear and accurate, is nowhere near complete, and the EU is expected to catch up and overtake the UK in coming weeks. There was a huge fanfare in the British press about the first dose, which has made people think things have gone better than they have, but it’s grinding to a halt as dose production and supply within the EU increases … and that’s despite the EU exporting around half its own supplies to needy countries. This has been the case since around last September when BioNTech acquired its plant in Marburg in Germany, and it’s supply from that factory that is now accelerating the EU’s vaccine supply. Even the main Brexiteer-promoting/anti-EU papers like the Telegraph and Mail accept this now.

  73. Thank you for your update Janet on vaccinations and what seems to be the reason for private patients legally resident been ignored, or are we been refused our right to be treated equally, I’m not sure. A observation that is clear is private insurance sector residents that pay their taxes, spend their monies in shops, bars and restaurants in larger monitory value generally (not just a euro on a coffee or one meal in a restaurant between six) thus helping to keep the few bars and restaurants through the pandemic open. Maybe along with considering which private insurance companies to use in the future, it may be a consideration to stop spending our monies in shops, bars and restaurants as seemingly they do not want to treat us as equals. Sorry to feel like this, and have never may I add in the past, but really fed up with the governments hypocrisy on a life threatening pandemic and playing Russian roulette with peoples lives just because they have followed government rules to become a legal resident. I understand that other countries including the UK , whose vaccination programme in nearly complete, have not discriminated against the Spanish living in their countries. Sorry rant over and hope nobody is offended, but I am one of the many sitting ducks

  74. Author

    As I’ve explained, your appointment in El Mojón was for AstraZeneca which your husband cannot have because of his age. He will need Pfizer or Moderna (or Janssen) in your local medical centre, and they have fewer doses of those vaccines than AZ. It’s not just “priority groups” but logistics of supply too.

  75. This relieved 67 year old female has her vaccination booked for Friday, but the “at greater risk” 74 year old that I live with has to wait for a telephone call. Priority groups?

  76. Author

    I agree, Moira, that the available avenues are too slow. As to national press coverage, it’s not a bad idea but the problem is a regional one, so the interest level, even if it’s high, won’t inevitably have the necessary effect. It’s the regional Governments around Spain which are finding solutions given the inaction of the insurers. And as Jon says, there’s always the risk of the “rich Brits complaining” reaction …

    Someone has to step up, and the only two candidates are the insurance companies and the Canarian Government. And as Jon says, what an opportunity for one insurer … if only they had the humanity, as well as the nous!

  77. I suspect that there IS an answer to this insurance nightmare, but it’s conditional on at least one insurance company stepping up.
    If there IS one company that is looking to get a load of business, that’s the way forward. As soon as that happens, if it ever does, then hit the remaining companies in their pockets by everyone moving their insurances there.
    The problem is that these companies all operate a cartel whereby they consult with each other and set their insane prices accordingly.
    As to Moiras thinking, I suspect that exactly the opposite would be the result? “A small group of immigrants wants to be treated specially?? Better get back on the boat that they rowed in on!” might well be the herd reaction and, since it’s the herd that reacts to the press and pays their profits, I doubt they’d want to pick up the cudgel required to bring about a change….
    I may be completely wrong. I’d like to think so. But with the UKs perceived “I’m alright Jack” attitude to vaccines…..?

  78. In terms of finding an effective solution to the plight of residents with private health insurance it may come to it that a legal route either through a class action or a complaint to an ombudsman is necessary. However, neither, it appears to me, would be fast enough especially for those who are vulnerable. Hopefully the efforts of the Foreign Office with the Canarian Government will bear fruit. However, I was wondering whether this is an issue which could be taken to the Spanish media in order to bring pressure to bear? I realise I am viewing this from a U.K. perspective where the media would seize on such a story and the authorities miraculously respond. I have also realised that I have no idea what the Spanish culture is in terms of media interest and involvement in ‘personal interest’ stories – although in my view this goes beyond that – and what a likely institutional response might be. In the U.K., resorting to the media rather than to the law is quicker, often more effective and certainly cheaper.

  79. Author

    The problem of residents with private insurance is not confined to Spain, as reported HERE in the Guardian, reporting on Greece. No consolation for those affected in Tenerife, though.

  80. Author

    I don’t see why not, and indeed to me it’s a clear option that could be taken.

  81. Thank you, I listened to your CanaryCast today. Regarding the gap for residents with private insurance and their vaccinations in the Canary Islands, could that no be raised directly to the Canarias Defensor del Pueblo ?

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