Can I travel to the Canary Islands? Holiday quarantine rules explained

CANARY Islands' tourist operators have worked "intensely on reopening our destination" for holidaymakers.

So, what is the latest on the Spanish archipelago, and can Brits safely visit Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura?

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Can I travel to the Canary Islands?

The Canary Islands are saying hola again to Brits, so get ready for a pre-Christmas getaway.

England – and Germany – both decided on Thursday, October 22, that the archipelago was no longer a high risk area for the coronavirus.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the good news on Twitter, saying: "Following an assessment of the latest data, the Canaries, the Maldives, Denmark and Mykonos have been added to the Travel Corridors list.

"From 4am on Sunday 25th Oct, you will no longer need to self-isolate if you arrive from those destinations."

Spain’s Canary Islands hope that by being added to the safe travel list, it'll save its crucial winter tourism season.

Some 5.1 million Britons and 2.8 million Germans visited the archipelago in 2019, accounting for over half its 13.3 million foreign tourists.

“It’s magnificent news,” said regional tourism secretary Yaiza Castilla.

She added that airlines and tour operators were scrambling to increase capacity and revise pricing in expectation of a rise in demand.

“The quarantine was putting the brakes on travel decisions from our two main markets,” Castilla said.

While Spain on Wednesday, October 21, became the first Western European country to report one million Covid cases, the Canaries’ infection ratio has halved since early September to 81 per 100,000 residents.

That compares with a ratio of more than 1,000 cases per 100,000 people in hard-hit Navarra, on the mainland.

Are there any travel restrictions in the Canary Islands?

Brits arriving for holidays in the Canary Islands will need to be tested for coronavirus when they arrive at their hotel receptions.

Government and hotel officials are finalising the measure following a row over testing at airports.

The Spanish government and the airport authority AENA said it's not feasible – or practical – to test millions of arrivals at the airports.

And with the lack of space at the Canaries' congested airports, the EU isn't in favour of the idea either.

Hotels are prepared to accommodate any holidaymaker who tests positive and must go into quarantine while visiting.

This includes at Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote.

On arrival, travellers entering Spain from the UK will not be required to self-isolate.

However, you will be subject to the following three requirements:

  • Provide the Spanish Ministry of Health with mandatory contact information and any history of exposure to Covid-19 48 hours prior to travel
  • Temperature check – if it is 37.5C or higher, you will undergo a medical assessment
  • Undergo a visual health assessment

Will I need to quarantine when I return home?

Grant Shapps said people returning from the Canary Islands would no longer need to self-isolate from 4am on Sunday, October 25.

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