The Canary Islands have been taken off the UK non-essential international travel blacklist and added to the UK Government’s list of travel corridors, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps reported today. Denmark, the Maldives and the Greek island Mykonos have also been added to the list.  Travellers arriving in the UK from those places after 4am on Sunday will no longer need to self-isolate for 14 days.  A second wave of coronavirus infections appears to have been brought well under control in less than 6 weeks, with the archipelago showing some of the greatest resilience in all Spain when coping with measures to detect and combat a resurgence of infections.

Some have predicted that this could lead to a surge of bookings for October half-term breaks and holidaymakers seeking winter sun.  However only time will tell the story as to consumer confidence, with real concern also being raised about the potential for infections to be imported from high risk areas of the UK.  The Canary Islands have some of the most stringent protocols in place to try to ensure passenger safety, though it is not yet clear what mandatory protections have been put in place at origin airports to help ensure those with a potential infection are not permitted to travel, or detected before arrival. Now that the region is off the UK non-essential international travel blacklist, holiday makers will be able to book flights to visit under existing protocols.

Lichtenstein is the only country to lose its quarantine exemption this week.

The UK Foreign Office website announced the news today also:

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) continues to advise against all non-essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic Islands, based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks in the country. The Canary Islands are exempt from the FCDO’s advice against all non-essential international travel.

If you are returning from Spain, except the Canary Islands, you will need to self-isolate on your return to the UK. Some exemptions apply. Check the latest guidance for EnglandNorthern IrelandScotland and Wales.

Travel is subject to entry restrictions

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
  • Undergo a visual health assessment