The Canary Islands Government will carry out PCR tests for residents of the islands who wish have them when returning to the archipelago from the mainland for Christmas, the Regional Minister for Health, Blas Trujillo, said today.
The Ministries of Health and Transport are working to reach agreements with regional laboratories, in order to carry out the tests at origin, said Trujillo. “The tests will be carried out on all residents, not only on students”, although this is the largest group and, in principle, the plan is to do them in Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Vigo and Bilbao, although the test may be available in other places .
The PCR tests for residents of The Canary Islands will be done at origin, although if someone arrives without having been tested, an antigen test can be administered once in the archipelago, the minister explained. Anyone travelling from a territory outside of Spain, listed as high risk by the national Ministry of Health, as of Monday 23rd November, is already required to have a negative PCR test result, produced within 72 hours before arrival, with them when they arrive at a Spanish airport, or port.
Trujillo has indicated that the cost of these PCR tests for residents will be assumed by the Government of the Canary Islands and that several island cabildos have already announced their intention to collaborate financially.
Likewise, he emphasised that taking the PCR test before returning to the Canary Islands is voluntary, since it is a movement of citizens within the national territory, but “it seems common sense” that anyone who comes from a place with a higher incidence of coronavirus than that of the Canary Islands, has the test done, since it is being facilitated at no cost to them.
As for the health protocols for the Christmas holidays, Trujillo has reported that the Government of the Canary Islands is working to regulate the flow of shoppers to stores and issues around transport, with special attention to the larger cities in the archipelago.
Trujillo also referred to future vaccinations against COVID saying that it will be decided by the Spanish national health system and a timetable will be established by the Ministry of Health.