The Government of the Canary Islands have decided that they will take matters into their own hands, and have declared that they will allow the antigen test, as an alternative to PCR, as a valid way for travellers to prove themselves negative for Covid-19 when visiting the archipelago. The decision represents a “visible difference of criteria” from the Spanish Ministry of Health, according to the spokesman for the regional government, Julio Pérez who spoke this Thursday.
Confusion has reigned for the last month as first the Canary Islands passed a regional law for antigen tests on tourists wishing to stay in tourism accommodation, and then the Spanish central government said that only PCR tests would be acceptable for any traveller entering from a high risk territory, leading the Canary Islands to demand Europe recommend Antigen tests too, which they did, and then this week said they did not think testing was necessary at all for travellers, meaning that Spain had little reason to continue insisting on PCR tests only. It is hoped this newest declaration under State of Emergency powers devolved to the regional parliament, may now bring some clarity to help the archipelago capitalise from having the lowest infection rates in Europe, and being the only winter holiday destination open for business.
The Canary Islands Government will use a decree law from the regional president, Ángel Víctor Torres, as the “competent delegated authority” under existing rules based in the continuing State of Emergency legislation, Pérez explained during a press conference following the Government Council meeting that happened on Thursday morning.
Given that this measure “may contradict” the decision taken by the Ministry of Health a few weeks ago detailing that only PCR results would be valid for entry into Spain from high risk countries, the Canary Islands Government has agreed to “formally” require the Ministry of Health to “exempt the Canary Islands of the application of this norm as it is written “.