Category: Family

Latest Gran Canaria News, Views & Sunshine

Mogán town council assumes direct management of services on Playa de Mogán

The Mogán Local Council on Friday installed new sun beds and umbrellas on Playa de Mogán, beginning direct management of seasonal services of this popular beach, along with the other six beaches for which it now holds corresponding authorisations: Las Marañuelas, Costa Alegre, Taurito, El Cura, Aquamarina and Patalavaca. Since last summer they have also been in control of direct exploitation of  Puerto Rico and El Perchel beaches.  The majority of these coastal tourism enclaves were managed by private companies who held the concessions, some of which had been in place for decades. 

The Canary Guide #WeekendTips 27-29 January 2023

Tenteniguada Almond Blossom Festival
It’s the last weekend of January and exactly two weeks to go until the 2023 Carnival season starts on Gran Canaria. This weekend will most probably be enjoyed with a drop of wet weather, Sunday being forecast as the rainiest. The southern tourist enclaves look to also see a bit of cloud cover and even a small chance of seeing a few drops of rain. However you look at it, it may be handy to have umbrellas and raincoats around during the days to come. There is even the possibility of some snow on the mountains as we head into next week.

More than half of all Canary Islands properties sold last year were bought by foreigners, more than half of those non-residents

While we still await final figures for the last quarter of 2022, the latest official data from The Canary Islands has shown foreigners are buying more homes in the Canary Islands than ever before. The number of real estate acquisitions by non-residents in the Canary Islands has risen 52% compared to the same period in 2021, and is already 16% higher than the highest ever record set in 2017.

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The Canary Guide Weekend Tips 28-30 January 2021

It’s the last weekend of January already and what a month it certainly has been!
Almond blossom festivities both in Tejeda and in Valsequillo have been postponed until next year, 2023. Many Carnival celebrations have also been postponed until summer 2022 and the start of the main Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival, moved to 25 February and will be celebrated without most of the popular street events.
Gran Canaria continues on Health Alert Level 4 for another week, and the higher alert level also means some stricter regulations.
The town hall of Mogán has already cancelled all weekly markets in the municipality as have Santa Lucía, while San Bartolomé de Tirajana (Maspalomas/Playa del Inglés/San Fernando) continues with some of the markets and the secondhand “Rastro” market still open, but not the biweekly farmers’ market.
Regardless, Gran Canaria springtime is simply gorgeous and there is always time for an adventure to go see the blooming trees, not just almond blossom in the mountains. In Mogán, the mango trees too are starting to bloom.
Upcoming bank holidays on Gran Canaria:Wednesday, 2 February 2022 is a local bank holiday in the municipality of Ingenio

Spanish State Meteorological Agency, AEMET, forecast a weekend starting with light breezes and some cloud cover, and sunshine prevailing throughout the south of the island.
It is good to remember that the weather at this time of year can be quite changeable, and hard to predict, even just a short distance inland from the usually much sunnier weather on the south coasts.
Saturday and Sunday look “wintery” with blue skies elsewhere around the island, so adventures in the mountains look promising, though skies could be a little unstable on Friday. All in all average daytime temperatures should stay a comfortable, 21ºC in the shade, though certainly a touch colder up in the summits, and definitely at night time when you can feel the temperature difference, particularly if it has been a sunny day, so if you find yourself at altitude expect fresh and cool mountain weather after sundown.

*** Check the regular markets and a range of other events on our main calendar at The Canary Guide website***

23 February – 6 February, IngenioFiestas de La Candelaria y San Blas
It is a lovely time to visit the municipality of Ingenio which is celebrating their annual Patron Saint festivities in honour of Our Lady Candelaria ‘Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria’. 
This year the festivities are again reduced by the pandemic. The religious procession, the cattle fair, the craft market, the cart race and the zanga tournament are just some of the popular activities that have been suspended after entering Level 4 restrictions.
On Friday, the fairground where the attractions and stalls are located, in front of the Federico García Lorca Cultural Centre, is offering a Family Day between 18:00-22:00, with special prices. There will also be a free photo booth with photographer included on the 28th at the fairgrounds.
That same Friday, the stage of the tent in the square hosts the proclamation of the Maninidra Fighting Club at 20:00. Later the show ‘Con Acervo Canario’, in which the singer Jesús Monzón reviews popular Canarian music from a contemporary harmonic perspective of other genres. Tickets are free and require the Covid Certificate to access, which will be done in strict order of arrival until capacity is reached.
Wednesday, 2 February 2022 is a local bank holiday in the municipality of Ingenio, The main day of the Patron festivities of Our Lady of Candelaria, ‘festividad de Nuestra Señora de La Candelaria y San Blas’ 
Fiestas patronales de La Candelaria – Ingenio

SPORTING EVENTS THIS WEEKEND

Saturday, 29 JanuaryXII Clásica de Mogán
The 12th edition of the Mogán classic rally will be held this Saturday and is also the starting event of the 2022 season.
The start and the finish line is once again the Paseo de Los Marrero, in Puerto de Mogán. This is a regularity event for historic “classic” vehicles (25 years old and more) with a scoring round for the XIV Classic Cup Gran Canaria 2022.
The 2022 edition, as usual, will present a totally linear route, taking place in two sections separated by a long stop for lunch. It will have a first section that will take place between 12:00 and 14:40, covering 98.5 km divided into six regular sections. The second part of the itinerary includes another seven sections totalling 119.8 km, to complete the 218.3 km. total, starting at 15:15 to arrive at 18:25 back to Puerto de Mogán to continue with a toast and the subsequent delivery of trophies at 19:30.
The Cordial Mogán Valle Hotel and the Paseo de los Marrero in Puerto de Mogán will be the official headquarters, departure point and final arrival for the classic. The Gran Canaria Classic Cup is made up in this edition of 8 events to be held in the province of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
 

29-30 January, Gran CanariaFénix Bike & Trail
The Fénix Bike & Trail takes place this weekend. An event promoted by the Sports Institute of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria bringing together a mountain bike and trail running competition in the municipalities of Santa Lucía de Tirajana and Tejeda.
On Saturday, 29 January : Fénix Bike at 09:30 starts from El Doctoral. The Fénix Bike will be carried out in a Marathon format over a route of about 31 kilometres and almost 1,000 meters of accumulated climb. The circuit will take place in the spectacular environment of La Sorrueda in the municipality of Santa Lucía de Tirajana.
On Sunday, 30 January: Fénix Trail starts at 09:00 from El Garañón for short and long distances.The Fénix Trail ‘Long’ tours the Gran Canaria summit with the El Garañón Lodge as the epicentre, and runs through some of the most emblematic points of the island such as Roque Nublo and the beautiful village of Tejeda.  The race will be held over a distance of 24 kilometres and a little over 1,600 meters of climb.
The Fénix Trail ‘short’ is a reduced modality of just over 12 kilometres for those who want to start the year in a more moderate way. A route with nearly a thousand metres of accumulated positive slope to climb that will also pass through the Nublo Rural Park with the start and finish line at the El Garañón Lodge .

MARKETS ON THE SOUTH OF GRAN CANARIA
With most of the markets temporarily suspended in the south after Gran Canaria moved up to Alert Level 4, there are still two to visit this weekend. These two are held in the municipal market area, off the public roads, where it is possible to control capacity and follow the current regulations in force.
On Saturday San Fernando de Maspalomas market offers all kinds of textiles, Objet d‘art and other articles, outside the Municipal Market, located on Avenida Alejandro del Castillo, with bargains for bargain hunters. It is one of the markets most enjoyed among visitors along with Friday’s in Playa de Mogán; El Mercadillo de Maspalomas, the main ‘Maspalomas market’  is on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 08:00 to 14:00.
On Sunday, the “rastro” second-hand market, is on from 08:00 to 14:00 in the main carpark of the Municipal Market, in San Fernando.
 

 

28-30 JANUARY, SAN MATEOMERCADO DE VEGA DE SAN MATEO
The weekend market of Vega de San Mateo in the mountains is a popular place to visit by locals and visitors. Open from Friday to Sunday you can find the big market warehouse building abuzz, as well as outside stalls and occasional music and dancing during summer.
Local farmers sell a selection of locally grown seasonal vegetables, fruit and cheese, wine and much more. The outside area offers stalls with an interesting array of different products from handcrafts, clothes, bags among others.
On Friday and Saturday 08:00-20:00 and Sunday 09:00-14:30. 
The market and surrounding area have undergone some major renovations and improvements. The opening of underground parking of Los Gofiones Plaza del Mercado  ( just after the main bus station) has improved traffic and parking on busy days like market days.
 
“A perfect opportunity to see some blossoming trees and beautiful views and at the same time take the opportunity to stroll through the wonderful cobbled old quarter of the Vega de San Mateo, visit the Parish Church, located in the Calle Principal and enjoy a lovely lunch in one of the restaurants nearby”
 

28-30 January 2022, Santa Maria de Guía‘Mercado de Guía’
‘Mercado De Guía‘, is the newest agricultural market to explore on Gran Canaria.
The municipal marketplace of Santa Maria de Guía is open from Friday to Sunday between 08:00-16:00.
This new agricultural marketplace, currently hosting 30 stalls, is still enjoying its inaugural month, offering prize draws and entertainment until the end of January.
On Fridays in January, for every €10 of purchases, visitors to the Mercado de Guía will be able to win a gift voucher worth €60. The prize draws will take place on Sundays, 23rd and 30th of January. Three prize cheques will be raffled each week, worth €60 each, to be exchanged at the Market stalls.
On Saturdays and Sundays, the Market hosts musical performances, children’s workshops, wine and cheese tastings, etc. Activities all aimed at a family audience that makes this an attractive experience for all the family, as well as making it possible to buy the best local produce.
 

 

LIVE MUSIC THIS WEEKEND

 
 

THE 19th HOLE MELONERAS 

Live Music from 22:00 
On Friday Dan & TessOn Saturday Chris MooneyOn Sunday Gary Lithgow
 
 

JAZ ALICE MUSIC
Jaz Alice is our most talented and versatile young singer, born in England, she has become a local star performer here on Gran Canaria

Friday at Tipsy Hammock from 14:00-16:00 and later in Papi’s Grill in Playa de Inglés at 20:30 – 23:00
Saturday at Tipsy Hammock from 14:00-16:00
On Sunday in Rio Sol Hotel in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria 21:15-22:15
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
KELLY MARLOW

The astounding US Rock sensation, now a local star on Gran Canaria, playing to an international audience and live on air.
On Friday in Nirvana Bar in Arguineguín, Ancora CentreOn Saturday in Rockabella at 20:00 in Playa del InglésOn Sunday in The Shamrock at 21:00 in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria

 
 

 

 
MULLIGAN’S GRAN CANARIA
Live Music every night, great food and a wide selection of beers
Music starts at 18:00
On Friday Thrilogy On Saturday Shane & Cotsy On Sunday Hits 4 Life 

Every Day Kevin O’Sullivan
 
 

 
 
Would you like to list your LIVE music events on The Canary Guide? It's easy to begin, with #WeekendTips, just send us your latest publicity poster!
We offer a range of simple effective ways for you to really get the word out and publicise your gigs and events with us.
Get in touch if you'd like to find out more: Listings@TheCanaryGuide.com or WhatsApp the team on 643276724
If you are a performer, get in touch with us here too, we offer (limited) free listings to professionals who are willing to work with us on our various projects to help inform Gran Canaria about the very best entertainment out there... could that be you?

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Advertise your business to English Speakers on Gran Canaria We have a range of exciting advertising opportunities starting from as little as 2€ a day online, having been in print for ten years we are now moving towards English language video and television, and with a regular audience reach of more than 50,000 people every week, 15-20,000 individuals come to our website every month 2-3 times a month.
Contact us by email on Publicidad@TheCanary.TV for more information
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€17.5m Canary Islands Rental Assistance aid package announced, accepting applications only until March 5

The Canary Islands Government Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Housing on Friday presented their new rental assistance aid package for 2020-21, through the Canarian Institute of Housing, with a budget of €17.5m in financing collaboration with the Ministry of Mobility, Transport and Urban Agenda. The subsidy is intended to guarantee access to rental housing for the most vulnerable sectors of the population in the Canary Islands as well as young people who wish to access their first properties. The applications call for this benefit package has been launched this Monday January 18, and is one of the first  new Housing Plan of the Canary Islands 2020-25 programs to be implemented.

The main recipients of this aid will be people of legal age and residents in Spain who have a rental contract for a home in the Canary Islands and who meet the stipulated rental price limits and certain income conditions. Within the applicant profiles, this aid will prioritise large or single-parent families; coexistence units that include victims of gender violence or coexistence units that include people with functional diversity, or registered disability, to a degree equal to or greater than 33%.
Sebastián Franquis from the Canary Islands Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Housing said “We are launching one of the most important programs for the Canary Islands Housing Plan because we not only build and rehabilitate housing, we also help families who are in a situation of social and economic vulnerability to pay part of their rent, and we are aware that the demand for housing in the Canary Islands is much higher ”.
The rental Assistance aid package subsidies will be divided into two lines of aid, on the one hand, for general rent and for those over 65 for which the government can subsidise up to 40% of the rent, or 50% in the event that all the people in the family unit are over 65 years of age. On the other hand, there are rental subsidies available for people under 35 years of age, who may be subsidised up to 50% of their rent for the property and, exceptionally, dependent persons over 35 years of age who may live in it.
Those who qualify as beneficiaries can be subsidised on rental receipts for the period starting January 1, 2020 through until December 31, 2021.  Franquis recalled that “it will be an essential requirement” to indicate in the application for these grants, which of the two types is being applied for (general rental aid and for those over 65 years of age or aid for those under 35 years of age) to be able to proceed with assessment by the Canarian Housing Institute (ICAVI).
In order to apply for this aid, the income of the coexistence unit must be equal to or less than 3 times the IPREM (Public Indicator of Multiple Effects Income) except for certain specific cases, such as large families or those with members with functional diversity, where the income allowable may reach 4 or 5 times the IPREM.
Request method
Applications for the rental assistance aid package can be submitted starting from January 18 through to March 5 both in person and online through the Canarian Housing Institute or at the offices of the Canarian Chambers of Commerce, with which an agreement has been reached for the provision of services for this applications call for rental assistance. Faced with the current Covid-19 health crisis and in order to achieve agile and efficient processing, the ICAVI will prioritise telematic applications for which wide coverage of care has already been prepared. For this modality, anyone who do not have an electronic signature certificate or electronic ID can register without difficulty using the “Cl@ve Permanente” system or by calling 012, dependent on the Government of the Canary Islands, to request this process.
In the event that face-to-face presentation is chosen, it will preferably take place at the offices of the Canarian Chambers of Commerce or the Canary Islands Housing Institute (ICAVI) upon request for a prior appointment by calling 012, or at any of the records provided for in the regulations of the administrative procedure. General information, on the form and presentation of applications, can be obtained on the ICAVI website (https://www.gobiernodecanarias.org/vivienda/), by calling 012, or at the Canary Islands Chambers of Commerce.
The participation of the Chamber of Commerce is part of an agreement signed with the four chamber organisations in the Archipelago that establishes that the Chambers will be collaborating entities for the provision of collection services for the requests of citizens who demand general rental assistance, expanding the staff and technical resources for the Canarian Housing Institute.
Franquis pointed out that the Government of the Canary Islands “is working on a preliminary project, which is being developed by the Ministry of Social Services, where it is foreseen that within the “Income for Citizenship” a supplement for housing will be created,” adding that “the objective is for this aid to form part of that complement, therefore, it could be the last call for this subsidy, since it is desirable that it becomes an economic benefit that is paid monthly.”

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Anyone travelling to The Canaries, even from mainland Spain, must now have a negative COVID-19 test result carried out in the 72 hours prior to arrival

All people who, as of this Friday, December 18, travel to the Canary Islands from anywhere in Spain, except those under six years of age, must have had a negative COVID-19 test result within the 72 hours prior to their arrival on the islands, as ordered by the Canary Islands Government.
Anyone who does not take the test before arrival will have to isolate themselves, and be tested on the islands within 72 hours, or otherwise remain isolated at their accommodation/residence for 14 days, according to the order, which specifies that three types of tests are supported: PCR, TMA and antigen test.

The order from the Canary Islands Regional Ministry of Health, published this Tuesday in the Official Gazette of the Canary Islands (BOC), will be in force from December 18 to January 10, although it may be extended.
The Government of the Canary Islands say these measures, for which there are some exceptions, are justified due to almost the entire national territory of Spain being at high or very high epidemiological risk, while the archipelago is currently deemed in the mid range of concern, although also on an upward trend, primarily due to the very high infection rates being experienced on the one island of Tenerife.
An estimate 60,000 people or more will travel to the islands during the Christmas period from the mainland of Spain, returning to their usual or family residences.
In these circumstances, the screening of travellers via a diagnostic test for active infection (PDIA – prueba diagnóstica de infección activa), or alternatively self-isolation, is seen as “an adequate and proportional measure” for the protection of public health within the Canarian population, say the regional government.
For these screenings, the Canary Islands Health Service has made available, to passengers, a network of laboratories, with national implementation, with whom it has reached agreements so that tests can be carried out, allowing each passenger to choose to go to the laboratory they deem most appropriate.
Either the laboratory or the individual, are supplied with an official email address to which the analytical results should be sent before their arrival in the Canary Islands.
Cost of testing
The Canary Islands Health Service have assumed the cost of the diagnostic tests in the case of all Canarian residents who undergo testing in approved and subsidised centres.
In any other case, the cost will be assumed by the traveller, although in some centres there will be “a special price” offered.
If “exceptionally” a passenger has not been tested “they must isolate themselves at their residence and carry out a PDIA within 72 hours of arrival” and remain in that situation “until obtaining and remission of a negative diagnostic test or… epidemiological discharge”.
“Those who do not carry out the PDIA in the manner indicated in the previous sections” must stay isolated in their residence/accommodation for 14 days, “without prejudice to any sanctioning measures that may take place”,  the Canary Islands Government say, referring to the sanctioning regime of fines established in Decree Law 14/2020 on non-compliance with COVID-19 prevention and containment measures in the autonomous regional community.
Exceptions
Passengers in transit, or those who have a reservation in a tourist establishment in which diagnostic test results are already required, since the beginning of November, are excluded from these measures.
Likewise, exceptions have been established for when the urgency of travel prevents the performance of the diagnostic test, including in the case of health workers and carers, patients traveling for imperative medical reasons, public representatives, ship and aircraft workers or journalists.
This measure has now been added to, what is known as, the perimeter closure of the Autonomous Community established on December 9, in the regional decree which authorised the sanitary control of international travellers using both antigen tests as well as the PCR negative COVID-19 test required under Spanish law.  The regional decree has, however, come under scrutiny by the Central Government in Madrid.

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Canary Islands Government will carry out PCR tests for residents flying back over Christmas from Spanish mainland

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.

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Warm weather and sunshine do not stop COVID-19 from spreading, we must be sensible this winter season

Warm weather and sunshine have little effect on stopping the spread of Covid-19.  The Canary Islands archipelago as a whole remains the Spanish region with the lowest accumulated incidence of Covid-19 over the last 14 days, writes Yanira Martin in Spanish language daily LaProvincia, with 76.9 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, as well as the lowest over the last seven days, with 43.3 per 100,000. While the spread of the virus has skyrocketed throughout the rest of Spain and other European countries, the contagion curve in The Canaries has dropped significantly. Some have suggested that our climate may have been a key factor.  But no evidence appears to support this idea. Warm weather and sunshine do not stop COVID-19 from spreading, though it may be beneficial, the danger is as real and present here as it is anywhere else.
The second wave of this global pandemic was first detected here in mid-August, when temperatures were very high. In fact, the accelerated spread of the virus led the Canary Islands to tightening restrictions, and our worst recorded data so far followed just a few weeks later, when we reached a record of 382 new daily infections detected on September 4, just one day earlier the region had added 381 positives to our count.
This seemed to puzzle many experts, as well as the many members of the public who claimed, particularly on social media, that SARS-CoV-2, like other coronaviruses, would not be able to survive hot weather and, therefore, would not be a worry during the summer. However, once again, COVID-19 showed that its behaviour is still not easily predicted.

Editors comment:
The fact that so many amatuer ‘researchers’ and non-scientists attempt to speak so authoritatively on what is still a highly-contagious pathogen, less than a year since it was officially identified, who attempt to define its characteristics and the ‘alternative’ steps we should all take, regardless of the best peer-reviewed advice available to us, is not only incredible, but it is a sad reflection of a modern-day tendency to confuse those with loud opinions for those who cautiously try to follow verified facts and real learning based on direct observation in the lab. Social media disseminates all kinds of information, regardless of accuracy.  Looking at it, following it and liking it is not research.
We must not allow our societies and communities to be dictated to by angry, ignorant people who see conspiracies everywhere and in everything and everyone.  Just because we are in a sub-tropical sunshine holiday destination, does not mean we can try to “save businesses” by ignoring the actual economic consequences of governments trying to effectively deal with a situation that has had dire consequences for the entire world, and which continues, and will continue, to cause serious problems that could last for generations.
We must be calm, and work together, particularly with experts in the field, to find the right paths to put these problems behind us.  Which eventually we will.

“High temperatures do not stop the virus, but with cold [weather] people occupy more enclosed spaces”Amós García Rojas – Epidemiologist

Doctor Amós García Rojas
Epidemiologist and Vaccine Physician Doctor Amós García Rojas, head of the Epidemiology and Prevention department of the Canary Islands Government’s General Directorate of Public Health, says the summer showed that the heat does not help to contain the spread of the disease. “The only seasonal factor that can influence that is, when it is cold people tend to occupy more enclosed spaces, which favors the transmission of the infection. However, the temperature, as such, does not stop this new coronavirus”.
Likewise, Calima (warm winds that bring dust from the Sahara) which often affects the region does not appear to influence the infection rates either. “There is no logical relationship that suggests that suspended dust can have a positive or negative influence on the problem”, said the specialist. “What we do know,” he continued, “is that our good data is associated with the good behavior of citizens in general, the excellent work being done by the trackers and the proper functioning of the health system.”
As for whether the arrival of winter could increase the risk of coinfection, between both influenza and Covid-19, the expert bluntly says that, “the influenza virus is seasonal and always has a greater presence in winter, unless the… vaccination campaign is [taken seriously by the public]. This compliance added to the security measures, could ensure that there are hardly any cases of the flu”.
In the opinion of García Rojas, the current evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on the islands can be described as “favorable”, taking into account that the difficulties seen in many other regional autonomous communities have been decisive in decreeing the new state emergency. “We have an incidence that, within the context we are experiencing, is more than acceptable. We must bear in mind that, if we want to preserve it, we must insist on maintaining correct hand hygiene, interpersonal distance and the use of masks ” emphasizes the department chief.
Until there is an effective vaccine, he says we must continue to be alert and not lower our guard. “Bad decisions could throw all advances overboard,” he highlights, pointing out that a large number of Covid-19 outbreaks that occur are being detected following gatherings between friends or family. A fact that leads him to appeal for each citizen to be prudent and responsible. “Even though we are with people who are part of our narrower circle, it is important to respect physical distance and use masks. The Christmas period is approaching and, of course, it will not be a holiday like the ones we have had before. We are living through an exceptional situation and we all have to collaborate to end this conflict as soon as possible” concludes García Rojas.

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Masks mandatory everywhere: Canary Islands restricts nightlife despite lowest number of infections in Spain

The Canary Islands Extraordinary Governing Council meeting held  Thursday morning (August 13, 2020) has agreed to approve a series of health measures seeking to contain the current outbreaks on the islands. At the request of the Spanish Ministry of Health, they approved mandatory use of masks, both in open outdoor spaces as well as closed indoor spaces, irregardless of whether the prescribed 1.5 meter safety distance can be maintained. The Council also brought in sweeping new restrictions for the restaurant, bar and nightlife sectors.
Having verified a significant increase in cases of COVID-19 throughout the Archipelago, especially among people under 30 years of age, several having been linked to nightlife, the Government once again finds itself having to take swift action in order to try and control the potential for community transmission. There are 28 active outbreaks across The Canary Islands, with 268 cases diagnosed in the last 14 days and 745 close contacts identified, who have also been placed in quarantine. Currently there are 638 active cases of Corona Virus COVID-19 in The Canary Islands, with more than 400 active on Gran Canaria.
Despite the sudden increase over the last week, the Canary Islands so far maintains its ranking in Spain as having the lowest number of detected infections throughout the pandemic, with a lower cumulative incidence of diagnosed cases over the last 14 days than elsewhere in the country, and a per population infection rate standing at just 22.71 cases for every 100,000 inhabitants, better than Asturias and Galicia, according to the latest official COVID-19 report (Wednesday, August 12) published by the Ministry of Health.
On July 31 there were 15 active outbreaks in the Canary Islands, involving 157 confirmed cases and more than 500 close contacts identified and placed in quarantine. In other words, in two weeks the number of people involved in outbreaks has increased by 50%.
Faced with this situation, the Governing Council has decided to adopt new restrictive measures proportional to the risk and directed at those areas or sectors in which the risk of transmission must be reduced.
Mandatory mask
As of this Friday, when the agreement is published in the BOC (State Gazette Bulletin), the mandatory use of masks will be established by for everyone aged six years and over. It will be mandatory to wear a mask on “public roads, in open air spaces and in any closed space for public use, or open to the public, irregardless of maintaining the interpersonal safety distance of at least 1.5 meters”.
The correct use of masks will be mandatory: it must cover the nose and mouth completely at all times. Likewise, it must be properly adjusted to the nose and chin, so as to prevent the expulsion of respiratory secretions to the environment.
Masks will be mandatory in all hotel and restaurant establishments and services, including bars and cafes. The obligation only excludes the time taken to eat food or drink.
On the beaches and at swimming pools, you are not obliged to wear a mask while bathing and while you occupy a particular or specified space, without moving (so not needed while sunbathing), and provided that interpersonal safety distances are respected and can be guaranteed between all beach or pool users. In any case, the use of a mask will be mandatory at the entrances, in corridors and on walkways throughout those spaces and facilities.
Non-university educational centres, can be excluded from the obligation to wear masks, when stable coexistence groups have been established between students, schoolchildren and in other school groups, when they are seated at their desks at a distance of at least 1.5 meters.
The obligation to use a mask will not be enforceable in cases provided for in article 6.2 of Royal Decree-Law 21/2020, of June 9, on urgent prevention, containment and coordination measures in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis.
In addition to this obligation, the Governing Council, at the request of Spain’s Ministry of Health, recommends the use of a masks in all private spaces, “both open and closed, when meetings between people, from different coexistence centres, are held”.
Hospitality Sector
Along with the existing measures relating to masks established for hospitality, leisure and catering businesses, no more than 10 people are to be allowed to sit at the same table or group of tables, whether inside and outside the premises.
Separation distances of at least 1.5 meters must be maintained between tables or groups of tables, as well as between individual clients or groups at the bar.
The maximum occupancy per table or group of tables indoors and outdoors will be limited to 10 people and the necessary separation distances must be adequately displayed.
Nightlife
Nightlife venues must close no later than 1.30 am. No new clients are allowed in after 1am
Nightlife is only allowed in open spaces and on open terraces. These can only be open to the public, exclusively for sitting or standing consumption, and always in previously reserved spaces with pre-booked tickets (ie no mingling between groups). Access will be through nominative tickets in pre-reserved set groups of up to 10 people from an individual’s social or family environment, sitting or standing, and food and drinks will be directly served to each reserved area.
In any case, the capacity for all outdoor terraces, discos and nightspots can only be up to a maximum of 70%. In addition, it is necessary to maintain interpersonal distances, and the use of masks remains mandatory.
When there is a space on the premises for a dance floor or similar, this may be used to install tables or reserved spaces, on the basis of not being able to dedicate said space to its habitual use.
Clubs and other nightlife establishments must have frequent natural ventilation or, if air conditioning is used, sufficient air renewal, capturing outside air from a suitable place
Where appropriate, security personnel will ensure that interpersonal safety distances are respected, and will seek to avoid the formation of large groups and gatherings, paying special attention to the access points and areas immediately surrounding, as well as any other area where safe interpersonal distances are not being respected.
The Government will hereby prohibit gatherings and parties on recreational boats, where a safe distance cannot be maintained.
The president also stressed that the celebration of festivals and popular festivals will continue to not be authorised, given the current epidemiological evolution of the situation.
The Governing Council also approved the prohibition of smoking on all public roads, or in any spaces for public use, where a physical distance of 1.5 meters cannot be maintained.
Finally, the president announced special attention for nursing homes, which implies there will be screening of both residents and workers.
Source: Canary Islands Government

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Mogán now accuses Neighbourhood Food Project of sanitary, technical and social irregularities

Last night TheCanary.TV, in an exclusive, went live with the sudden, and previously unknown discovery of a planned attempt to evict the volunteer-led charitable association, known as The Food Project, (Proyecto Vecinal de Alimentos de Mogán Nabohjelpen) from their main distribution premises in Arguineguín, where they have worked over the last 11 years to coordinate assistance for literally hundreds and hundreds of Mogán families as part of their work to support the poorest in our community.
While the CIUCA Mogan majority led town council have repeatedly expressed their distaste for this citizen-led project, they have apparently never tried to address the underlying issue that necessitates this group of volunteers working to ensure that poverty-stricken residents of Mogán are supported when they are failed by the system, whether this be due to problems of unemployment, homelessness, learning difficulties, rough sleeping and various health issues for which scant assistance, if any, is provided by the municipal government of Gran Canaria’s south west.
It seems the live broadcast, from editor-in-chief Edward Timon, has rattled some cages.  Having now been viewed more than 8,000 times, this morning the Mogán Town Hall announced a hastily put together “press conference“, to explain, in their own words, why they had passed this motion without consultation, a decision that risks putting to an end the work of this community project, run by the Asociación Vecinal de Las Lomas Dos, neighbours association. The Mayor and the Councillor for Social Services, having so quietly added this minor agenda item earlier this week, sure had a lot to say in the more than half hour press conference at 1215, which, it may be pointed out, took more than double the 15 minutes they had allowed for the 12 noon meeting in which the motion was carried today to begin the attempted eviction of the project from their main base.
Here is what the town hall had to say this evening on the official council website, Mogan.es, citing various hotly refuted accusations against this team of neighbours working so hard, from municipal premises, to try to protect and support some of the most vulnerable in our community:

“The mayor of Mogán, Onalia Bueno, and the councillor for Social Services, Tania Alonso, have explained at a press conference the reasons why the local administration has started the administrative file in which it is agreed to cease the Mogán Neighbourhood Food Project organisation’s food distribution activity and recover the municipal premises transferred by the Local Government Board in June 2009. This decision is justified after a lack of coordination and collaboration between the entity and Social Services, in addition to technical reports that prove a lack of protection mechanisms to guarantee safety, the structural deficiency of the property and hygienic-sanitary measures required for the development of the activity they carry out.
In the clauses of the transfer of the premises, its exclusive use for the distribution of food is contemplated, however it is also being used as a warehouse for belongings, a fact not allowed. Furthermore, among the obligations contracted by the entity is the guaranteeing of the good condition of the facilities, making necessary repairs as well as paying for water and electricity.
“After eleven years the obligations have not been fulfilled, which has led us to intervene in the face of the numerous deficiencies endorsed by the technical reports on Public Works, Health and Consumption and Public Services,” Mayor Bueno pointed out. The reports contemplate the multiple problems that this place presents, such as the accumulation of large items that in turn has caused the existence of rodents in the old Arguineguín Infant School. Also the absence of hygienic-sanitary measures due to the lack of adequate thermal installation that does not allow acceptable interior air quality, circuits bridged in the electricity supply, deficiencies in protection systems, humidity and more leading to the conclusion that the premises does not meet the minimum conditions of habitability.
The Las Lomas Neighbourhood Association has received, on multiple occasions, from municipal staff, request to remove the stored items, warnings that it has ignored. “The accumulation of large objects, added to the other deficiencies, represents a potential fire risk,” said the mayor.
“When we entered the Government in 2015, we made first contact with the Association to find out the role it played with regard to the distribution of food. At that time we were already aware of the existing coordination problems between the social workers and the Association, since there was no communication on their part regarding the people who received food, which is essential to avoid duplicating aid” said Councillor Alonso.
Already in 2014, the previous government group tried to sign a collaboration agreement whereby the Association would have to provide the Town Council with a monthly list of users who come to collect food from the premises, so as to exclude them upon requests or indications of a social worker – either because they already receive aid from the Town Hall itself or because their income is sufficient to meet their basic needs. “The president of the Association never agreed to sign the agreement, proof of the refusal to collaborate with municipal Social Services,” said Alonso.
“Throughout all these years we have tried on various occasions to coordinate this work, but it has never been achieved. Only a few emails have been exchanged with the Association’s Project, in which some files on people who benefit from the distribution of food were requested,” continued Alonso. Despite having received responses to e-mails from Social Services about users who do not meet the requirements to receive the distribution of food, the Association, being aware of the duplication of resources, has continued to provide the service to these people.
There are several official documents that support that there must be coordination and collaboration of inescapable compliance between non-profit entities and the public network of social services, including documents from the Spanish Agricultural Guarantee Fund, the Food Bank of Las Palmas 2019 Annual Report and the General Social Work Council.
Based on these documents, the Town Council has attempted to coordinate with the Neighbourhood Food Project and has continued to refer users. However, after analysing the data that the entity has provided to the Food Bank of Las Palmas, and published on its website, these numbers do not coincide with the number of cases derived through the municipal Social Services.
“The Association claims to serve 162 people in December 2019 when the Town Council had not derived the same amount. Currently they claim to distribute food to more than 300 families, but only 16 have been referred from Social Services,” Alonso concluded.
Both the mayor and the council have concluded their interventions stressing that it is Social Services who must be the ones to guarantee the right of all people to access the public social protection system in order to accompany, attend to, and cover the basic needs of the population, without forgetting coordination with the third sector that can act as a complement to the work of social work professionals.
Finally, they have thanked the volunteers who have participated in the Neighbourhood Food Project in an altruistic way, from whom they have also asked for understanding of the decision made due to the reasons detailed.”
We will bring you some live coverage of the press conference, and reaction from the association as part of our news round up later this week.
#Mogán #FoodBank #BancoDeAlimentos #TheFoodProject #TheLongWalk #GranCanaria #SaveTheFoodProject

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