Category: Vaccination

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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Vaccine booster appointments offered to everyone over 18 years of age

The Canary Islands Ministry of Health this Wednesday, January 25, issued an open invitation for people aged between 18 and 39 years to receive Covid-19 booster vaccinations by making an appointment, for anyone born between 1982 and 2003 who has previous completed their vaccination schedule.  Older citizens are also welcome.
Anyone who had the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines must wait at least five months to receive their booster dose after a change in the time intervals established by the Vaccine Report that until now advised six months. Those wanting to complete their regimen with AstraZeneca or Janssen will be able to receive the booster dose after waiting at least three months.
In the case of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 after receiving the complete vaccine schedule, the waiting time between diagnosis and administration of the booster dose must be at least four weeks.

Vaccination by appointment
People between the ages of 18 and 39 may make an appointment to receive a booster dose only through the SCS miCitaPrevia mobile app or through the same web application. For the time being, the 012 telephone appointments continue to be prioritised for age groups 40 years and up.
Vaccination points without an appointment and schedules
The spaces enabled for mass vaccination without an appointment in all age groups for first and second doses, as well as for booster doses, have a maximum number of daily doses available for anyone who comes without an appointment.
For children 5-11 years of age, the first dose and specific schedules will be set up at each of the different vaccination points.
VacuGuaGua
The route of the “VacuGuaGua” vaccination bus varies every week, bringing vaccinations closer to all points on the islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria. This week they are in:
– Gran Canaria: Until Wednesday, at the Alcampo shopping centre and from Wednesday at the Plaza de La Candelaria de Ingenio, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.– Tenerife: Until Friday, January 28, on Avenida Fundador Gonzalo González in Granadilla de Abona, from 09:00 to 13:30.
 
 

Fixed points and times on Gran Canaria 
– Infecar: Monday to Sunday from 09:30 to 14:00 and from 16:00 to 18:30 (350 doses). Child population from 5 to 11 years old: Monday to Sunday from 2:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (100 doses).
– Expomeloneras: Monday to Sunday from 09:30 to 14:00 and from 16:00 to 18:30. (350 doses). Child population from 5 to 11 years old: Monday to Sunday from 2:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (100 doses).
– Juan Vega Mateos Pavilion (Gáldar): Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (120 doses).
– Pedro Hidalgo Pavilion: Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (1000 doses). Child population from 5 to 11 years old at the same time (1000 doses).
– Miller Health Centre: Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 17:00. Child population from 5 to 11 years old at the same time.
– Arguineguín Health Centre: Monday to Friday from 09:30 to 12:00 (150 doses).
– Escaleritas Health Centre: Monday to Friday from 08:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
– Calero Health Centre: Monday to Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (120 doses).
– San Gregorio Market: Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
– Centro de Colombofilia de Schamann: Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
– Hospital Universitario de Gran Canaria Dr. Negrín: Monday to Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (300 doses) (holidays not included). Child population from 5 to 11 years old from Monday to Friday from 08:30 to 14:30 (holidays not included) (50 doses).

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Gran Canaria residents over 45 years and not vaccinated can make an appointment at 012

The Canary Islands Ministry of Health report that from today, Wednesday, June 9, residents on Gran Canaria and Tenerife over 45 years of age who have not yet received an appointment for their first dose of coronavirus vaccine can call to request it through 012 (or at 928 301 012 or 922 470 012). This appointment system is part of the usual sending of sms messages or direct calls made as a usual protocol for notification to the population from the SCS, as well as the possibility of users in these age groups to process their request in person, directly through their health centre.

Residents on Gran Canaria and Tenerife, over 45 years of age, who have not yet received an appointment for their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine can call to request one through 012 (or at 928 301 012 or 922 470 012).The rest of the population over 16 years old and under 45 years old may continue to request appointments for vaccination through the web form  canariassevacuna.com. With this tool the user fills in a simple form with their full name, DNI or NIE and contact mobile phone number. This information is collated with the database of health cards and the SCS will contact the user to arrange their appointment for vaccination at any of the points enabled throughout the Canary Islands.
The web form, launched on May 24, has already handled more than 375,000 appointments out of the more than 400,000 requests registered to date. This service is one more resource from the Canary Islands Health Service (SCS), which is complemented by the others available for age groups engaged in active vaccinations.
The appointment generated will be scheduled based on the individual’s age group, the advance vaccination calendar forecasts and the roll out to each of the vaccination age groups. In this way, the order of priority by groups is established as part of the vaccination strategy and will continue to be maintained.

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Any legal resident over the age of 16 can now get a vaccination appointment in The Canary Islands

With the announcement this week that anyone over the age of sixteen, resident in The Canary Islands, can now register for an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine, the Ministry of Health have reported that more than 100,000 residents were processed during the first 24 hours of operation of the new web form  (www.canariassevacuna.com) launched this Monday, 24 May by the Regional Government, and this Thursday that number stands at more than 255,000 according to a Ministry of Health press release. The new service forms part of the Canary Islands Health Service (SCS) resources previously made available for the specific age groups and more vulnerable target groups for active vaccination.

#WeCrossMountains

For the latest Canary Islands data on Covid-19, updated daily, check our Canary Islands dashboard

Since last week, residents of the Canary Islands over the age of 50, who have not yet received an appointment for their first dose of the vaccine, have been able to call 012 to request it (or 928 301 012 or 922 470 012), to help reinforce the existing system of sending sms messages, or making calls, to patients in each municipal catchment area, as part of the usual protocol of scheduling and notifications by the SCS, which also allows for citizens to request an appointment directly through their health centre.
Anyone legally resident in The Canary Islands, and registered with their local health centre, over the age of 16 years and under 50, can now make a request to get an appointment for vaccination through the web form at canariassevacuna.com. Simply fill in the form with full name, DNI or NIE and a contact mobile phone number.
The information is then compared with the health service database and the SCS will contact them to arrange their appointment for vaccination at any of the vaccination points set up throughout the Canary Islands.
Appointment according to age group opening
Appointments are to be scheduled according to the age group of the service user, advance vaccination calendar forecasts and availability for each of the vaccination age groups, as part of the Regional Government’s aim to get the entire target population of the Canary Islands vaccinated against COVID- 19 this summer. To achieve this the established order of priority by groups as part of the vaccination strategy will continue to be maintained. Previously assigned appointments may be modified as each new corresponding age group schedule is opened.

 
More than a million vaccines administeredUp until this Wednesday May 26, 316,361 people in the Canary Islands had been immunised having already received the complete vaccination schedule, which represents 16.91% of the target population. 1,011,610 doses had been administered out of the 1,112,360 received.
719,526 people in the Archipelago have received at least one dose of the vaccine, that is 38.46 % of the target population.
Vaccination for Groups 1 and 2 of the roll out schedule (those corresponding to residents and workers within social health centres and first-line health professionals), continues along with the rest of the groups established (see below) following the criteria of vulnerability and exposure.
The Health Ministry highlighted that Group 4, dependents in large households, are currently 94.15% immunised with both doses. In Group 5, there are already 193,719 people who have received the two doses, that is, 67.98%; while 279,902 have received at least one dose, 98.22%.
Group 3 already has 100% having had as least one dose and 27.8% who have had both doses; in Group 6, there are 66,000 people, including teachers, firefighters and policemen, among others, and 42,087 of them have had at least one dose, 63.77%.
Group 7 includes the population under 60 years of age who are at risk of severe COVID-19, 11,672 people have had at least one dose, 65.81 percent of the target population, while the 45.18% have already completed vaccination.
Finally, 103,656 people in Group 8, those aged between 60 and 65, have already received one dose, which is 65.13% of that group; while 30.97% of those in group 9, aged between 50 and 59 years old, have already received their first dose, which is to say 108,558 people in that age group.
Vaccination Points
Multiple vaccination spaces and capacities have been set up across the islands and in particular on Gran Canaria and Tenerife, in addition to the health centres on each of the islands, the four university hospitals of Gran Canaria and Tenerife: the Insular de Gran Canaria, Dr. Negrín, La Candelaria and the HUC; in addition to the Hospital del Sur de Tenerife and in the Primary Care managements of both islands. Likewise, on Gran Canaria there is the Expomeloneras centre and on Tenerife the Las Madres citizen centre, in La Laguna and the Casa del Emprendedor Fairgrounds, in Los Realejos. These last two points serve the residents of the basic health areas of La Laguna, Finca España, La Cuesta and Taco, while those of Los Silos, La Guancha, Icod, Los Realejos, will be seen in the second.
Population groups to be vaccinated
Group 1. Residents. healthcare and social health personnel who work in homes for the elderly and care for large dependents.
Group 2. Front-line personnel in the health and social-health field.
Group 3. Other health and social health personnel.
Group 3A. Hospital and PC personnel not considered in group 2. Dental, dental hygiene and other personnel.
Group 3B. Public Health services personnel-management and response to the pandemic. Health and social health personnel not previously vaccinated. Physiotherapists, occupational therapists, pharmacy offices, dental technicians.
Group 3C. Rest of health and social health personnel not previously vaccinated.
Group 4. Large non-institutionalised dependents.
Group 5. Senior groups
Group 5A. People aged 80 and over.
Group 5B. People from 70 to 79 years old.
Group 5C. People from 60 to 69 years old.
Group 6 . Groups with an essential function for society:
Group 6A. Security Forces and Bodies, Emergencies and Armed Forces.
Group 6B. Teachers and staff of early childhood education and special education.
Group 6C. Teachers and staff of primary and secondary education.
Group 7. People under 60 years of age with severe COVID-19 high risk conditions.
Group 8. People aged 56-59 years.
Group 9. People aged 45-55 years.

 Population groups to be vaccinated in the Canary Islands

Legal foreign residents, even without a Spanish health card, can register to get vaccine appointments

The Ministry of Health of the Government of the Canary Islands has announced that all foreign residents, legally registered in the Archipelago, who do not have a health card can now make appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.  Many foreign residents with private healthcare had reported issues in participating in the vaccine roll out programme, this latest announcement should resolve the problems encountered.

To do this, they can go in person to their nearest health centre to update their contact information, by providing their registration certificate, that effectively confirms that they are residents of the Canary Islands, as well as their passport as their identification document. Once their data is registered in the Canary Islands Health Service (SCS) system, they will be scheduled for vaccination at one of the established vaccination points, always prioritising by age group.
Vaccination for people between 50 and 59 years oldThe Ministry of Health confirmed that vaccinations for group 9 (aged from 50 to 59 years old) has begun, in the areas that have already completed the vaccinations of those over 60. For this reason, people included in that group, between 50 and 59 years old, should wait to be called to receive their vaccine and in no case call the health centre or 012 directly just yet.
Currently, these appointments are being made directly from the individual health centres, as each of them manages its own agenda. Once each group is completed in each basic health area or island, so the next group should begin to receive calls for appointments.

?Los extranjeros residentes legalmente sin tarjeta sanitaria pueden acudir a los centros para ser citados para recibir la vacuna contra la #COVID19.
Para ello, deben acudir al centro de salud más cercano con su certificado de empadronamiento.
➡Más info:https://t.co/hmOVLUGCOR
— Sanidad Gobcan (@SanidadGobCan) May 13, 2021

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Europe hopes to restart tourism and travel with the new Digital Green Certificate to facilitate safe EU freedom of movement

On Wednesday the European Commission laid out their proposals for the new Digital Green Certificate to facilitate safe freedom of movement inside the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Digital Green Certificate will be used to prove whether or not a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, if they have received a negative test result or recovered from COVID-19. It will be available, free of charge, in both digital or paper formats. It will include a QR code to ensure security and authenticity of the certificate. The Commission plans to build an EU-wide digital gateway to ensure all certificates can be verified, and support Member States in the technical implementation of certificates. Member States will remain responsible for deciding which public health restrictions can be waived for travellers but will have to apply any such waivers in the same way to travellers holding a Digital Green Certificate.  The proposals were first announced at the end of February, however The Canary Islands were the first to trial a so-called Health Passport, last summer, with UNWTO, and have been calling for similar measures since the start of the pandemic more than a year ago.

 

Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová said:
“The Digital Green Certificate offers an EU-wide solution to ensure that EU citizens benefit from a harmonised digital tool to support free movement in the EU. This is a good message in support of recovery. Our key objectives are to offer an easy to use, non-discriminatory and secure tool that fully respects data protection. And we continue working towards international convergence with other partners.”
Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, said:
“With the Digital Green Certificate, we are taking a European approach to ensure EU citizens and their family members can travel safely and with minimum restrictions this summer. The Digital Green Certificate will not be a pre-condition to free movement and it will not discriminate in any way. A common EU-approach will not only help us to gradually restore free movement within the EU and avoid fragmentation. It is also a chance to influence global standards and lead by example based on our European values like data protection.”

EU Digital Green Certificate
On Wednesday March 17 the European Commission outlined plans for the new EU Digital Green Certificate, it is hoped it will be in place before June.
It remains to be seen what similar proposals the UK may wish to put forward to help restart international travel and tourism.
Posted by TheCanary.TV on Thursday, March 18, 2021

It is hoped that this free, bilingual, interoperable and digital certificate will help boost a restart to tourism for the summer allowing travellers to move between countries avoiding some of the restrictions currently in place. The European Parliament and each of the EU countries must first approve the proposal, among which there are some including France or Belgium who have expressed their reluctance to move too quickly as the vaccination rate is lower than expected and there are concerns about discrimination. For now, the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, yesterday, expressed Spain’s support for the certificate proposals.

“It will benefit us and we can aspire to a summer with some tourist activity”
Yaiza Castilla – Canary Islands Regional Minister for Tourism

The Canary Islands have expressed some doubts as to whether the benefits will be greater than the costs. Health experts have suggested that it could be a “hasty” measure as not enough vaccine doses have yet been provided and because many aspects of the protection afforded by the various vaccines are still unknown. Several have also raised concerns that this initiative may generate a series of ethical problems as it could cause greater discrimination regarding who can and who cannot travel.

“The vaccine prevents the development of the disease, but not the infection”
Amós García Rojas – Epidemiologist

The electronic certificate will carry health data about the holder with a QR code with which to verify its authenticity, validity and the integrity of the certificate. It will be available in the official language of each country that issues it, and in English.  It is not currently planned for use by British citizens travelling to or from the UK.
“We want to help the Member States to restore freedom of movement in a reliable way,” said EC President, Ursula Von der Leyen, on Wednesday during the presentation of the initiative. To which the Commissioner of Justice, Didier Reynder added that Brussels hopes that the document is ready “before the summer, perhaps in June”.

“The homogenisation of clear measures is what has been lacking from the first phase”
Juan Pablo González – Ashotel

Canary Islands Regional Minister for Tourism, Yaiza Castilla, said it is a “very positive, complementary measure” that once implemented “will help regain confidence in mobility and vacation travel.” The Minister welcomed the “show of unity” behind this joint decision of the European Union. Because the lack of common criteria within member states has been one of the biggest stumbling blocks to the European tourism sector so far.
“The homogenisation of clear measures is what has been lacking since the first phase,” commented Juan Pablo González of Ashotel, who expressed positivity that, for the first time since the pandemic began, a single criterion has been established for European travellers.
José María Mañaricúa, president of the Las Palmas Hospitality and Tourism Federation (FEHT), said the covid passport is a good initiative “as long as it is taken as a joint decision”.

“It will be useful when most of the population is vaccinated”
Rodrigo Martín – President of the COMTF

While Spain has expressed willingness to support this European initiative, Minister of Tourism, Reyes Maroto, stated a few days ago that Spain could start using the certificate in May –just in time for the rescheduled International Tourism Fair FITUR. However France and Belgium have expressed reluctance due to what they see as the possibility of discrimination against people who have not been vaccinated, taking into account that the vaccination rate is currently lower than had been hoped for.
Roberto Ucelay, president of the Circle of Entrepreneurs and Professionals of the South of Tenerife (CEST) points out the maxim of this initiative is “to guarantee better control of travellers”, and estimates that this is one of the the most useful features of the new certificate, but is very critical of the border management currently carried out by the Canary Islands government, saying that “there are people who are not even checked if they are travelling with the test done, despite it being mandatory.” In his opinion the digitisation of these types of data is an important part of the European initiative.
The Canary Islands government has called for prudence. “This passport is not a pass that totally frees us from risks, it is only a tool with which, it is intended, to indicate that the risks of contagion have been minimised,” says Yaiza Castilla, “we must live with other protection measures at least until the the pandemic can be overcome and not lower our guard”. There are doubts about factors such as “the temporal scope of the immunity of vaccines or their behaviour against new strains.” At the moment, the certificate does not have a specific validity period, it will depend on subsequent scientific evidence.
Despite the doubts and reluctance expressed about this new initiative, what is clear from the Canary Islands is that “without a doubt it will benefit us”, Castilla points out, expressing hope that the Archipelago can enjoy a summer “with some tourist activity” that lays the foundations for a more solid recovery in 2022 starting from the high season, beginning in November 2021.

Spanish doctors have asked for support to be withdrawn for the Digital Green Certificate
The Spanish Society of Public Health and Health Administration (SESPAS) yesterday asked the Spanish government not to support the implementation of the vaccination certificate because there is no scientific evidence on the transmissibility of people who have been vaccinated, it would be discriminatory because there is not yet universal access to vaccines and it violates health data privacy.
SESPAS pointed out that “the usefulness of the vaccine in reducing transmission is not yet entirely clear and, in any case, it could be limited” saying “it cannot be ruled out that a vaccinated person can transmit the virus”.
“This may pose a significant risk to the appearance of new variants”, which could be more transmissible. The effectiveness of vaccines has already been shown in some trials to be lower against emerging variants. “The use of the certificate with the belief that the vaccinated person will not get sick and will not transmit the virus could be a public health problem of the first order. The certificate may have a great impact due to the transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 and this could contribute to generating new pandemic waves ”, the society warned in a statement. They also pointed out that “the duration of the immunity conferred by vaccination is still unknown, so a certificate of this type may only be temporary.” | Efe
“The digital green certificate will not be a precondition for free movement and in no case will it be discriminatory,” said Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders, to emphasise that the Community Executive has listened to the reservations of countries such as France and Belgium, who warn that they will not accept a “covid passport”
If the certificate goes ahead, which still has to be negotiated with the Council and the European Parliament, the Commission also asks that it be a “temporary” measure that is suspended at the time the World Health Organisation declares the end of the international health emergency.
This initiative is open to countries within the European Economic Area – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland – on the condition of reciprocity and the Commission is working with third countries to also seek convergence with international systems.

 
Key elements of the regulation proposed by the Commission:

Accessible and secure certificates for all EU citizens:

The Digital Green Certificate will cover three types of certificates –vaccination certificates, test certificates (NAAT/RT-PCR test or a rapid antigen test), and certificates for persons who have recovered from COVID-19.
The certificates will be issued in a digital form or on paper. Both will have a QR code that contains necessary key information as well as a digital signature to make sure the certificate is authentic.
The Commission will build a gateway and support Member States to develop software that authorities can use to verify all certificate signatures across the EU. No personal data of the certificate holders passes through the gateway, or is retained by the verifying Member State.
The certificates will be available free of charge and in the official language or languages of the issuing Member State and English.

Non-discrimination:

All people – vaccinated and non-vaccinated – should benefit from a Digital Green Certificate when travelling in the EU. To prevent discrimination against individuals who are not vaccinated, the Commission proposes to create not only an interoperable vaccination certificate, but also COVID-19 test certificates and certificates for persons who have recovered from COVID-19.
Same right for travellers with the Digital Green Certificate –where Member States accept proof of vaccination to waive certain public health restrictions such as testing or quarantine, they would be required to accept, under the same conditions, vaccination certificates issued under the Digital Green Certificate system. This obligation would be limited to vaccines that have received EU-wide marketing authorisation, but Member States can decide to accept other vaccines in addition.
Notification of other measures – if a Member State continues to require holders of a Digital Green Certificate to quarantine or test, it must notify the Commission and all other Member States and explain the reasons for such measures.

Only essential information and secure personal data:

The certificates will include a limited set of information such as name, date of birth, date of issuance, relevant information about vaccine/test/recovery and a unique identifier of the certificate. This data can be checked only to confirm and verify the authenticity and validity of certificates.

The Digital Green Certificate will be valid in all EU Member States and open for Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway as well as Switzerland. The Digital Green Certificate should be issued to EU citizens and their family members, regardless of their nationality. It should also be issued to non-EU nationals who reside in the EU and to visitors who have the right to travel to other Member States.
The Digital Green Certificate system is a temporary measure. It will be suspended once the World Health Organisation (WHO) declares the end of the COVID-19 international health emergency.

Next Steps
To be ready before the summer, this proposal needs a swift adoption by the European Parliament and the Council.
In parallel, Member States must implement the trust framework and technical standards, agreed in the eHealth network, to ensure timely implementation of the Digital Green Certificate, their interoperability and full compliance with personal data protection. The aim is to have the technical work and the proposal completed in the coming months.

Background
To comply with the measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus, travellers in the EU have been asked to provide various documents, such as medical certificates, test results, or declarations. The absence of standardised formats has resulted in travellers experiencing problems when moving within the EU. There have also been reports of fraudulent or forged documents.
In their statement adopted following the informal video conferences on 25 and 26 February 2021, the members of the European Council called for work to continue on a common approach to vaccination certificates. The Commission has been working with the Member States in the eHealth Network, a voluntary network connecting national authorities responsible for eHealth, on preparing the interoperability of vaccination certificates. Guidelines were adopted on 27 January and updated on 12 March, and the trust framework outline was agreed on 12 March 2021.
On Wednesday the Commission adopted a legislative proposal establishing a common framework for a Digital Green Certificate. The Commission also adopted a complementary proposal to ensure that the Digital Green Certificate is also issued to non-EU nationals who reside in Member States or Schengen Associated States and to visitors who have the right to travel to other Member States. Separate proposals to cover citizens and non-EU citizens are necessary for legal reasons; there is no difference in treatment of citizens and eligible non-EU citizens for the purpose of the certificates.
The latest information on coronavirus measures as well as travel restrictions provided to us by Member States are available on the Re-open EU platform.

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March 17 set for the launch of EU Digital Green Pass unifying freedom of movement requirements

EU Digital Green Pass is set to debut on March 17 2021 – Last week, MEPs were already advocating common criteria for “safe and clean” tourism travel within the EU. And, they say, these criteria should include a common vaccination certificate. On February 25, the Committee on Transport and Tourism adopted the draft resolution on the establishment of an EU strategy for sustainable tourism.  Today, March 1, the European Commission has set the day, to propose an initiative focused on travel and mobility for EU citizens. Ireland’s national day, March 17, on Saint Patrick’s Day the “EU Digital Green Pass”, a European health passport, will be presented.

COVID-19 Vaccination Information

We’ll present this month a legislative proposal for a Digital Green Pass. The aim is to provide:
•Proof that a person has been vaccinated
•Results of tests for those who couldn’t get a vaccine yet
•Info on COVID19 recovery
It will respect data protection, security & privacy
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) March 1, 2021

Both the president of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the vice president, Margaritis Schinas, have announced this legislative proposal for an EU Digital Green Pass through their social network accounts. Explaining that these EU Digital Green Pass will include the following information:

Proof that a person has been vaccinated.
Test results for those who could not yet get vaccinated.
Information on recovering from COVID-19Of course, they have clarified that this passport will respect “data protection, security and privacy . ” And, all this, to achieve a safe reopening of mobility within the EU.

A uniform travel protocol
“The Digital Green Pass should make life easier for Europeans. The aim is to allow them to gradually move safely within the European Union or abroad, for work or tourism,” said Von der Leyen.
“With summer just around the corner, we want to avoid past mistakes and apply uniform travel measures, such as an EU protocol for pre-departure tests, a vaccination certificate and a European health stamp,” said the Portuguese MEP Cláudia Aguiar in the European Parliament last week.
How will the vaccination certificates work?
“A common approach to ‘pharmacovigilance’, with a view to reliable and verifiable vaccination certificates across the EU, could enhance the success of vaccination programs in Member States and the confidence of citizens” the European Commission points out in reference to the introduction of vaccination passports.
Emphasising that vaccination certificates could be useful, for example, in the context of travel, to demonstrate that the person has been vaccinated and, therefore, it is possible that they do not need to undergo any type of test or quarantine upon arrival in another country.
The European Commission, Member States and WHO are working together on vaccination certificates. This work includes “a minimum set of data, with a unique identifier, for each individual vaccination, which facilitates the issuance of certificates and the monitoring of vaccination at the European level from the moment when vaccines against COVID-19 are authorised.″.
EU funds are available to support the creation of immunisation information systems, digital health records and secondary use of immunisation health data.

We have a new partnership with Southern Neighbourhood countries.
We fight this pandemic together. The EU mobilised €2.3 billion for their health & economic recovery.
And to give perspectives to its youth, in the long term, we propose an Investment Plan for the region. pic.twitter.com/da2LrZNsut
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) February 27, 2021

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The Canary News

Spain urges European Commission toward European vaccination certificate to guarantee safe travel

Spain has urged the European Commission (EC) to accelerate the introduction of a European vaccination certificate, as a “useful and effective” tool to resume mobility in a safe way and guarantee safe travel.
At the meeting of European Union Ministers of Tourism, the Spanish Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, urged the EC to develop an ambitious program for the recovery of EU community tourism under the new budgetary framework that allows Europe to continue being a tourism industry reference throughout the world.

The minister proposed the development of digital instruments for interoperable health information among States be accelerated, including the European vaccination certificate to facilitate mobility interrupted by the pandemic. In addition, she said that it is necessary to advance the adoption of common protocols in all Member States to avoid prohibitions on the movement of travellers within the internal market, as well as with third countries, especially in the case of the United Kingdom, since coordination in this matter will be essential to guarantee the gradual recovery of tourism.
Maroto insisted that it is important to have the tools ready to restart mobility, and to return Europe to being a safe travel destination when the data on the incidence of the virus allow it. Likewise, she advocated for expanding the Regulation of Extension by Categories of aid compatible with the internal market to reinforce the framework of state aid and favour aid schemes focused on the solvency of tourism companies, who will take longer than other economic sectors to recover their activity.

COVID-19 vaccination passports have been talked about for some time, particularly in The Canary Islands where we received the first pilot flight for “Health Passports” last summer and introduced Certification protocols for tourism accommodations, and more recently have been exploring the ways in which European vaccination passports might be implemented.  While our primary season is still 9 months away, the summer may well provide us with an opportunity to really put all that learning to work to help ensure the very best of hospitality and safety for our returning visitors.

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Canary Islands have detected 9 cases of the Río de Janeiro variant and 3 of the British variant

Spain’s Ministry of Health say they have identified nine cases of the Río de Janeiro coronavirus variant in the archipelago and continue to monitor three cases with the British strain over recent weeks, according to data published on Monday.
The Canary Islands currently has the lowest 14-day Accumulated Incidence of any region in Spain, standing at just under 109/100,000 population cases detected, compared with the overall national average of more than 250/100,000.  Overall The Canary Islands has been one of the best performing regions in Europe for keeping infection rates low and controlling outbreaks, with the data continuing to look positive for the archipelago as we head towards Spring.
For the latest Canary Islands data on COVID-19, updated every day, you can check our Mobile updates here, or for a more feature rich experience try our Desktop device Dashboard here

There are currently seven variants of the coronavirus of serious interest to Spain’s Health Department, headed by Minister Carolina Darias, for which special monitoring is underway due to their being more virulent (causing more serious disease or greater mortality) or because the vaccine could be less effective against them.
According to data from a new report published this Monday, 916 positives from these new strains have been confirmed to date throughout the national territory.
Currently, according to the health authorities, the most significant concerns are B.1.1.7 (British), B.1.351 (South African) and P.1 (Brazilian). However, in their ‘Report on the epidemiological situation of variant B.1.1.7 of SARS-CoV-2 and other variants of interest‘, the Health Ministry also included two other variants besides those from the United Kingdom, one from California and one first detected in Río de Janeiro.
Carolina Darias
According to Ministry’s data, so far 898 cases of the British variant have been confirmed (alongside another 183 from unofficial sources, not yet confirmed), 6 from the South African strain, 1 from the Brazilian (plus two from unofficial sources) and 11 from the from Río de Janeiro (two of them in travellers diagnosed in Madrid and the other 9 here in the Canary Islands, for which no epidemiological data is yet available).
Likewise, a second British strain B.1.525 was identified in January this year, first detected in the United Kingdom, apparently similar to the South African strain, and has also been found in Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, the United States and Canada.
The Health Ministry has said that the British variant “is highly variable from one community to another, and the data indicate a rapid increase in its distribution over recent weeks.”
Of the total of 898 positives for the British B.1.1.7 only been three cases have so far been detected in The Canary Islands.
Spanish Ministry of Health latest situation data as of February 23 2021

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