Tag: advice

Latest Gran Canaria News, Views & Sunshine

La Alcaldesa Bueno Secures Incredible Majority in Mogán

Mogán, May 29, 2023 – The often controversial incumbent, O Bueno, La Alcaldesa, has achieved an unprecedented and resounding victory once more in Mogán. The candidate who switched her party’s name, for these elections, to “Juntos por Mogán”, a local ally of the regionalist conservatives “Coalición Canaria” (CC), will once again assume the role of mayor. Her party has clinched a rather noteworthy 17 out of the 21 seats in the Municipal Council of this popular tourism destination located on the sunny southwest of Gran Canaria.

The Canary Guide Día de Canarias #WeekendTips 26-28 May 2023

What an interesting last weekend of May ahead. Weather predictions are showing some rain showers are likely across Gran Canaria. This extended #WeekendTips covers up to Tuesday, when all things Canarian are celebrated on the Día de Canarias. There’ll be some gorgeous Patron Saints’ festivities happening in San Fernando de Maspalomas as well as in Valleseco.

Fun Fact:
Valleseco literally means “dry valley” in Spanish, but is actually one of the wettest municipalities Gran Canaria. Nestling between the famous fresh water sources of Firgas & Teror, half way up the island’s mountainous northern slopes, this area is well known for its apple growers, cider and its weekly market

Six weeks since the unexplained disappearance of Anna-Karin on Gran Canaria

The authorities on Gran Canaria have been engaged in a rigorous search for Swedish tourist Anna-Karin Bengtsson, who went missing in the south of Gran Canaria around April 9. Her unexplained disappearance has caused her family much distress, with no clues to her whereabouts having emerged in the six weeks since they first realised her phone was no longer functioning.

The Canary Guide #WeekendTips 19-21 May 2023


An exciting May weekend ahead with abundant events and festivities taking place all around Gran Canaria. There are Patron Saints’ festivities for Motor Grande, in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria, and in El Tablero in the municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana and up in the mountains of Artenara. There is also a two day lively exhibition event in Meloneras boulevard and the Rally Gran Canaria is held this Friday and Saturday.


The end of indoor mask requirements in Spain is expected to be announced after Easter, though still recommended in many settings

Spain’s Council of Ministers look set to approve an end to most indoor mask requirements, on April 19, according to Spanish press reports this Wednesday, one of the last of the coronavirus pandemic restrictions still in force across the country, having decided to wait until after Easter to relax the mandatory use of the mask indoors. The intention to end mandatory mask use has also been confirmed by Spanish Health Minister, Carolina Darías
Masks will continue to be mandatory in nursing homes, hospitals and on public transport.

While there have been many loud voices calling for the removal of masks for months, some of whom have never agreed with the measure, polls have suggested that a majority of the Spanish population may still feel it is too early to let down our guard. However the Health Ministry and their advisors have decided that this could well be the right time to start to try to return to normality, though case numbers remain high, the incidence of severe disease appears to be having much less of a relative impact.

Carolina Darías Health Minister for Spain
Workplaces, hospitals and health centresThe Ministry of Health, following recommendations of the experts published in the recent Alerts Report, say that the use of masks should continue to be mandatory for healthcare personnel, patients and visitors to health centres. In turn, those admitted will also have to wear masks in common areas of hospitals. In the workplace, the report recommends continuing to use masks whenever work must be carried out at an interpersonal distance of less than 1.5 meters, and when adequate ventilation of the space cannot be guaranteed; as well as in the family environment, at gatherings with friends and private celebrations.
Nursing homesDue to the vulnerability of the elderly who live and coexist in these nursing homes and similar facilities, mandatory mask use will continue both for the staff and for visitors.
Public transportDifficulty in maintaining 1.5 metres distance between people on public transport, means the use of masks will also continue to be mandatory on buses, trains and possibly in taxis.
At the discretion of eachOther venues will be able to leave it to the discretion of individual responsibility to maintain the use of masks or not. Hospitality establishments, restaurants, cinemas and nightclubs may let customers decide whether or not to wear a mask, always taking into account any possible symptoms of the virus that they may present.
In turn, workplaces such as offices and other industrial settings should adhere to recommendations from occupational risk prevention services, which will assess whether the use of a face masks is to be necessary, depending on the individual facilities and the environment in which workers carry out their duties.
Moving from mandatory to recommended use in enclosed spaces for public use, such as shops (shopping centres, supermarkets and other small businesses); as well as enclosed spaces where people spend time without eating or drinking (cinemas, theatres, concert halls and museums) as well as indoor spaces where people do dine and drink (bars, restaurants and nightlife venues), so there will still be plenty of people who choose to take the precaution, but it will be left to their own best judgement, and of course there may be some establishments that continue to insist, as is their right.
Health Minister, Carolina Darias, said that “in Spain we have been giving strategic responses for each moment in which the pandemic situation has required it” adding that “thanks to the very high levels of immunisation among the population, the epidemiological situation is currently favourable.
ClassroomsIn schools, mask use will only be recommended for teachers and other workers, as well as for students who may be vulnerable to risk factors. Minimal transmission among children and serious concerns over the negative influence on social interaction has led many institutions to urgently demand the withdrawal of this restriction in the classroom.

???? #ÚLTIMAHORA ➡️El próximo 19 de abril se llevará al Consejo de Ministros un Real Decreto en virtud del cual las mascarillas dejarán dejarán de ser obligatorias en espacios interiores, con carácter general.
???? @CarolinaDarias ➡️La medida entrará en vigor el 20 de abril. pic.twitter.com/wQGueFg6mu
— Ministerio de Sanidad (@sanidadgob) April 6, 2022


Canary Islands Health Ministry reports 1,871 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours

The Ministry of Health this Friday reported 1,871 new cases of coronavirus COVID-19. To total 19,201 currently active cases across the region, of which 43 are in the ICU and 296 remain hospitalised.

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

The 7-day Accumulated Incidence (7dAI) in the Canary Islands stands at 437.6 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and at 14 days at 691.38 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
By islands, Tenerife today have confirmed 734 new cases with 7,767 epidemiologically active cases; Gran Canaria has 904 more and 9,064 active. Lanzarote adds 97 new cases with 514 epidemiologically active; Fuerteventura has  69 new cases and 1,364 active. La Palma adds 52 new positives, to total 368 active. El Hierro adds six new cases, so has 20 active, and La Gomera adds nine new positives, to make 104 active cases.
To date, a total of 3,246,860 diagnostic tests have been carried out on the Islands, of which 5,644 correspond to yesterday.


Increased Portuguese Man of War sightings on Gran Canaria’s north east beaches

Spanish language press have reported bathers warning this week of ‘Portuguese man-of-war’ sightings on the north eastern beaches of Gran Canaria, particularly in the municipalities of Telde and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Similar warnings were being issued from Fuerteventura earlier this week, with reported sightings on Monday. A sting from this species of “jellyfish” is known to be one of the most poisonous and painful, they can cause fever, headache, inflammation, nausea, vomiting among other potential symptoms. It is very important to avoid contact with these creatures, and to react urgently should unintentional contact result in a sting.

The sting of a Portuguese man-of-war can be deadly for a child, and for any adult with weakened health. For a person of normal weight and health, it should not be extremely harmful and its effects would wear off in a few hours.
The stings are an automatic defence mechanism when the collective of creatures feels threatened. With more than a million stinging elements on each tentacle, they cause an allergic reaction in the victim, more often a bather.
Stinging and itching in the area of contact is the mildest symptom. The sting can cause severe pain, vomiting and fever, nausea and may even be fatal. Its poison is very dangerous and remains active even when the specimen has been beached. For this reason it is essential never to touch it.
If a sting occurs than the first thing is to do is to neutralise the poison, by removing the remains of the tentacles from the skin. Depending on where you are struck, and depending on the distance to a first-aid post or a pharmacy, you can try to wash the area with alcohol or salt water. Never use fresh water because it intensifies the effects. It is also not recommended to use vinegar, something that can work with common jellyfish. It is not advisable to apply cold water, but preferably hot and then use a cortisone cream.


Current rules on travelling to The Canary Islands, entry to Spain restricted for unvaccinated travellers

There has been some confusion over recent days regarding entry requirements for anyone flying to Gran Canaria and The Canary Islands, whether from inside the EU/Schengen area, or from outside, so-called, third countries.

The European Union has a adopted a policy of allowing unvaccinated travel between member states and Schengen zone countries, though a negative test result is required (for PCR, TMA, or LAMP NAAT tests)  within 72 hours prior to entry, however rapid antigen tests will be accepted if obtained no more than 24 hours ahead.
The EU has also adopted a validity time limit for the EU Green Certificate, which means that vaccinated travellers must have had a booster shot within 270 days of completing their vaccinations.  The controversial rule will mean that even vaccinated travellers will have to return regularly for booster shots if they wish to avoid having to test prior to every journey.
There is a great guide to found at the main Canary Islands Tourism Website: HelloCanaryIslands.com
For anyone travelling from outside of the EU things are a little less clear, if more restrictive, particularly for any third countries denoted high risk.  Though who exactly is on the high risk list is something for conjecture, based on the Spanish government having only produced a single risk list, and when it comes to non-EU countries, they have found it more expedient to just publish a list of countries not viewed as at Risk.
All UK travellers must be fully vaccinated within the last 270 days prior, or have received a subsequent booster shot in that time; as well as having a negative test result on entry.
Nevertheless, what is clearer is the advice being offered by HelloCanaryIslands who diligently maintain an up-to-date resource detailing their understanding of the most recent entry requirements for travellers coming to the archipelago.
Passengers must meet the following requirements:

Control form. We recommend completing the form digitally, including all of the necessary documents in order to speed up airport checks (fast control). If you are travelling on a cruise ship, this is the form you need to complete. 
Certificate of full vaccination against COVID-19. Accompanying persons under the age of 12 are exempt. Residents of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland travelling directly from their country must arrive in Spain with a vaccination certificate. 
In addition, a Diagnostic Test of Active COVID-19 Infection will be required regardless of vaccination status or prior infection, for third countries at high risk only. Antigen tests taken a maximum of 24 hours before arrival in Spain and NAAT tests (PCR, TMA, LAMP) taken a maximum of 72 hours before arrival in Spain will be accepted. Third countries not considered risk countries are excluded from this rule. Their citizens may enter on the same terms of access as those for risk countries of the EU and Schengen.

Infections and hospital admissions have started to drop this week, though pressure on healthcare still remains high. All islands remain at Alert Levels 3 or 4, with confidence that the situation is set to improve vigorously throughout February.

New rules on entry requirements are causing confusion for many, with third country travellers over the age of 12 years, coming from risk countries, now required to be vaccinated, and/or boosted within the last 270 days, and having to present a valid negative test result on entry to all Spanish territories.

Businesses are rightly worried that these rules will keep some visitors away.
Timon .:.


Spanish Health Department reduces validity of antigen tests to 24 hours prior to entry to Spain

The validity of the antigen detection tests required to enter Spain has been reduced, from this Tuesday, to 24 hours rather than the 48 hour period that had been allowed until now, according to the Moncloa, referring to the official State Gazette published this Tuesday.

The resolution by the General Directorate of Health, regarding sanitary controls required at the entry points to Spain, highlights the decision as the result of a recommendation from the European Union in this regard.
Until now, antigen detection test certificates obtained within 48 hours prior to arrival into Spain were accepted as valid.
The diagnostic test certificate must include, at least, the following information:

Name and surname of the holder,
date of sample collection,
type of test performed
and issuing country.

“As of today, 1 February, and in line with Council Recommendation (EU) 2022/107 of 25 January 2022 on a coordinated approach to facilitate free movement during the COVID-19 pandemic, which replaces Recommendation (EU) 2020/1475, only negative results of antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2 infection obtained within 24 hours prior to arrival in Spain will be considered valid, and not 48 hours, as was the case until now.
As stated in the aforementioned Council Recommendation (EU) 2022/107 of 25 January 2022, the wide availability of the rapid antigen tests included in the common list agreed by the Health Safety Committee justifies establishing this validity period of no more than 24 hours for these tests.
On the other hand, and as has been the case to date, certificates of diagnostic tests for an active COVID-19 infection with a negative result from molecular nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT), whose sample has been obtained within 72 hours prior to arrival in Spain, will continue to be considered as valid.
In any case, the diagnostic test certificate shall include at least the name and surname of the holder, the date the sample was taken, the type of test performed and the issuing country.”
Non official translation

There are concerns among many tourism businesses that tighter restrictions on test validity, along with the EU certificate validity of 270 days for full vaccination becoming a de facto standard, and the fact that unvaccinated British travellers, particularly 12 to 17 year olds may find it difficult to enter Spain over the coming weeks, will in combination cause material harm to the industry as a whole.  
The Canary Islands all remain on Alert Levels 3 or 4 right now, with legal restrictions limited to checking certificates at bars and restaurants, though as infection rates continue to drop, along with new admissions to hospitals, everything is expected to significantly relax as we head into spring time.
There are many who have mixed opinions about certificates and vaccinations, though on the whole most businesses are grateful for the opportunity to get back to business and do what Gran Canaria does best: hospitality and memories for a lifetime.


Calima Yellow Advisory Maintained, Reduced Visibility Expected

The yellow advisory warning for Calima dust in the Canary Islands issued by the Spanish State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) continues this Monday across Gran Canaria, Tenerife, and the islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura.
Feature image: Yellow Calima Advisory for Gran Canaria and The Canary Islands 30012022 Aqua Modis CR TC courtesy of NASA

Saharan dust in suspension, affecting the archipelago over the weekend, will continue to reduce visibility to around 3,000 metres, though lower visibility ​​could be recorded in some places.
The yellow notice will remain active throughout Monday until 00:00 on Tuesday.
The Canary Islands Ministry of Health, through the General Directorate of Public Health, has recommended that the general population take precautions to avoid prolonged exposure to the outside air, keeping windows closed and refrain from physically demanding activities outdoors.
RecommendationsThe following measures are recommended for people who may be sensitive to this type of environmental episode – such as children, the elderly, and people with chronic respiratory or cardiovascular diseases:

Do not go outside, and keep the doors and windows closed.
Clean surfaces where dust settles with damp cloths.
Seek humid environments and stay hydrated.
Do not take part in physical exercises outside.
Should respiratory symptoms worsen, call 112.



Spain and The Canary Islands Are Now Open For Summer Holidays, Government adds UK to “white list”

Spain will open their borders to British tourists as of Monday May 24th, even to visitors who are not vaccinated, and ahead of the European Union. The Spanish Government, as was predicted, have decided to include the United Kingdom, their main tourism source market, on the so-called “white list” of safe non-EU countries, known as third countries, due to their positive epidemiological situation, published this Friday by the Official State Gazette ( BOE).  This is great news for The Canary Islands, which remain as the only Spanish destination excluded from Foreign Office advice against travel.

No longer part of the European Union, the British have been prohibited, over recent weeks, from travelling to Spain, due to the Covid-19 crisis, with few exceptions. The inclusion of the United Kingdom in what the EU are calling the “white list” means that this ban has been lifted for all British citizens, and those travelling from the UK, even for those yet to receive a vaccine, and so tourist flows, it is hoped, can now be restored for the summer.
We all still need to be very careful, the pandemic still isn’t over, but at least now we can start to really work with the situation and try to restore some confidence with our ability to handle incoming tourism safely and securely.  Now we can start to save tourism.

I am pleased to inform you that a new Ministerial Order exempting citizens from the UK and other countries from temporary restrictions for non-essential trips to Spain.
I can announce that from the 24th of May Spain will be delighted to receive British tourists again. pic.twitter.com/LsxGBziA1W
— Pedro Sánchez (@sanchezcastejon) May 21, 2021

Speaking on Friday at the FITUR  tourism fair in Madrid, Pedro Sánchez, Spain’s prime minister, said: “From May 24 Spain will be more than delighted to receive British tourists back into our country without health controls.”

“As of Monday, travellers from safe non-EU countries, including the United Kingdom, will be allowed to enter. In addition, from June 7, tourists from countries with which there is not full freedom of movement will be able to come to Spain if they have a complete vaccination schedule.”

The Spanish government has relied on the EU’s approval, on Wednesday, of measures to relax the criteria for the “white list” of third countries deemed safe, due to several factors including their 14 day Accumulated Incidence. The EU Twenty-Seven agreed and announced that countries with less than 75 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 population (75/100k), over the 14 days prior, are to be considered safe. The threshold up until now has been much stricter, standing at 25 cumulative cases per 100k.

We welcome the @EUCouncil agreement on updating the approach to travel from outside the EU. The Council now recommends that EU countries ease some of the current restrictions, in particular for those vaccinated with an authorised vaccine.@ChristianWigand ↓ pic.twitter.com/hCVKxe2Pw2 — European Commission ?? (@EU_Commission) May 19, 2021  

This change sets in motion the reopening of international borders for tourists from the United Kingdom, currently registering an incidences rate of less than 50/100k. The EU will publish the new “white list” over the coming days, but the Spanish Government has decided to make their declaration, expected since last week, ahead of the official EU announcement, taking full advantage of the FITUR travel fair currently happening in Madrid to help prepare the tourism sector to know what to expect.

“As regards the United Kingdom, Spain annually receives a number of visitors that is not just particularly relevant in absolute terms but also in relative terms, so many economic sectors need to adapt their capacities in anticipation of changes that occur to borders. “, explains the BOE.

In addition to the United Kingdom, Spain has included Japan on their list of safe countries. The list already includes Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Israel and China, but also expects reciprocity.  It remains to be seen whether or not the British Government will reciprocate with similar measures for people arriving from Spain.
The only serious obstacle now left to the arrival of British tourists continues to be that the UK have yet to include any Spanish destinations on their own “Green List” of safe countries, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson having unequivocally stated this week that “people should not be going on holiday to amber list countries” despite UK legislation now allowing the British to “decide for themselves” but forcing travellers to quarantine upon their return, and requiring several expensive tests.  Despite many having been put off by this, millions have already booked their holidays. and a surge of bookings, particularly to The Canary Islands, is now imminent.
UK’s current Foreign Office Advice on travelling to Spain
London is expected soon to announce any changes to their advice, regarding Green List and Amber List destinations, and though the Foreign Office are still advising against travel to Spain, they have continued to exclude The Canary Islands from that advice.
Spain declared their nationwide State of Emergency finished on May 9


UK nationals Pop-Up Residency events this week with Age In Spain, on Gran Canaria North and South

Age in Spain‘s Regional Co-ordinator for the Canary Islands, Deepika Harjani, will be holding some pop-up events on 5 and 6 May to help British people on Gran Canaria who may have residency questions or concerns.

Given the amount of confusing, conflicting and even just plainly inaccurate information that is circulating about residency (quite a lot of it from the UK press) this will be a chance for anyone who needs it to get free information and guidance from an expert.
The events will held on the north and the south of the island:
The British Club, Las Palmas
Weds 5 May El Club Inglés 11 am – 1pm
Calle León y Castillo, 274, 35005 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas.
NB.  Advance booking required – People wanting to attend should email residency@ageinspain.org  and put “Event Club Ingles” in the subject line
​We Are Warriors shop, Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria
Thurs 6 May   Warriors Charity Shop, 10am – 2pm
Calle Río Piedra, 2, 35130 Mogán, Las Palmas  (next to Atlantic Clinic and Pharmacy).
NB.  Advance booking required – People wanting to attend should email residency@ageinspain.org  and put “Event Puerto Rico” in the subject line
Find out more here