Tag: airline news

Latest Gran Canaria News, Views & Sunshine

Centre-Right Pact Between Regionalists (CC) And Resident Conservatives (PPAV) Returns Marco Aurelio Perez As Southern Mayor

The conservative Partido Popular-Agrupación de Vecinos (PP-AV) and the right of centre regionalist Coalición Canaria (CC) have this Thursday signed a local government pact that will shape the future of the southern Gran Canaria tourism municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana. The alliance, dubbed a “Pact for Stability and Socioeconomic Progress of San Bartolomé Tirajana”, represents 60% of the votes cast in the municipality’s recent local elections, emphasised the  mayor-elect, Marco Aurelio Pérez (PP-AV), who returns for the third time to lead the local council responsible for some of the most important tourism areas on the island, including Maspalomas, Playa del Inglés and San Agustín.



Local Government Coalition Agreement Maspalomas and the South of Gran Canaria

A governing coalition pact has been finalised in San Bartolomé de Tirajana. The Popular Party–Agrupación de Vecinos (PP-AV) conservative residents party is to join forces with regionalist centre-right Coalición Canaria (CC) to govern the main tourist municipality on Gran Canaria for the next four years. Marco Aurelio Pérez will serve as mayor for the entire four-year term, and the Popular Party will take charge of Employment, Sports, Roads and Infrastructure, and Human Resources, among other areas. The regionalists, led by Alejandro Marichal, will oversee Urban Planning, Economy and Finance, and Tourism as their main departments.



Storm Óscar Latest: Government of the Canary Islands Declares Rain Alert for Western Islands and Gran Canaria

A storm system, dubbed Óscar, has formed over the last few days over the mid-north Atlantic, unusual for this time of year, and has led to concern from meteorologists and journalists as it passes south of the Azores, its tail should reach The Canary Islands, before the system heads northeast towards mainland Spain.  Advisory warnings have been issued in expectation of heavy rainfall, primarily in the Western Isles of the Canary Islands Archipelago, though some rainfall is also expected to reach Gran Canaria over the next couple of days.  It seems unlikely that any major consequences will stem from the bad weather, however these things can be unpredictable and so every precaution is taken to ensure people are informed and kept safe.



Foundation Investigated for Alleged Mismanagement of Public Funds Meant for Care of Unaccompanied Migrant Minors

The 7th Investigative Court of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has opened a preliminary investigation into the Social Response Foundation Siglo XXI and four of its directors. The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office in Las Palmas filed a complaint against them, alleging crimes that could include forgery of commercial documents, mismanagement, and embezzlement of public funds. The investigation aims to determine whether this nonprofit organisation, and its officials, could have misused public funds intended for the care of unaccompanied migrant minors, during the migration crisis of 2020 that was precipitated by the pandemic confinement on the islands, leading to a build up of arrivals having to be assessed and cared for by the Canary Islands Regional Government, using hotels left empty due to the lack of tourism. The estimated amount involved in the alleged misuse stands at around €12.5 million between 2020 and 2022 on Gran Canaria alone.



Canary Islands Expect Rain and Potential Storm Weather Next Week

The Canary Islands are preparing for a change in the weather next week, as a significant increase in cloud is expected bringing higher probability of rain. The effects of a powerful storm forming in the Atlantic Ocean are likely to extend to the Canary Islands as well as neighbouring Madeira and The Azores.




Gran Canaria summer season starts with the most ever air routes to mainland Spain

The Gran Canaria summer season will start boasting the greatest ever number of air connections to mainland Spain, now having direct links with 21 cities on the Peninsula.  460,000 airline seats will be available for the months of June, July and August, similar levels to those last seen in 2019, the summer before the global health crisis.



These announcements were made on the first day of International Tourism Fair FITUR, in Madrid, which opened yesterday signalling a return to tourism activity after the 2020 hiatus, with an atmosphere of optimism among tourism operators and institutions all reading signs of reactivation in the sector, starting with Spanish national tourism, which is the third most important market for Gran Canaria after Germany, and the United Kingdom.
According to president of the island government, the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, Antonio Morales, “the data is very positive, we are in a position to affirm, according to the airlines, that for this summer visitor figures [similar to] 2019 can be recovered, in addition to incorporating new destinations“.  Morales insisted, however, that it is necessary to “exercise responsibility” pointing out how important it is “not to lower our guard” saying “that the circumstances are occurring to recover tourism”, a process that new outbreaks could cut short.
Gran Canaria’s Councillor for Tourism, Carlos Álamo, also expressed optimism for the summer with interest received from agencies, tour operators and tourism agents and the milestone of connections with 21 airports to the Peninsula and to the eastern Balearic Islands this summer. “It is very important for the reactivation of a sector that has been very damaged and that, with respect to national tourists, not only recovers one hundred percent of the previous connections expanding more than ever before. We have communities like Asturias and Galicia to which five airlines are going to offer fixed routes this summer. In addition, this is a client of great interest to the destination for being above average in expenses. This confirms the interest in travelling to Gran Canaria and helps us face the summer with a certain degree of optimism ”, explained the counsellor and president of the Patronato de Turismo, Gran Canaria Tourist Board.
The cities of Reus and Jérez join those with direct flights to the island for the first time, and connectivity with Galicia and Asturias has been reinforced, with 5 different companies operating routes from these two communities in the north of Spain. The UK Ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliot, attended the inauguration of the stand for Gran Canaria, where he had the opportunity to exchange views with Antonio Morales and Carlos Álamo.


Norwegian will close bases on Gran Canaria and Tenerife

Norwegian airlines has announced a cost reduction plan to close bases on Gran Canaria, Palma de Mallorca and Tenerife, as well as the cancellation of the Tenerife South-Rome route along with capacity reductions on some other routes. The decision does not affect any of the other five bases operated by Norwegian in Spain: Alicante, Barcelona (with two bases: short and long haul), Malaga or Madrid, nor its corporate headquarters in Barcelona.



Of the 122 routes they offer from 13 Spanish airports, only the one that connects Tenerife South with Rome is to be canceled, although the airline has specified that there will be a certain number of small capacity reductions on some other routes from Palma de Mallorca and Tenerife.
Specifically, starting next summer, the routes connecting Palma de Mallorca with several cities will be affected, Copenhagen reduced from 14 to 13 weekly frequencies, Oslo, from 9 to 8 weekly frequencies, Dusseldorf, from 9 to 7 weekly frequencies, and Helsinki, from 7 to 6 weekly frequencies. The Tenerife North-Madrid route will also be reduced from 9 to 7 weekly frequencies.
Norwegian, the sixth largest airline in Spain by passenger volume, transported 8.93 million passengers to and from the country during 2018, 6% more than in 2017.
As part of its cost reduction program, Norwegian has initiated a comprehensive review of operations with its Boeing 737 (both the 800 and MAX 8 models), with the aim of improving profitability, reducing the commercial impact of seasonality and, therefore, hoping to increase revenues and profitability while reducing costs.
The aim of the Norwegian airline, which employs 11,000 people around the world, is to ensure that the least possible number of workers are affected by these changes. For this, it proposes relocation transfers to long-range operations (with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner), basic transfers of facilities and similar requests, all in an attempt to avoid redundancies.
All these measures will result in the suspension of routes and bases in Europe and the United States. The decision affects some of the routes that are being operated by the Boeing 737-800 and 737 models. MAX 8, which are mainly used on European routes but also on those that connect with the United States or the Middle East.
“The company has reached a point where it needs to make the necessary adjustments in its route portfolio to improve its sustainability and financial performance in this highly competitive environment,” said Helga Bollmann Leknes, Norwegian commercial director and managing director of Norwegian Air Resources.
She also explained that these measures, including the plans to close bases, have been communicated to the unions, with which dialogue has already begun, and  reiterated the “clear objective” of avoiding redundancies.


Airline News: New routes are starting to be announced for Summer 2021, flying to Gran Canaria and the Islands, across Spain and the EU

As the long awaited first steps towards rebuilding tourism and international travel are looking ever more likely, so recent airline news announcing new routes to Gran Canaria, to the islands and throughout Spain and Europe, has included many offering very flexible terms to try to encourage confidence in bookings.  With luck a cautious start to the summer could well lead to a bumper winter season for this destination.



SmartLynx Airlines has announced that it will operate flights, for TUI fly Deutschland, to Gran Canaria from Basel twice a week, and from Saarbrücken once a week, between May and October 2021.In addition, during the period from October to November they will also fly from Munich, Düsseldorf, Hannover and Hamburg.
Ryanair have announced a new route that will link Gran Canaria with Ireland’s Shannon airport, with a direct flight every Saturday, starting July 10. This connection will become the second direct route other than to Dublin, to add to its 2021 summer calendar to the Islands, claiming more than 700 weekly flights across Spain, on 121 routes in total, including 22 new routes from Palma, Ibiza and Menorca.
And local airline Canaryfly, who operate regular flights between each of the Canary Islands, have announced they will be offering some great deals. If you are a resident of the islands, you will find extra special deals, starting from €5 one way + taxes from Gran Canaria to Tenerife, Lanzarote and Fuenteventera. Return flights roughly costing €17, with taxes included. What a perfect way to explore our neighbouring islands, before all the tourists start to return en masse this summer!
Regional airline Binter announced 5 new weekly international routes, earlier this month, connecting Gran Canaria with Lille, Marseille and Toulouse (France) and from Turin and Venice (Italy), as well a a new route to Tarragona on the mainland, to add to their 26 other national destinations.
Vueling have also announced routes, in recent weeks, between Mallorca, Ibiza, Menorca, Seville, Malaga, Vigo, Santiago, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Paris, Rome, Milan, Brussels and London-Gatwick.
And Air France will inaugurate this summer season the several new routes between Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Paris-Charles de Gaulle, as well as between Ibiza and Paris-Orly, with plans to operate from ten Spanish airports and complement the offer in Spain, through its partner KLM, which will also offer flights to Amsterdam this summer from the airports of Alicante, Barcelona, ​​Bilbao, Ibiza, Madrid, Malaga and Valencia.
Airline News with flexible terms
As part of their commercial policies, several airlines are currently offering 100% modifiable tickets for travel throughout 2021.
Allowing customers to modify their reservation for free, or get a refundable voucher if they no longer wish to travel. If the flight is canceled by the airline, customers can choose to postpone their trip, request a full refund for their ticket or obtain a voucher, also refundable if it is not used.


Binter adds new direct weekly air routes, connecting Canary Islands with French, Italian and Spanish cities, among 26 other destinations beyond the archipelago

The Canary Islands airline, Binter have announced that from July it will open new international routes operating direct links with five destinations in Italy and France. The homegrown airline, which started with inter-island flights, expands their connections with regular flights to the European airports of Toulouse, Marseille and Lille, in France, and Turin and Venice, in Italy.



Binter will maintain the routes to mainland Spain they currently operate and, in addition, this summer will open a new route with Tarragona, expanding their offer to ten direct flight routes between the mainland and the Canary Islands.
The announcement was made at a press conference last week with Rodolfo Núñez, president of Binter, and Juan Ramsden, the general coordinator of the company, together with the president of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, the Minister of Public Works, Transport and Housing, Sebastián Franquis, and the Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Yaiza Castilla, who emphasised the great effort that the airline has made to improve connectivity with the Archipelago and the new possibilities offered by the incorporation of five new jet aircraft to its fleet.
Núñez highlighted the importance of Canarian companies firmly committing to recovery on the Islands, promoting all those initiatives that are within their reach to achieve that goal. “This new international leap represents a great challenge for Binter in a very complex context, but we continue to invest in the connectivity of the entire archipelago, of the eight islands, following the strategic plan that we drew up before the pandemic. In the future, if all goes well, and according to plan, we will continue to put more frequencies and perhaps more destinations, both from Tenerife and from Gran Canaria, and without ruling out direct flights to, or from, other islands. The important thing is to sell all the Canary Islands as a whole ”, he pointed out.
Juan Ramsden encouraged political representatives to continue working to advance the vaccination process and highlighted the importance of developing, in the short term, the European health passport, which will allow safe mobility for all travellers. “It is necessary for anyone who wishes to travel by plane to another country or region to know that they can do so in complete safety, without obstacles, or complex regulations,” he said.

On Binter routes there will now be 94 direct weekly connections and more than 600,000 seats per year, between the archipelago and Spanish and European destinations, operated by the Canarian airline. These flights will be carried out using five new Embraer aircraft, model E195-E2, the quietest, cleanest and most efficient single-aisle jet aircraft in its class; with a configuration that allows more space between rows and the comfort of not having a seat in the middle. To this are added other differential advantages, such as its characteristic quality on-board service, which includes courtesy catering during the flight.
Recently, the company has been recognised, for constant renewal of its fleet, by the Swiss airlines services provider Ch-Aviation, for currently having one of the youngest fleets in Europe, with an average age of 4.8 years for its 28 aircraft.
Ángel Víctor Torres, president of the Canary Islands, referred to Binter’s presentation as “a day for good news” and stressed the value of this airline’s decision to expand air connectivity with the Islands. Through the incorporation of new national and international routes, a project, he said, that is relevant “for Canarians and for tourism in our Archipelago.”

18 direct weekly flights between the Canary Islands and these new European destinations

Binter has scheduled 18 weekly flights with the new European destinations, so that most will have connections two days a week.
The connections with Lille will be on Mondays and Thursdays with departure at 10.45 am from Gran Canaria and return at 4:40 pm, with arrival time in the Canary Islands at 8 pm. Toulouse will be linked on Tuesdays and Saturdays with a very similar schedule, departing at 10.30 am on Tuesdays and at 11.00 am on Saturdays from the Canary Islands and return at 3.45 pm, or 4.15 pm on Saturdays. The route with Marseille, there will be on Fridays with departure from the Islands at 10:30 am and return at 4:10 pm, to land in the Canary Islands at 7:00 pm.
Both Italian destinations will have two weekly links. On Mondays and Wednesdays there will be flights to Venice, departing from the Canary Islands at 10.20 a.m. and returning at 4.35 p.m., to reach the Archipelago at 8.15 p.m. Turin will be connected on Tuesdays and Saturdays with departure at 11.00 a.m. from Gran Canaria Airport on Tuesdays and at 10.30 a.m. on Saturdays and return at 4:45 p.m. or 4:20 p.m., with arrival time on the island at 8:05 p.m. or 7:40 p.m. .
Free connections with other islands and launch promotion
On all these international and national routes, Binter are offering passengers the advantage of travelling, at no additional cost, to and from any of the Canary Islands, by being able to make the inter-island jump free of charge in the case of connecting flights, taking advantage of the 170 daily inter-island flights that the airline already operates between the islands.
Binter are launching their new connections with France, Italy and Tarragona with a promotion that will allow customers to purchase tickets at very attractive prices.
Tickets for these destinations can now be purchased through the company’s usual sales channels: www.bintercanarias.com, the Binter app, by telephone on 922/928 32 77 00, through travel agencies and their offices at airports.
Investing in the external connectivity of the Islands
Binter began operating in the Canary archipelago in 1989 to offer connections between all the islands with a clear focus on public service.
In 2005, they also began operating outside the Canary Islands with the aim of offering direct connections to other markets, a program that has grown over the years, with flight routes to Portugal, reaching Lisbon and Madeira; Africa, linking the Canary Islands with destinations such as Casablanca, Marrakech, Agadir, Dakhla, El Aaiún, Nouakchott, Dakar, Banjul and the island of Sal.
In 2018, the airline began regular operations with Spanish national destinations, first to Mallorca and Vigo and, later, to Pamplona, ​​Zaragoza, Murcia, Santander, Vitoria, Asturias and Cádiz (Jerez de la Frontera). In 2021, direct flights with Tarragona are to be incorporated.
Added to all these routes this summer are the Italian cities of Turin and Venice, and the French cities of Marseille, Toulouse and Lille, with which Binter connects the Canary Islands and a total of 26 destinations beyond the archipelago.


The Canary News

More Guardia Civil needed at Canarian airports to effectively deal with citizens coming from the UK, says AUGC

The Canarian delegations of the Unified Association of Guardia Civil (AUGC), one of the many unionised associations that represent their members among the Spanish Civil Guard, have said, in a statement last week, that the Guardia Civil’s General Directorate should increase the workforce at the main airports of the Canary Islands archipelago by a magnitude of five or six times the current deployment, so as to be able to guarantee they can effectively deal with the entry into force of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, which means that a greater need for control will have to be exercised over citizens who come to the islands from that country. They say there will be more Guardia Civil needed to meet the demand for extra controls required for third country nationals.



It should be remembered, says the AUGC, that passport controls (which is the responsibility of the Policia Nacional) and baggage control (which is administered and overseen by the Guardia Civil) following Brexit will come into force as of October 1, so the administrations should plan appropriate actions before generating excessive delays and hold ups at the islands’ aerodromes, if similar levels of tourism activity to those prior to covid-19 are to resume, then there will be more Guardia Civil needed to ensure requirements are being met.
The provincial general secretary of the AUGC in the province of Las Palmas, Juan Couce, explained that, in addition, there is currently a significant deficit of agents in the terminals with the most traffic in the Autonomous Community. For example, Gran Canaria airport, at Gando, which ranks fifth in terms of volume of passengers and goods in all of Spain, has the same number of agents as there were in 1990. For this reason, and despite the application of technological elements, in his opinion it is necessary to increase the presence of security corps officials.
For the AUGC, of the ten airports with the highest volume of activity in the whole of Spain, half of them are in The Canaries: Gran Canaria, Tenerife South, Tenerife North, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. In the case of Gando, at the moment, less than twenty Guardia Civil are expected to control all passengers and goods arriving from outside the European Union, according to Couce, who makes clear that this is the same number of professionals deployed at Almería Airport for this function, which ranks number 35, throughout all Spain, in its amount of activity.

?#ÚLTIMAHORA| AUGC reclama quintuplicar los guardias civiles en los aeropuertos canarios a causa del Brexit #GuardiaCivil@AUGC_LasPalmas https://t.co/8aDj9nDaQQ
— AUGC Guardia Civil (@AUGC_Comunica) January 13, 2021


The Canary News

Spain does not currently recognise or approve antigen tests for foreign travellers, ignoring Canary Islands decree

Spanish State Council have recommended that last week’s regional decree from the Canary Islands Government, intending to approve antigen tests for foreign tourists to be used to prove that they do not have coronavirus, be overturned. The non-binding legal opinion, from the supreme advisory body to the Spanish Government, sets guidelines for the central Executive in Madrid. Spain’s Health Minister, Salvador Illa, did not approve the regulation, declared by the regional government, meant to expand the imposition of the PCR test beyond what was originally stipulated. Canary Islands President, Ángel Víctor Torres, and his regional autonomous government, want foreign visitors to be able to come to the Archipelago using either the slightly more accurate and much more expensive PCR tests, or antigen test results, which are faster and much cheaper.



The objective was to avoid the high cost of the PCR, which can be up to €150 per person, making holidays in the Canary Islands more expensive for English, German or Dutch visitors, three of the primary source markets, who are also ranked as of “High Risk” by the ECDC. The Canary Islands have been doing all that they can to try to save their winter tourism season, although mobility restrictions across much of Europe has, in practice, shattered any hopes of achieving that goal. Be that as it may, Illa has not given in to pressure to agree with The Canary Islands insistence on following the ECDC and European Council advice, over Spanish territorial law. The Minister has instead chosen to ignore the autonomous decree (in force since last Thursday);
The opinion of the advisory body chaired by María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, former vice president and former socialist minister in the previous Spanish central governments of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, leaves the authorization of antigens for the screening of foreign tourists solely in the hands of the Ministry of Health. The Spanish Government have chosen to simply ignore the the Autonomous Community’s decree and have not changed a thing to comply with the regional decree, in practice refusing to recognised that anything has changed since its approval last week. Mar Faraco, the president of the Association of Foreign Health Doctors, the officials in charge of public health controls at ports and airport entrances, has simply explained that the Spanish Ministry’s instruction is clear: only PCRs are valid and, are the only available alternative to being turned away, isolation on arrival or even being fined.
Aware that the decree would have no effect without Madrid’s collaboration, Torres himself has been insisting over recent days on the need to “harmonise” state and regional regulations to approve antigen tests. The President of the Canary Islands has recognised that the Ministry of Health have different “scientific criteria” on the suitability of these tests, but the truth is that Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s Cabinet have taken the view that the Government of the Canary Islands have over reached in assuming powers over territorial borders that in no case correspond to their competence. Legal advisors to the regional Executive understand that the delegation of powers in favour of regional presidents during the state of alarm includes the validation of entry and exit requirements from the territory, as well as establishment of protocols related to public health.

Ángel Víctor Torres, has this Wednesday said in the Regional Parliament that he remains thoroughly convinced antigen tests will be implemented for visitors arriving on the islands, and for this reason he has said that they will continue talking with Madrid to harmonise a common position on the subject.
Torres recalled that the Canary Islands has been a pioneer in the request to use antigen tests and added that it has been impossible to harmonise this criterion due to scientific differences, but made clear that the Canary Islands Executive has acted “with coherence” and “if it is now established that they invade the powers of the State, we will have to defend ourselves legally and continue talking with the Government of Spain” he said.

@avtorresp on the decree for the control of travellers by means of antigens: “If we approved a tourist decree before the resolution, it was mandatory that we defend with another decree what was done previously. We act defending the interests of the Canary Islands” https://t.co/o03OTG6Ewn
— The Canary (@TheCanaryNews) December 16, 2020

The solution to the conflict between the State and the Autonomous Community has only two possible paths: “harmonisation”, as demanded by the Canarian president, where the Spanish Ministry of Health agrees to approve antigen tests as valid for arriving foreigners; or a judicial dispute in which the Canary Islands would have little hope of winning, particularly following the published opinion of the State Council, and little to gain, since the Foreign Health doctors depend on Madrid and will not accept orders other than those from Madrid. By the time the legal controversy could be resolved, a vaccine is likely to already be starting to become widespread and the discussion would have no practical function.
The opinion of the State Council only concerns regulations on the arrival of foreign tourists, but there is also news about the obligations for Canarian residents who return from the rest of Spain during the holidays.
The Ministry of Health yesterday published an order that regulates the return home for Christmas of thousands of islanders who are temporarily in the Spanish mainland, the vast majority of them students. From this Friday, when the order comes into force, these people will have to prove that they are not carriers of Covid-19 by presenting negative results which can be one of three types of test: PCR, a TMA or, in this case, can also approve antigen tests. They must be tested within 72 hours prior to their return to the Archipelago, but it will be the Canary Islands Health Service (SCS) that will pay the costs. To do this, returning Canary Islands residents will have to be tested at one of the laboratories that have signed agreements with the Canary Islands Ministry of Health – distributed throughout Spain and listed on the SCS website – and present their flight receipt and a “Canarian resident voucher”, which must also be downloaded from the SCS website. In the event that anyone who comes from the Peninsula is not a Canarian resident, the obligation is the same, though they will have to pay for their own test, at a “special price” using the “Canarian non-resident voucher” (this is also on the SCS website).
Those who cannot prove that they have undergone the analysis must do so within 72 hours after arrival and are obliged to confine themselves to their residence or accommodation until the result is obtained.


The Canary News

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.
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.


The Canary News

Test to Release will allow early exit from UK quarantine after 5 days

The announcement this Thursday afternoon, that the UK Government plans to remove The Canary Islands from their safe corridors list comes just ahead of their new “Test to Release” programme which starts next week. It will allow travellers arriving into England to reduce the amount of time that they must spend in quarantine by more than half, just so long as they are willing to pay for an approved COVID test after five days. If the result is negative, they will be free to mix with others.

These new rules come into force from 15 December and the tests, from a list of private firms, are expected to cost between £65 and £120 (€70 – €130).



Though this is still an added expense, it does hold out at least some hope that those who are able to afford the extra time, will still seek some winter sun, followed by an enforced minimum of five days at home over the holiday season.
For many holidaymakers, already booked, their expectation of having had to pay for a PCR test, will have seen them save money on their overall budget, due to The Canary Islands no longer requiring more than an antigen test for entry to the islands, as was announced today. Even including the expense of Test to Release, some visitors will be saving between £30 and £70, when all is said and done, on no longer needing the PCR test prior to arrival on the islands.  This at least lessens the blow, and perhaps gives rise to some light relief over Christmas while sun seekers weigh up the options for staying longer out here with us, or having to head home, at least 5 days early, to fit in with other schedules.
2020’s a doozy, ain’t she!?

Travel corridors and exempt jobs
The Test to Release scheme is for people who need to self-isolate on arrival in England. You don’t need to self-isolate if:

you are returning from somewhere on the travel corridor list
you have only been in the UK or a country on the travel corridor list in the past 14 days
your job is listed as being exempt from the requirement to self-isolate

You can also opt-in to the Test to Release scheme if you have a qualified exemption and are only allowed to leave self-isolation for some, work-related activities. For example, seasonal agricultural workers.
Graphic showing self-isolation periods as described in this guidance.
Why self-isolating is important
Self-isolating will help prevent family, friends and the community from contracting coronavirus, as well as helping to protect the NHS.

England has also introduced a quarantine exemption for certain categories of travellers, including people making high-value business trips, sports stars and performing arts professionals.


The Canary News