Tag: foreign residents
Latest Gran Canaria News, Views & Sunshine
Foundation Investigated for Alleged Mismanagement of Public Funds Meant for Care of Unaccompanied Migrant Minors
Jun, 2023 |
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
Jun, 2023 |
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.
The Canary Guide #WeekendTips 2-4 June 2023
Jun, 2023 |
June is here and that means that summer is just around the corner. The Patron Saints’ festivities in honour of San Juan de Bautista and San Antonio de Padua are just getting started on Gran Canaria, and in Pueblo de Mogán the main Romería pilgrimage for San Antonio El Chico is this first Saturday of June, as well as the start of the build up to those in Arucas, Santa Brígida and Moya. This weekend also brings the biggest outlet fair shopping experience back to INFECAR and a collectables fair in Gáldar.
OPERATION KILO is this weekend, at all participating supermarkets, asking you to add a few non-perishable food items to the Food Bank collection boxes to help families in need.
Vox Enters Canarian Politics, Stage Right: Anti-Migrant, Anti-Feminist, Anti-Green, Anti-Autonomy, Anti-LGBT, Anti-Multiculturalism, Pro-Franco politics find a foothold on The Canary Islands
May, 2023 |
The Canary Islands were unable to avoid the rise of the far right on Sunday, unlike in 2019, writes Natalia G. Vargas in Canarias Ahora. Vox, which previously had no representation on the islands, managed to make its presence felt in several municipalities and councils this May 28. They also secured seats in the Canary Islands’ regional parliament, securing four deputies. “Defending what is ours, our own, and fighting against insecurity” were the slogans that underpinned Vox’s campaign in The Canary Islands, along with “family, employment, and freedom.” This rhetoric, coupled with an electoral program that was repeated across all local elections in Spain, proved sufficient. Dozens of cities and towns on the islands welcomed their first far right candidates of the modern democratic era into Canarian politics, with urban areas serving as their main strongholds.
La Alcaldesa Bueno Secures Incredible Majority in Mogán
May, 2023 |
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.
Current rules on travelling to The Canary Islands, entry to Spain restricted for unvaccinated travellers
Feb, 2022 | News
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.
IF YOU ARE TRAVELLING FROM THIRD COUNTRIES AND YOU ARE NOT EU CITIZEN
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.
World’s pre-eminent expert on Canary Islands flora, Liverpudlian botanist, and Templar, Dr David Bramwell dies
Jan, 2022 | News
World respected authority on Canary Islands flora, plants and trees, Liverpudlian, Doctor David Bramwell, died on Thursday January 20 2022 surrounded by loving family.
Few have devoted such long service and dedication to Gran Canaria and its natural environment. An Englishman of renown, who made his life in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, David Bramwell earned a privileged perspective from the highest summits of Canarian academic, political and cultural society. A towering figure, in every respect, his easy gait and ready smile tended to melt hearts, whether royalty or humble groundsmen, he put people instantly at ease.
He was, for nearly four decades, best known as “El Inglés” director of the “Jardin Canario” Viera y Clavijo Botanical Garden and was declared an Adoptive Son of Gran Canaria. A biologist by training and profession, this quick witted and warm hearted MBE spent the greater part of his life in love with the Canary Islands and their flora, which he encountered during the summers of the late 60s while studying for his doctoral thesis on the subject.
He returned just a few years later as Director of the Canary Islands Botanical Garden, a post he held from 1974 to 2012, the most important botanical garden of its kind in the world, containing specimens of all the most representative Macaronesian flora, and a world reference in native plant life.
He was recognised by the Cabildo de Gran Canaria as an Adoptive Son in 2005. He served several terms as President of The British Club of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, before being appointed to an honorary position at the famous Gabinete Literario, promoting science and the arts, where he carried out exhibitions and other projects of great cultural interest.
David and Irene Zoë
Born in Liverpool (1942), Bramwell went to Old Hall Grammar School, Maghull, and studied botany at the University of Liverpool (B.Sc. 1962-1966, M.Sc. 1967), having grown up during the Mersey Beat days of the city where he married his first wife Irene Zoë; he carried out postgraduate studies at the University of Seville (1968-1969), and completed his doctoral thesis on Canary Islands Plant Life, a “Revision of the genus Echium in Macaronesia”, at the University of Reading (1969-1971)
In 1971 he had been appointed as director of the University of Reading Herbarium as an adjunct professor in the Department of Botany. In 1974, following the untimely demise of his mentor, Jardin Canario founder and Swedish botanist Eric Ragnor Svensson, Bramwell was appointed director of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria’s Botanical Garden, until his retirement in November 2012. The Jardin Canario remains a world reference in the field of Macaronesian botany and the largest facility of its type in Spain. Research laboratories, a Germoplasm Seed Bank and a raft of environmental education and protection programs were created under his direction, among many other initiatives, all focused on the understanding and conservation of Canary Islands native plants and habitats.
His wife Irene Zoë shared his passion for The Canary Islands and worked with him on many publications, as a botanical illustrator and botany graduate in her own right, they set about cataloguing the endemic species of the archipelago. She worked for a time as primary advisor on the setup of over 160 different cacti and succulent types, and 1000 palm trees of 42 different types used in the creation of Gran Canaria wildlife attraction Palmitos Park back in 1978.
Luis García Correa, David Bramwell and Manuel Torres, 1978
In 1978 he was appointed Professor of Botany at the National University of Ireland, a post he resigned in 1979.
Between 1984 and 1986 Bramwell was appointed director of the Special Plan for the Protection of Natural Areas of Gran Canaria (PEPEN).
He was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the World Network for Conservation in Botanic Gardens (BGCI).
He received numerous awards, including the César Manrique Award for the Environment from the Government of the Canary Islands; Adoptive Son of Gran Canaria; the Sir Peter Scott Medal from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); Member of the British Empire (MBE), awarded by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II; the Silver Canary Pine of Artenara; the Conservation Excellence Award from Texas Botanical Research Institute; and the International Canary Islands Award 2013; The ‘Henry Shaw’ Gold Medal from Missouri Botanical Garden, among many other awards.
David Bramwell receives the Sir Peter Scott medal, London 1991
He was a founding member of the European Botanic Gardens Consortium and the IUCN Macaronesian Islands Expert Group and one of the four promoters of the International Convention on Biodiversity World Strategy for Plant Conservation.
He presided over the Gran Canaria Group responsible for international meetings of botanical experts held on the island to help prepare the World Strategy for Plant Conservation, and the Gran Canaria Declaration on Climate Change.
His beloved wife Irene Zoë’s tragic death left Bramwell a widower, though some years later he married again.
In 2001 he was elected Vice President of the International Association of Botanic Gardens, having carried out, since 1974, a personal research program on the taxonomy, biogeography and conservation of the flora of the Canary Islands, publishing more than 150 scientific papers and several books.
Bramwell made contributions to international congresses and conferences around the world, acting in many of them as moderator or president of sessions.
He has also maintained extensive research relationships as director or co-director of projects carried out by grant holders of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria in the Botanical Garden.
He was appointed director of the UNESCO Chair for the Conservation of Plant Biodiversity in Macaronesia and West Africa, a position he held with special interest in the issue of climate change until 2015.
Some of his publications, like The Forests of the Canary Islands, Their History and Development, are counted as the primary reference texts on the natural environment of the archipelago and have been reprinted in several editions, including: Wild flowers of the Canary Islands, D. Bramwell, I. Zoë; Subtropical gardens; Medicinal plants of the Canary Islands; with JM Lopez, La Gomera, Natural history of the Canary Islands; with I. Zoë, Flora of the Canary Islands Pocket Guide; Natural history of the Canary Islands; Canary Gardens; subtropical gardens; and his latest work, Climate Change and the Canary Islands.
In 2011 he married his third wife Yolande, who shared with him a great love of history, community, and various charitable endeavours.
He was still working on a project dedicated to the Guiniguada ravine, running between Triana and Vegueta, on whose banks the foundations of the city of Las Palmas were first laid.
With Queen Sofía. INFECAR, 1993
David Bramwell with Queen Elizabeth II, 1991
With King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia
President of the Cabildo, Antonio Morales, conveyed his condolences on behalf of the entire Insular Corporation and, in particular, those who collaborated closely with Bramwell, both at the Viera y Clavijo Botanical Garden, and in the Environment and Planning department of the Cabildo. “His dedication to the implementation and consolidation of the Jardin Canario, following the premature death of [its founder], Erik Sventenius, as well as his passion for Canarian flora and for the international projection of Macaronesian botany, were the characteristics of his work for decades, turning the initiative of the Garden into one of the world icons of nature and flora, as well as the largest Botanical Garden in Spain”, Morales recalled.
Templars, Hospitallers and Masons
It wasn’t all gardens and plant life. His mischievous twinkle eyes, so readily willing to share a knowing gleam, belied an active mind always ready to have a little fun. As serious, well-connected and lauded as he was, he also had a much more whimsical side and a deep passion for history, which led him to travel the world in search of items from antiquity, providing pieces to a story that led him to explore legends journeying through the centuries.
Bramwell was initiated into a Templar order, during his university days, and though he later lost contact with them, he spent many years investigating stories of The Order of The Temple, recovering information and fragments, as well as an astounding collection of ceramic iconography, which survived long after the Templars had been practically erased from history during the 14th century, having been imprisoned and put on trial between 1307 and 1314 and their orders, claims and properties dissolved. He had a special interest in histories of those who protected the members that remained, and their secrets, in the times that followed, placing these stories at the very origin of Freemasonry.
Tales of Jerusalem and the pope’s own fighting monks, these holy knights, over the centuries became legends, though Bramwell said his focus was, over recent years, more allied to the original intentions of the order, which was simply to assist those in need, aligning himself more with the Hospitallers than with the militaristic origins of The Temple and subsequently Freemasonry. Nevertheless he drew links to the Norman adventurer, Jean de Bethencourt, who unsuccessfully attempted to invade the island in 1404, as well as echos of the Scottish Clan Sinclair who, it is claimed, explored the Americas 100 years before Columbus (Cristobal Colon).
As Master of the Knights and Ladies Templar Order of Las Palmas, an order which he helped to inaugurate, Bramwell explored a deep, lifelong interest in how the Templars had been first created in Jerusalem, during the crusades, to protect pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land, and then studied what happened following their dissolution, 200 years later, when as a military force their strategic dominance in Europe, and their wealth, ended up being taken away and their reputation cast down, outcast as heretics, or burned at the stake, exiled from France, between the rivalries of King Philip IV and Pope Clement V, in an attempt to consolidate the established power structures, as well as likely avoid having to pay the growing debts owed to the knights and their treasuries. The original orders were crushed for political and financial gain, and any who survived sought refuge elsewhere.
Many of the last Templars, said Bramwell, were welcomed in Spain by the Order of Montesa, and in Portugal by the Order of Christ and, above all, in Scotland by the Royal Order of Scotland, by groups who he believed to be the original progenitors of the modern Masons. “There are very significant documents”, pointing to this history, he once told the local press, but, nevertheless, he said “the issue is still a grey area”. The Templar Order over which he presided counted themselves as “non-masonic”, and focused instead on noble and charitable endeavours, whether cooking sausages for church fundraisers, or helping The Food Bank of Las Palmas and assisting various other non-profit organisations, Bramwell’s influence brought together diverse and well respected individuals to put their resources and privilege to good use.
He had a deep interest, no doubt encouraged by his wife Yolande, in the many French Templars who took refuge in Scotland, because of their familial relationships. “The French Sant Claires and the Scottish Clan Sinclair are the same,” he said, and “the Sinclairs were the masters of the first lodges.”
Bramwell spent years investigating and recovering these stories, along with various artefacts of real historical interest, which he would seek out from around the world, turning up emblems, signs, icons and other Templar elements in sometimes the most unlikely of places, whether it be an antiques shop in the welsh valleys, or a little market place in an Italian mountain village, he was always willing to dedicate time to the search for knowledge and gain greater insight into the world around him.
A literal gentle giant of Canarian and Las Palmas society, he will be deeply missed by all those who had the pleasure to know him. David is survived by his loving wife Yolande, his son Alex and family, all of whom live in Las Palmas, and his brother who lives in his hometown of Liverpool. A funeral service is expected to be announced at the Holy Trinity “British” Church in Las Palmas in the coming days.
Canary Islands Tourism launches an unprecedented strategy to encourage domestic travel market
The Canary Islands Regional Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, through the public company Promotur Turismo de Islas Canarias, has launched a never-before-seen strategy to encourage domestic tourism, especially focused on the accommodation sector. “We carried out an unprecedented exercise of communication and sales promotion, which we combined with a program to generate economic activity around the regulated tourist establishments of the eight islands,” explained the Regional Minister responsible for the area, Yaiza Castilla, during the presentation last Wednesday, 9 June.
The Ministry led by Yaiza Castilla have launched an ambitious campaign consisting of a communication strategy aimed at directly Canarian tourists and a series of measures to boost activity around accommodation establishments, with an investment of €16 million.
With the domestic tourism promotion, up to 50,000 Canarian residents will benefit from tourist vouchers, which will each have a balance of €200 charged to the program to promote holidays within the Archipelago until the end of this year.
According to the data from Promotur, the Canarian tourism is a market that is reactivated faster than the rest. From January to April, 76% of the demand that existed in 2019 for those same months has been recovered. In the summer of 2020, the domestic market gained a significant share and was responsible for 36% of total demand, compared to 19% in the summer of 2019. Along with peninsular tourism, which also gained a share in the accommodation demand (with Spanish tourism’s share of the pie increasing from 15% of the summer of 2019 to 25% of the summer of 2020), “Canarian tourism helped to boost tourist accommodation in the face of the loss of most of the international,” Castilla recalled.
However, the counsellor clarified that for the summer of 2021 there are slightly more optimistic forecasts for international tourism based on the latest measures adopted, such as the free movement of vaccinated people or the acceptance of antigen tests, as well as attenuation to the contagion numbers and the rate of vaccination in Europe. In any case, Castilla was cautious: “We cannot lose sight of the fact that the majority of countries and regions in our environment are promoting holidays at home for their citizens, some of them through very harsh travel restrictions and a large part through an incentive system ”.
For this reason, “we wanted to make a strong commitment to generate activity in our tourism sector promoting its economic recovery. That is our task as the Council responsible for the main economic engine of the Islands, for whose reactivation we must do everything possible, and that has also been our commitment to the employers ”, added Castilla.
The strategy consists of four parts, the first of which is a €1m communication campaign for domestic tourism, an unprecedented budget for this market. The action has been launched this week to serve as support over the coming weeks for three further initiatives to promote local tourism consumption and generate economic activity, to which €15 million will be allocated. These are a tourism voucher for accommodation, another tourism voucher for travel agencies and a stimulus line for complementary activities, budgeted a €5 million each.
“We have made an historic investment to promote Canarian tourism, with a total of €16 million and an extended execution period until December 2021, which will allow us to mobilise the internal market not only in summer, but also to tackle the re-entry into tourism normalisation, which we hope will intensify with our high season and in 2022 ”, explained Castilla.
Up to 50,000 Canarian residents will be able to access one of the two types of tourist vouchers, those for accommodation and those for travel agencies, which will be given as prepaid cards endowed with €200 that can be enjoyed until the end of the year. “These incentive mechanisms for domestic tourism consumption will ultimately benefit our companies and, therefore, their workers,” Castilla highlighted. To this initiative will be added another €5 million, for a line of incentives for complementary activities (leisure, restaurants and active tourism).
The tourist accommodation voucher will consist of a virtual or physical card that will be pre-loaded with €200 to which the resident beneficiary will have to contribute another €200 more. “We are convinced that this will be the final trigger to make the decision to travel within the Archipelago, a decision that will double the economic boost to the sector, which thanks to the participation of the Canaries will go from five to ten million euros,” said Managing Director of Promotur Turismo de Islas Canarias, José Juan Lorenzo. The formula to achieve one of these bonuses will be through a public draw before a notary, in order that all participants have the same possibilities.
During the first two weeks of July, Canarian residents over 18 years of age can register on the website www.somosafortunados.com to apply for a nominative card. The draw will be held on July 14 and a day later the list of winners will be published, at which time the voucher may begin to be used both to pay for the stay and to enjoy any other service offered by the chosen accommodation. People who obtain a voucher will be able to choose between the establishments registered in the General Tourist Registry of the Canary Islands that have adhered to this initiative and that have a POS with an assigned business number, in order for the beneficiary to use their card in a face-to-face setting.
The tourist voucher for travel agencies will be achieved through the same process, a draw before a notary public, and on the same dates. In this case, the first difference is that the card will also have a charge of €200, but the Canarian resident will not have to contribute any financial amount. This voucher must be spent in physical travel agencies, located on any of the eight islands, and must be used to contract a vacation package that involves a minimum stay of 5 days in summer season (between July and September) or a minimum stay of 3 days between October and December.
Any legal resident over the age of 16 can now get a vaccination appointment in The Canary Islands
May, 2021 | #TheCanaryCoronaVirus, Health, Vaccination
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.
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.
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
Spain and The Canary Islands Are Now Open For Summer Holidays, Government adds UK to “white list”
May, 2021 | News
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
Legal foreign residents, even without a Spanish health card, can register to get vaccine appointments
May, 2021 | #TheCanaryCoronaVirus, News, Vaccination
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.
— Sanidad Gobcan (@SanidadGobCan) May 13, 2021
€51 million project to manage Canary Islands migrant reception facilities announced as referrals increase from the Canary Islands
May, 2021 | #TheCanaryMigrantCrisis, News
The Spanish Central Government’s Council of Ministers this Tuesday approved an initiative from the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migrations, agreeing to contract the public company Tragsa, for the amount of €51 million, to provide properly managed migrant reception services on The Canary Islands over the next year.
Government spokesperson, María Jesús Montero, announced at the press conference following the Council of Ministers, that the Ministry’s commission will consist of “the provision of a series of basic services in these migrant reception facilities to provide dignified humanitarian care, in safe conditions, to the migrants, and the vulnerable, who arrive on the Canary Islands”.
Among the services that will be provided are included food, security, cleaning and maintenance of reception centres, able to accommodate up to 7,000 migrants at a time, explained Montero.
Following the apparent lack of preparedness to face last years predicted “sudden” increases in arrivals via The Canary Route, the Spanish Government are attempting to ensure that they do not get caught out once more. The term of the agreement between the Ministry and Tragsa will extend throughout this year, from July 13, 2021, until July 12, 2022. There has already been a significant increase in arrivals this year, which is expected to continue through the autumn, hopefully with a little more planning as to how we will cope with a new influx.
Until April 24, the Secretary of State for Migration – with the authorisation of the Ministry of the Interior – had transferred 4,385 people from the Canary Islands migrant reception camps and other reception centres on the islands, taking them to resources on the mainland, according to information obtained via the Portal de Transparencia, a Spanish Open Government resource funded to facilitate citizens’ access to information and good governance. Sources close to the situation estimate that by the end of May that number may have reached 6,000 people. The 2021 transfer figures contrast starkly with the rigidity with which transfers were being authorised last year when, despite the humanitarian crisis that caused the arrival of more than 23,000 migrants, barely 2,168 people were authorised for referral. Thousands of vulnerable people, many of whom were not candidates for expulsion, were detained on the islands for months, unable to leave even if they had valid tickets and travel documents.
Migrant Reception Referrals from the Canary Islands
The Ministries of Interior and of Migrations have not yet offered any official explanations why the numbers of transfers have been increasing, in fact they do not recognise the increase, but a mixture of factors, including court rulings against the continued blocking of travel, as well as a damning report from Spain’s Ombudsman, among others, have clearly smoothed the path and led to increased resources having been made more available. The gradual relaxation of covid-19 concerns and restrictions as well as the basic need to manage the day-to-day situation on the islands have all meant the transfer of thousands of migrants from the islands, which in turn helps to decongest the reception camps, which still accommodate hundreds of people who have met the vulnerability requirements to be referred. The transfers have helped to reduce social tension and conflicts at the centres themselves and will help to facilitate management of an expected increase in arrivals over the coming months. Arrivals have already more than doubled since the beginning of the year, with summer and autumn expected to bring more, though expulsions are expected to also be much higher this year so long as the pandemic remains under control.
There are currently just over 4,000 irregular migrants still on the Canary Islands, though that number is expected to continue to drop over the coming days and weeks. This now represents the lowest figure since the Canary migrant crisis became most apparent during the second half of last year, and all in the midst of border closures and restrictions due to coronavirus having paralysed travel across the globe. Of the 23,023 arrivals in 2020, more than 16,000 arrived in just the last three months of the year, half of those in November alone. Last December there were still more than 8,000 individuals in migrant reception facilities and among them were potentially thousands of vulnerable migrants (including some families, mothers with their children, asylum seekers, the sick and others) who all met the requirements to be transferred to centres on the Peninsula, but they were not allowed to leave. Thirteen, otherwise empty, hotels were employed to assist, after the Arguineguín dock, where the red cross had set up a makeshift camp for up to 400, had become overcrowded with more than 2,600 people in November, while deportations remained suspended due to the pandemic. There were several other resources available on the Peninsula, but the Interior Ministry voiced concerns that facilitating transit could generate a “call effect”.
The build up of so many people in temporary migrant reception facilities during those months ended up generating tensions among the resident population, exacerbated in many cases by misinformation, which led to various demonstrations demanding solutions to problems that could not be solved quickly, nor easily. Some even tried to equate the lack of tourists with the temporary accommodating of migrants in empty tourist resort towns. The Spanish far-right repeatedly tried to impose their own agenda, joining several of the marches and attempting to form mobilisations of their own. This discomfort is still evident in some of the municipalities, particularly near where camps have been set up, and the situation is still very complicated in various centres that house large numbers of people, and in particular unaccompanied minors who represented more than 10% of the arrivals last year, with more than 20 emergency accommodation facilities suddenly having to be set up without prior warning. Some 300 or so have had to remain in temporary hotel accommodations for nearly 8 months, cared for by specialist NGOs, due to a total lack of alternatives. This has led to angry complaints from nearby residents, primarily due to noise and occasional incidents disturbing people’s sleep.
Transfers continue to be carried out based on vulnerability criteria (families, mothers with their children, asylum seekers, the sick …) but as well as that several thousand migrants have also been able make their own way, if they have the documentation that allows them to take a plane or a boat. In the case of referrals, the NGOs that manage the reception centres on the islands draw up lists of those who meet the vulnerability requirements and send them to the Ministry for Migration, which, in turn, requests authorisation from the Ministry of Interior for the Police to issue a pass for each of them. These referral transfers are financed by the Ministry for Migration, which relocates the migrants to reception centres on the Peninsula that are more suitable for their specific needs. From these centres, many of the migrants are able to meet up with their families and friends in other provinces or elsewhere on the continent.
The Government’s lack of transparency about referrals has been pretty constant since the migration crisis became overloaded at the end of last year. Spain’s Government delegate in the Canary Islands, Anselmo Pestana, said in August to the Spanish News agency Efe: “Derivaciones? That is not talked about, because it can generate a call effect, obviously”. Pestana stated that if transit to the Peninsula was openly facilitated for migrants rescued in the Canary Islands “instead of 3,000 arriving, 30,000 will arrive”. On the premise that reporting the number of people leaving the islands for humanitarian reasons might encourage more arrivals, the authorities have refused to release this information. However respected Spanish language daily, El Pais, was able to obtain these data after requests through the Transparency portal to the Secretary of State for Migration and the Interior. After two months of waiting, Migrations responded, while the Ministry of Interior refused to give out the information.
The main objective of the Migrations Ministry now, is to improve conditions in the camps, with the macrocentre of Las Raices, on Tenerife, seen as a priority. Although it has never reached its maximum capacity of 2,400 people, the camp has hosted more than 1,500 migrants and various problems since its inauguration last February have been fairly constant. Installed in one of the coldest and wettest areas of the island, there was no hot water, the food was often insufficient and conflicts between groups of different nationalities ensued. The current plan is that by the end of May, the capacity of Las Raices, which now accommodates more than 1,100 migrants, will not exceed 800 people.
Of course all of this preparation, as welcome as it is, only goes a small way towards dealing with the issues. We are simply managing resources to try to cope with the symptoms of a problem that originates elsewhere.
Reception, referral, asylum or expulsion are all necessary parts of our response, but this problem isn’t going to just disappear. We need large scale, long term commitments made to help change the circumstances that cause people to risk their lives in this way.
The truth is we are only seeing a very small part of the problem. More than 4.2 million displaced people in the Sahel are trying to survive water poverty, oppression, failed crops, resource depletion, armed conflict, rape, torture, violence and corruption. We need to focus our efforts on trying to improve the prospects of the people in these countries, and to provide more adequate pathways for temporary migration and transfer of knowledge and support to help ensure that Africa’s future does not depend on so many people trying to escape to Europe.
Africa’s future is in Africa, and in partnership with Europe and the rest of the world.
IMHO Timon .:.
The Canary News
Blood & Gold: The ‘Discoverer’ and the brutality of conquest
by Timon .:. | October 11, 2022 | Crime, History, Immigrants, Military | 0 CommentsMany in Spain celebrate the national day, October 12, as a day for all Spaniards to revel in Spanishness, and remember an empire, replete with displays of military might, with marches and the waving of flags coloured blood and gold. For many, it is not a day of...
Canary Islands Migration: Ukraine war exasperating food shortages, poverty and unrest in the West African Sahel
by Timon .:. | June 25, 2022 | #TheCanaryMigrantCrisis, Editor's Thoughts, investigation, Migrants Gran Canaria, News | 0 CommentsSpecial ReportTimon .:. Without being overly sensationalist, it would be fair to say that, a perfect storm has been brewing for some time in Western Africa. The Canary Islands is a region on the frontier, and needs to avoid allowing fear to drive decision making. The...
€51 million project to manage Canary Islands migrant reception facilities announced as referrals increase from the Canary Islands
by Timon .:. | May 11, 2021 | #TheCanaryMigrantCrisis, News | 2 CommentsThe Spanish Central Government's Council of Ministers this Tuesday approved an initiative from the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migrations, agreeing to contract the public company Tragsa, for the amount of €51 million, to provide properly managed migrant...
Unaccompanied migrant minors: Canary Islands Ministry of Social Rights has been appealing for help for months and to all the administrations to help take responsibility
by Timon .:. | May 7, 2021 | #TheCanaryMigrantCrisis | 0 CommentsThe Deputy Minister of Social Rights of the Government of the Canary Islands, Gemma Martínez, said back in January that the archipelago is "clearly facing an humanitarian emergency situation" in the care of unaccompanied foreign minors, she appealed to all the...
Judge insists on removal of 150 minors from Tamanaco apartments in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria
by Timon .:. | May 6, 2021 | Migrants Gran Canaria, News | 0 CommentsA judge has denied any further continuation to migrant minors being allowed to be temporarily accommodated in the Tamanaco Apartment Complex in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaira ordering the removal of migrant minors within the next few days and weeks. The Las Palmas de...
Disturbing paradise: A small group of foreign residents feel themselves “besieged” by youths living in a Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria hotel
by Timon .:. | May 5, 2021 | Community, Editor's Thoughts, Immigrants | 0 CommentsAnother normal day in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria, but disturbances, on one street at least, have become more frequent in recent times. Some will claim there are "daily riots", this is inaccurate. There are incidents, however. Mostly noise related, occasionally more...
“An unprecedented emergency” Spain’s Ombudsman demands that the Interior Ministry not prevent the departure of migrants from the Canary Islands
by Timon .:. | April 28, 2021 | #TheCanaryMigrantCrisis | 0 CommentsThe Ombudsman, Francisco Fernández Marugán, tasked, as the Public Defender, to investigate Spain's response to The Canary Migrant crisis, has directly demanded that the Ministry of the Interior cease “police practices” that prevent migrants from leaving the Canary...
On The Canary Route this year at least one person dies at sea, on average, every 32 hours
by Timon .:. | April 28, 2021 | #TheCanaryMigrantCrisis | 0 CommentsAir Force photograph showing twelve survivors and five deceased on board a cuyaco located in August 2020, by Search and Rescue (SAR), some 205 kilometres south of Gran Canaria. At that time there were twelve survivors on board. One died shortly after in the...
Policia nacional’s “Operation Arión” broke up a trafficking ring that may have organised transit for thousands of migrants, using false documentation, and with access to thousands of passports
by Timon .:. | April 22, 2021 | Migrants Gran Canaria, News | 0 Comments“Operation Arión” was the name given to a coordinated series of raids, as part of a covert operation, across the south of Gran Canaria, and on mainland Spain that has managed to smash an organised criminal gang, suspected of having arranged transport for thousands of...
Las Palmas judgement concludes that migrants can legally travel from the Canary Islands to the Peninsula, with just their passport and an asylum request
by Timon .:. | April 17, 2021 | #TheCanaryMigrantCrisis | 0 CommentsA passport and an asylum application are sufficient documents for any migrant to legally travel from the Canary Islands to mainland Spain. This fact, under the law, was formally recognised by a judge at the Contentious-Administrative Court number 5, in Las Palmas de...
Judge insists on removal of 150 minors from Tamanaco apartments in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria
May, 2021 | Migrants Gran Canaria, News
A judge has denied any further continuation to migrant minors being allowed to be temporarily accommodated in the Tamanaco Apartment Complex in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaira ordering the removal of migrant minors within the next few days and weeks. The Las Palmas de Gran Canaria court of contention number 2 has reportedly rejected an attempt to suspend the timely eviction of the unaccompanied migrant minors who have been accommodated at the Tamanaco tourist apartment complex in recent months. The magistrate Mr. Ángel Teba García rejected a precautionary measure filed by the SAMU Foundation, the NGO tasked with caring for the children housed there, which opposed a resolution from the Mogán Town Council to evict when the contract was finished. On that basis, the court agreed to lift a suspension order, decreed back on April 15, and ordered the continuation with exiting the contract in a timely manner.
The SAMU Foundation filed a contentious-administrative appeal against the resolution, 1176/2021, issued by the Mogán town Council, dated March 15, which had requested suspension of the eviction and removal of minors, migrant youths, currently accommodated at the apartments in the tourist resort town of Puerto Rico. The plaintiff indicated in the appeal that “the order being challenged, would mean evicting 150 unaccompanied foreign minors, within fifteen days, who have not yet been taken in by the network of residential resources of the Autonomous Community.”
However, according to the Ministry of Social Rights’ own “Report on the situation of the Tamanaco emergency measures aimed at the residential care of unaccompanied foreign minors“, prepared by the Director General for the Protection of Children and Family, the measures were due to be “concluded by April 31, 2021, or at the latest during the first weeks of May.”
** We are awaiting confirmation of the date from the original measures published in November, which were to be concluded by the end of April. Three separate sources have quoted the date April 31, though the month only has 30 days. We assume it to be a typo in the original report
The order continues stating that “from the moment the landlord initiated legal actions, before the Courts of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, to resolve the lease contract”, which was the legal agreement and basis for the occupation of the property, the foundation and the Ministry of Social Rights were bound to have to contemplate the next move for these children. The court’s conclusion must be, they said, to entirely reject the appeal and support the removal of minors, because “the precautionary measure filed by the SAMU Foundation is therefore inappropriate.” The court pointed out that they had full knowledge that the contract must be concluded by that date, and also mentioned the incongruousness of the opposing positions of the Regional Executive and the Mogán Council in this conflict.
Procedurally, said the judge, the only position that could be allowed, was to verify “the legality of the procedure and of the Resolution subject to appeal”.
Concluding, the judge said that if it were his understanding “that the controversial Resolution is not in accordance with the law, he had to appeal it as Fundación SAMU has done” and clarified that “the Comunidad Autónoma de Islas Canarias” named as co-defendants, “had perfect knowledge of what was coming and did not appeal against the Resolution of the Mogán Town Council” pointing out that they cannot now do so “surreptitiously.”
The order states that “both the SAMU Foundation and the Executive had to have contemplated the instability for the foster care of migrant minors” in the Tamanaco Apartments.
Speaking of the request for precautionary measures, itself, the judge ordered that “being that the suspension of the administrative Acts was an exceptional measure, the presumption of legality of [those acts] should prevail against the particular interest of the SAMU Foundation.”
In essence the judgement lights a fire under the SAMU Foundation and the Canary Islands Regional Government’s Department of Social Rights, Equality, Diversity and Youth, who are responsible for managing the situation with migrant minors who arrive to the Archipelago. The judgement firmly orders the lifting of the eviction suspension for migrants accommodated in the Tamanaco complex, who are expected to have found an alternative within a matter of days, something that may well prove very difficult indeed.
**this article was edited to correct what appears to be a typo on the original date for the expected end of contract, April 31, a date that does not exist
The Canary News