Tag: health

Latest Gran Canaria News, Views & Sunshine

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

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

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

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

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

The Canary Guide #WeekendTips 19-21 May 2023


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


All the islands maintain their current health alert levels, though infections rise slightly

Gran Canaria, Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro remain at level 3; and Fuerteventura and Lanzarote at level 2. The daily average of conventional hospital beds occupied by covid patients throughout the Archipelago as a whole has decreased by 18.4% compared to the previous week and that of ICU beds decreased by 12%.


The Canary Islands Ministry of Health on Thursday, March 17, updated health alert levels, following this week’s epidemiological report from the General Directorate of Public Health, with consolidated data as of March 16. The report on the evolution of health indicators for COVID-19 on all the islands decides the appropriate alert levels for each.
Gran Canaria, Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro remain at alert level 3; and Fuerteventura and Lanzarote (where La Graciosa is included epidemiologically) at level 2. All with greatly reduced measures and few restrictions now in place on hospitality businesses.
The epidemiological situation of each territory is based fundamentally on hospital pressure (bed occupancy indicators now being the determining factor for analysing the trends and severity of COVID-19) and the incidence on the transmission of the coronavirus, according to the modifications established within the Inter-territorial Council.
Healthcare indicators
Care indicators show a favourable evolution and the daily average number of occupied conventional hospital beds has decreased by 18.3% compared to the previous week, with an average occupancy rate of 5%, this indicator remains at medium risk. The percentage occupation in Gran Canaria, Tenerife, La Palma and La Gomera are all at medium risk; Fuerteventura is at low risk and Lanzarote and El Hierro are at very low risk. The number of occupied ICU beds continues with the downward trend, falling 12% compared to the previous evaluation. ICU occupation for the whole of the Archipelago is 9.7%. Tenerife and Gran Canaria are at medium risk, while the rest of the islands remain in controlled circulation.
Epidemiological indicators
In the Regional Autonomous Community as a whole, between March 8 and 14, saw 9,162 new cases of COVID-19 reported, representing a 3.3% increase in the daily average of new cases in relation to the previous week. These data respond to a 3.3% increase in Accumulated Incidence (AI) at 7 days throughout the Canary Islands. From a weekly average of 407.4 cases per 100,000 population, this figure rose to 421.1 cases per 100,000 this week.
All the islands remain at very high risk for this indicator, except Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, which are at a medium and high risk, respectively. The island that has risen the most in this indicator is Tenerife, followed by La Gomera.
The 7-day AI for people over 65 years of age has risen to 29%, the Autonomous Community as a whole, and all the islands, are at very high risk in this indicator. The greatest increase is observed on the island of La Palma, followed by La Gomera.
The 14-day AI fell by 3.7%, although the level of risk is still very high for the whole of the Archipelago.


Canary Islands continue de-escalation, returning to 100% capacity in general, for hospitality, sports and culture

The Government of the Canary Islands have agreed at their meeting held this Thursday, March 3, to continue with the de-escalation of restrictions applied to contain the pandemic caused by COVID-19, after the latest measures approved 15 days ago.

The agreement affects the general capacity, both in outdoor and indoor spaces, and those of cultural and sports activity, which is established in both cases at 100% in all the islands, since it is adopted for health alert levels 1, 2 and 3.
The Executive makes this new agreement with a commitment to continue, as it has been doing until now, to remain vigilant and prudent in the process of modulating the measures, as has already been happening in all the autonomous communities, throughout Spain.
The Governing Council agreed to this modulation, after the report from the General Directorate of Public Health that shows the downward trend in care indicators, which are the ones that in this new phase of the pandemic inform the state strategy of detection and monitoring for COVID-19.
The sixth wave, Ómicron variant, has caused changes in the transmission, evolution and impact of COVID-19 and therefore in the indicators that must be analysed for monitoring.
New measuresThe main new temporary measures that will be in force on the islands that are at alert levels 1, 2 and 3, starting next Monday, March 7th, are:

General capacity: 100%, both in outdoor and indoor spaces.
Cultural activity: the maximum capacity, regardless of whether or not it is considered a massive event, will be 100% in both open and closed spaces.
Public shows: cultural, recreational, leisure and entertainment activities, including sports, that take place sporadically and in places other than the establishments intended for the regular exercise of said activity, will have a maximum capacity of 100% both outdoors and in spaces closed, and regardless of whether the public remains standing or sitting, as well as the consumption of food.
Federated and non-federated, professional and non-professional sports practice: allowed outdoors or in closed spaces, maintaining the interpersonal distance of 2 meters whenever possible. The number of participants will be limited by the specific regulations of each sport.
Training, competitions and sporting events: the capacity of the public will be 100% both in open spaces and in enclosed spaces and the measures provided for in the Agreement of the Inter-territorial Council of the National Health System of February 16, 2022 on the measures in place for mass sporting events, including those of the Professional Football League and the ACB League.
Children’s and youth camps: The capacity will be 100% for both outdoor activities and indoor activities.
Camping, refuges, non-social shelters and overnight camps: Camping is not allowed, except in the spaces enabled for this activity and the camping area will be delimited respecting the safety distance. The overnight stay will be carried out guaranteeing the distance of 2 meters between beds, bunks or people, and maintaining cross ventilation with outside air.




Gran Canaria goes to alert level 3 due to the improvement of its epidemiological indicators

Tenerife, La Palma, Fuerteventura, La Gomera and El Hierro continue at Level 3; and Lanzarote, at Level 2
The daily average occupation of conventional hospital beds in the Archipelago as a whole has decreased by 26% compared to last week and ICU beds occupied by covid patients has fallen by 14%

The Ministry of Health has today updated the health alert levels following this week’s epidemiological report from the General Directorate of Public Health with consolidated data as of March 2.
The change in level for Gran Canaria will come into force at 00:00 this Friday, March 4
In the COVID-19 report health indicators allow Gran Canaria to drop to Alert Level 3, having improved in epidemiological indicators.
The rest of the islands maintain their current Alert Levels, Tenerife, La Palma, Fuerteventura, El Hierro and La Gomera maintain Level 3; and Lanzarote (where La Graciosa is epidemiologically included) Level 2.
Gran Canaria has been enabled to move to Level 3 due improvements in care impact indicators over the last 14 days, with hospital occupancy on the wards in the last two weeks going from a high risk to a medium risk, while occupancy of beds in the ICUs also decreased to medium risk.
However, the evolution of the indicators will be closely observed due to a slight upward trend in the 7day AI this week, which has an impact on the care capacity indicators. The level change will take effect at 00:00 this Friday, February 4 (on the night of Thursday to Friday).
The evolution of the epidemiological indicators on the rest of the islands have still not yet presented sufficient stability in the the data to propose further decreases in levels, just yet.
Health alert levels are determined by the Ministry of Health based on the epidemiological and healthcare indicators that are collected weekly; The healthcare indicators currently record the evolution of the pandemic, according to the modifications established within the Interterritorial Council by the Ministry of Health and the Autonomous Communities.

???? Se actualizan los niveles de alerta por islas. Gran Canaria baja a nivel 3.
???? Nivel 2: #Lanzarote y #LaGraciosa
???? Nivel 3: #LaPalma, #ElHierro, #Fuerteventura, #LaGomera, #Tenerife y #GranCanaria
(Sigue ????)
— Presidencia GobCan (@PresiCan) March 3, 2022


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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“Several islands” set to begin de-escalation of Covid Alert Levels this week

The president of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, announced this Tuesday that the Governing Council will, “probably”, approve the lowering of Health Alert Levels this Thursday “on various islands”. Several islands will likely begin to de-escalate from their respective Covid Alert Levels after this Thursday’s Governing Council meeting. The President of the Government of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, made the announcement during a Canary Islands Regional Government control session of Parliament.

“There are objective reasons to invite optimism,” he stressed. “We are still in a pandemic, the curve of the sixth wave has been bent, we have less healthcare pressure, we removed restrictions last week and we will probably do so this Thursday,” he said, La Provincia.


The Covid traffic light system used in the Canary Islands currently ranks Tenerife and Gran Canaria at Alert Level 4 and Fuerteventura, El Hierro, La Gomera, La Palma and Lanzarote (where La Graciosa is included epidemiologically) all remain at Level 3.
Healthcare during the sixth wave has been in a “stressful situation”The sixth wave of Covid-19 infections has significantly multiplied the number of positives and there has been a stressful situation within the healthcare system across the islands, the president of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, said this Tuesday in the plenary session of the regional parliament.
Torres indicated that given the stressful situation that has occurred, both in Primary Care, and in hospital services and ICUs, temporary measures have had to be adopted.
Some measures will end as soon as the contagion curve is bent back down in the right direction, Torres pointed out, in reference to the controversies occurring at the Insular University Hospital of Gran Canaria.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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