Tag: politics

Latest Gran Canaria News, Views & Sunshine

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.


The Canary Guide #WeekendTips 2-4 June 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

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

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.


“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.


New till 2am opening hours and a return to nightlife on islands on Alert Level 1

The Governing Council of  The Canary islands agreed in their weekly session held on Thursday, June 10, to approve adjustments to COVID-19 prevention measures including the operation of nightlife establishments on the islands epidemiologically at Alert Level 1, where nightspots may remain open until 2am in the morning and must meet certain capacity and occupancy requirements, as well as register attendees. At Level 1, hospitality hours are now also established until 2am at the latest.
The agreement adopted by the Regional Government also modifies other measures referring to mass events, for which the requirement of prior authorisation is now eliminated when the number of attendees is less than 750 people; congresses, meetings or business meetings, as well as carrying out screenings in asymptomatic population. The new measures have now been published in the Official Gazette of the Canary Islands (BOC) this Friday and come into force with its publication, except for the opening of indoor nightlife, which is established at starting from Friday, June 18, always depending on the pandemic situation.


???? Hotel and restaurant establishments on the islands at alert level 1 can open from today until 2am.
???? Nightlife establishments (discos, bars and karaoke bars) on islands in alert level 1 can now open:
Discotheques, cocktail bars and karaoke bars may remain open until 2am in the morning, with with a register of attendees and without a dance floor.
-Maximum 10 people per table outdoors and 4 indoors-Dancing not allowed-Consumption of food and drink with customers sitting at table
(As of June 18 for interior areas)
????  Mass events (cultural, sports or leisure): with less than 750 attendees, will not require prior authorisation from the SCS, a requirement that is still to be maintained if they exceed that number of people.
These events may be held in open and closed spaces on alert level 1 islands.
On alert level 2 islands only outdoors, with the public seated and with a maximum capacity of 50%.
On the islands at alert levels 3 and 4, these events cannot be held.
????  The maximum number of people at congresses, business meetings and conferences on the islands has now been eliminated on levels 1 and 2.
On islands at levels 3 and 4 they can only be done electronically

Requirements for nightlife establishments
Nightlife establishments, such as discos, cocktail bars with and without live performances and karaoke, on alert level 1 islands (currently those of Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro) must comply with the limitations to capacity and maximum occupancy established, and adequate ventilation, both indoors and outdoors, keeping a record of attendees to ensure traceability in the event of the possible detection of a case during the following 30 days.
The maximum occupancy per table will be 10 people outdoors and 4 indoors. The consumption of food and beverages will be carried out at the table, with the clients seated, a safety distance of 2 meters and the correct use of the mask, except when ingesting food or beverages.
Dancing is not allowed, so the dance floor must be sealed or, where appropriate, be occupied by tables without exceeding the allowed capacity.
Likewise, in interior spaces, forced ventilation will be used, in order to obtain adequate renewal of air.
Mass events
As for the mass events that are held sporadically and in places other than the usual ones, such as demountable facilities or open air, with a number of attendees of less than 750 people, from now on they will not require the prior authorisation of the Directorate of the Canary Service of Health, a requirement that is maintained if they exceed that number of people.
These activities, which include cultural, recreational, leisure or sports events, may be held both in open spaces and indoors on islands at alert level 1 and only outdoors on those at alert level 2, with the public seated and a maximum capacity of 50%, while in alert levels 3 and 4 this type of public spectacle cannot be held.
As these are activities that take place in different places than usual, the total capacity of the venue must be calculated at a rate of 2.25 square meters per person.
Congresses, meetings or business meetings
The agreement also eliminates the maximum number of people who can attend congresses, business meetings, conferences and events promoted by any entity, public or private, held on islands at levels 1 and 2, although for this last level the recommendation is to use telematic means whenever possible. As for levels 3 and 4, they can only be done electronically.
Screening an asymptomatic population
Regarding the screening of the asymptomatic population, the agreement establishes that the groups subject to routine screening will be carried out when deemed necessary and always under the criteria of the Public Health unit.
Population screenings that do not belong to groups subject to routine screening will have a specific objective defined in their technical protocol, while those carried out in the workplace must be framed within the surveillance of workers’ health, carried out by of the occupational risk prevention services.


More than 3 million square meters of Güi-Güí is now publicly owned by Gran Canaria

The Cabildo de Gran Canaria island government has acquired, through auction from the State Tax Administration Agency (AEAT), a total of 2,852,630 square meters, in two plots, at the centre of the Güigüí Grande and Chico ravines, for €2,876,000. These lands join the ​​225,340 m2 purchased via the same procedure last January, for a total of 3,071,000 square meters, making the land public property.


In the two purchase projects the institution spent a total of €3.1 million, representing just 7.5% of the price requested at the time by the former owners, and one and a half million euros less than the appraisal that was carried out 13 years ago  commissioned by the Cabildo. Between the Cabildo owned land and local government municipal property, the majority of the accesible areas of the Güi-Güí Special Natural Reserve now becomes publicly owned, leaving several inaccessible areas and cliffs in private hands.
The president of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, Antonio Morales, explained in a visit this week, accompanied by technicians, representatives of the Tax Agency and journalists, just off shore from this spectacular wild part of Gran Canaria’s West Coast, that “Güi-Güí is part of our identity, as a landscape, as a symbol of the island, as [our] cultural and natural heritage” and the purchase of these plots is now a historical fact that brings to a close “a long struggle to guarantee protection for one of the places with the greatest natural and historical wealth on the island, which becomes everyone’s on Gran Canaria”.
The purchase was part of a strategic policy from the Cabildo de Gran Canaria to acquire land of special ecological and patrimonial value as a way to guarantee its conservation and protection. This operation will allow the organising of how the areas is used within the reserve, since the farmlands are located in the ‘heart’ of Güi-Güí, and used often by the Canarian population, in the surroundings of the natural beaches and old farming areas.
Güi-Güí, has three ecosystems in the same area, from pine forest, to thermophilic forest to the south and one of the most important cardonal-tabaibal enclaves in the world. Its environmental value exceeds the other national parks around the islands in the number of endemic species of flora, insects, reptiles, birds and marine fauna.
The “Montaña de los Cedros” is home to the only wild specimens of Canarian cedar on Gran Canaria, a population that has gone from just about 50 known specimens in 2003 to around 1,000 today, thanks to the Life Güi-Güí program that the Cabildo has been running since 2013, with funding from the European Union. The cedars are the last of the original forests that once populated this area, which were depleted by logging, and can now be regenerated in a natural way.
For all these reasons, Güi-Güí is a Special Natural Reserve, one of the largest existing protection categories, as well as a Special Conservation Area within ​​the Natura 2000 network. It is also part of the nucleus of the Bisofera Reserve of Gran Canaria and its coast conserves one of Gran Canaria’s two major sebadales, natural seagrass meadows, declared a Marine Reserve and Natural Eco System of National Interest.
Archaeological Teams have cataloged 18 sites within the Güi-Güí massif, including mines (one of them the largest obsidian quarry on the island) and/or sanctuaries like the Hogarzales mountain and Los Cedros. In addition, the area, due to its isolation, has meant little of the land has been in use and few people have settled there. Güi-Güí is inaccessible to road traffic, which is unusual on an island so densely populated,  offering a landscape very similar to how the island would have looked several centuries ago.


Relief on Gran Canaria as we move to (Amber) Alert Level 2, with cautious hopes for the summer.

The Canary Islands Ministry of Health has agreed this Thursday, April 29, following their weekly analysis of epidemiological indicators, carried out by the Governing Council, to decrease restrictions on the island of Gran Canaria, to Alert Level 2 and bring Fuerteventura down to Alert Level 1 (the lowest risk level during the pandemic). The islands of El Hierro, Lanzarote and La Graciosa all remain on level 2, and La Palma and La Gomera, at level 1. The Governing Council also announced that the Ministry of Health will again review the indicators on Tenerife, next Tuesday May 4, to assess if a change to their alert level there might already be possible, to move down from 3 to 2, as long as the current improving data trend on that island can be maintained.

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


Gran Canaria moves to Alert Level 2
For Gran Canaria, the assessment included the positive trends on 7-day Accumulated Incidence (AI) ​​indicators and at 14 days, both now showing the island to be at (amber) medium risk, which indicates a certain stabilisation of community transmission, also being reflected in the population aged 65 and over. Additionally, the data suggests a continuing downward trend, with an average of 53.3 cases detected per 100,000 inhabitants.
The report, however, states clearly that this recommendation can only be sustained with the collaboration of all citizens and institutions, in complying with the non-pharmacological measures to avoid reversing the development of this trend and thereby potentially causing rapid or uncontrollable increases in the numbers of cases.
Tenerife to be reviewed again on Tuesday, May 4
On the island of Tenerife, to date, the indicators continue to require Level 3 restrictions. However, the Governing Council, usually held on a Thursday, has urged the Ministry of Health, through its General Directorate of Health Public, to schedule a further review next Tuesday, May 4, to look at the epidemiological and healthcare levels on that island, given the downward trend of several indicators over recent days. It will then be determined if a change of level for that island can proceed, which would take them down from Level 3 to 2.
The announced changes will come into effect, as ever, once the weekly update to the Accumulated Incidence (AI), is published on the website of the Ministry of Health. That decision is based on the report issued by the General Directorate of Public Health of the Canary Health Service (SCS) dated this Thursday. This report, in the case of Tenerife, indicates a daily average of 97 cases detected. The 7-day AI has been decreasing to stand at around 62 cases per 100,000 inhabitants today.
Reducing Risks, Vaccines and an End to The State of Emergency
If Tenerife can reduce their infection rates and sustain that reduction, they will be the last island in this wave of the pandemic to be deemed high risk.

The Spanish government are moving ahead with plans to declare the State of Emergency in Spain to be concluded on May 9.  At which point regional governments will start to take full responsibility for covid-19 restrictions and measures to try to keep everyone safe, while the vaccine roll out continues.  More than 20% of the Canary Islands population have now received at least one dose of vaccine, and nearly 10% will have had both doses within the next few days.  Anyone born before 1947 is now actively encouraged to phone and make an appointment if they have not been called already.
Things are looking a little brighter, and there is cautious hope for a good summer season ahead.

#CGobCan Gran Canaria pasa a nivel 2 y Fuerteventura a nivel 1, y el resto de las islas mantienen el mismo nivel :
?Nivel 1: #LaPalma, #LaGomera y #Fuerteventura?Nivel 2: #Lanzarote, #LaGraciosa, #GranCanaria y #ElHierro ?Nivel 3: #Tenerife
+info: https://t.co/FGnMuoaWM8 pic.twitter.com/w3sX7ESl0y
— Presidencia GobCan (@PresiCan) April 29, 2021


Shifting Sandcastles in the Sky: Spanish Supreme Court upholds the cancellation of the Tauro Beach coastal territorial plan on Gran Canaria

A little-known beach on the south west of Gran Canaria has been making big waves, again, following more than 30 years of talk, 20 years of hype, 16 years of planning procedures and 6 years of controversy in the hands of the recently bankrupted Grupo Santana Cazorla. It appears the long awaited Tauro Beach project has finally been cancelled, after years of intrigue, investigations, recriminations and shifting sands. Well, cancelled for now, at least.
Reporting: Edward Timon .:.  –  Main Image: Bård Ove Myhr – 45photos.com
A correction was made to this article on April 6, as detailed at the end


The Special Territorial Plan of the Litoral de Tauro (PTE-29) was finally approved back in 2014, by the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, 8 years after being initially put forward to regulate a long-touted tourism development, including a new artificial beach project, that had been promoted by a timeshare company, the Anfi Group, as early as 2001. The beach development was to be complemented by a 322-berth sports marina and a new shopping and leisure area, as well as up to 7,500 tourist beds in the Tauro valley, expected to rejuvenate and improve the tourism offering on the Costa Mogán, bringing prestige, jobs and new riches to the popular tourist destination.
The beaming CEO of Grupo Anfi, José Luis Trujillo, said, after many years of waiting, regulatory reformulations and bureaucratic pitfalls, and having won the contest against Puerto Rico SA for the concessions to run the businesses on this new beach, “Anfi’s dream continues with the construction of a beach that will be a benchmark for leisure on Gran Canaria” pointing out that the beginnings of this planning project had first been put forward back in November of 1987.

– Tauro Beach and Amadores in the now defunct plan
– David Silva, Trujillo and Bueno shovel sand on Tauro Beach July 2015
This helpful distraction diverted much attention from the Anfi Group’s recent change of fortunes, in January 2015 following a supreme court ruling, the first of many, against Anfi, among others, on mis-sold timeshare. The judgement opened the company up to huge numbers of potential claims for selling illegal contracts valued, by some insiders, in the tens of millions or possibly more. In the time since Anfi’s financial liabilities have grown and grown, simply due to being judged to have wilfully and repeatedly ignored the rules and the law.  It attracted the attention of other more political animals in the area.
There were lots of reasons for caution, particularly after such a long journey to achieve administrative consent for such a big project. None of this, however, stopped Mogán’s mayor, Bueno, newly elected just over a month before, from immediately getting in on the action, heralding the project as good for Mogán “a beach that will serve to attract more tourists to the municipality” wasting no time in joining the July 2015 photo-opportunity to shovel sand, alongside local-born international football star David Silva, finally breaking ground on the development, and giving the project her new administration’s seal of approval. Fences were erected and heavy machinery brought in to start work in early 2016.
– Tauro Beach as heavy machinery moved in before the sand arrived in 2016
Sandcastles in the sky
More than 50 legal objections had been made to the plans, from various quarters, claiming a total lack of consultation, inadequate permissions from property owners, deficient environmental impact studies and a raft of other complaints, including allegations from almost all of the local residents who would be directly affected, many of whom have lived on the shoreline of the Tauro bay for decades.
The final go-ahead to begin came from the Canary Islands head of Costas (regional coastal authority), José María Hernández de León, himself; and 70,000 tons of desert sand was hurriedly extracted, illegally, from the nearby disputed territory of Western Sahara then dumped on to what had been up to that point a pebble beach.  The project, now underway, it was announced with much publicity, would be finished by Christmas 2016 at a cost of €2.5m. The Mogán mayoress told journalists that the residents of Tauro beach would have to leave.
– The tide takes the sands from Tauro Beach
No sooner had work begun, however, than cracks appeared in the execution of this long awaited flagship project.  Local mariners, who understand the tides on that coastline, were dubious about how long the sands would last. For the first time in living memory, the sea flooded in over the freshly landscaped beach to inundate the homes of residents, most of whom could ill afford such a disastrous occurrence, and some of whom felt intimidated by the sudden failure of the shoreline. The project was halted pending further engineering studies and environmental reports.  The Green Party claimed irrevocable damage to a protected habitat.  The Canary Islands head of the Costas was removed from his post and then arrested by the Guardia Civil,  charged with falsification of documents, and having lied about failures in his duty, when it was discovered he had failed to verify the required property rights prior to ordering the project to proceed.
– Tauro Beach and ignored barriers
In frustration, locals tore holes in the fences so as to be able to access the now modified shoreline. Court action was initiated to remove Anfi’s permissions and concessions, while they scrambled to try to gain the missing property permissions to continue the development. Mogán town hall refused to police the coastal strip of land, or remove bathers from the beach, making clear that it was Anfi’s responsibility now, as was the destruction of their fences by members of the public trying to reach the sea.
13 shacks, which several people had made their homes, were questionably and brutally torn down by the infamous Catalan evictions company, thought to be neoconservative leaning (though who say they are a-political), whose skin-headed, musclebound “businessmen” claim to be “experts in mediation”, using a gang of thugs and a JCB, about which Mogan town hall claimed, despite having had to give permission for such action, no real knowledge, as they weren’t present, mayoress Bueno declaring that the Town Council “has nothing to do with this matter.”

The list goes on and on.  These and many more reasons for caution when dealing with institutions and entities who display little observance of State planning laws, or ordinary people’s fundamental rights.  People for whom power and money and nepotism, and even suspected fraud and corruption on a grand scale, consistently seem to trump any considerations for the everyday norms that are in place to regulate business and urban developments and to protect individuals from being harmed by large corporate and political interests.
Editors Comment: Shifting Sands
– Bueno inspects Tauro Beach
As the situation, and the confusion, has worsened for the Tauro project, so our good lady mayor and her administration have announced that they will be taking over this newly sandy beach at the mouth of the Tauro valley.  Similarly they have refused to renew the long-standing concessions for the Puerto Rico beach and for Amadores beach, claiming administration of these facilities as revenue generating assets for the town hall of Mogan. 
If one were to have a suspicious mind, one might suspect some sort of subterfuge in this latest blow to the private investment projects of Mogan.  But of course that would be cynical.  Surely it will only be the good people of Mogan who will, in the end, profit from these shifting sands. Right?

Back to the drawing board
For now, though, it seems that all is quiet again on the pristine sands of Tauro beach.  The territorial plan, PTE-29, providing the framework for the project was declared null and void in March 2019.  And news has come this first weekend in April that the Spanish Supreme Court will not allow any of the appeals presented by the Cabildo and the Government of the Canary Islands against the sentence handed down by the Superior Court of Justice for the Canary Islands (TSJC) due to non-compliance with Coastal Law, specifically due to the absence of a mandatory and binding report from that Coastal Authorities which would have been needed before it had gained final approved in 2014.
The order not only concludes that “the remedies prepared have no interest in cassation”, that is to say that the substance of the appeals contain no new evidence that might lead the Supreme court to either reconsider the verdict, nor re-interpret the existing tenets of applicable law, but also orders the appellants (those filing the appeals) to pay the costs, as they had alleged in their appeals that the breach of the Coastal Law (Spain’s Ley de Costas regulating protection, use and policy of the maritime-terrestrial public domain, in particular the maritime shore) had not been expressly raised by the company that had originally appealed approval of the Plan, Puerto Rico SA.

The 2014 territorial coastal plan for Tauro, in Mogán, which was annulled by the TSJC in March 2019, had authorised the construction of a marina with 322 moorings, the regeneration of the beaches at Tauro and El Cura and the creation of a promenade along that strip of shoreline that would be paid for with a private investment estimated to be in excess of €31 million.  The marina planned in Tauro, was initially to be built between that beach and the El Cura beach (Playa del Cura), but the plan had, in the end, changed the position of the marina to the other side of Playa de Tauro, against the cliff that separates it from Amadores beach. The Plan, now void, also contemplated the implementation of a hammock and umbrella service on both beaches and the creation of a promenade that would link these two beaches with Amadores.
Bankruptcy of Santana Cazorla
Meanwhile, in recent weeks, in a separate court judgment investigating the business dealings of the Hermanos Santana Cazorla SL (HSC) the company has been pronounced completely bankrupt. After years of ducking and diving, wrangling and wriggling, the courts have concluded that this well-known island construction, development, promotion and investment company cannot possibly service their debts, due to a negative operating capital exceeding €72m. 
Last week the family-run company whose portfolio of investments and subsidiaries stretched across many business areas from Hotels, to a multi-award-winning winery, various construction companies, and numerous other interests across Gran Canaria, these islands and elsewhere, has seemingly been put out of business.  However we are told that the woes of HSC do not affect the entire Santana Cazorla Group, which is diverse.
**On March 31 Anfi CEO, Jose Luis Trujillo, sent a letter to all of their timeshare “owners” and clients, known now as “members” to explain that HSC SL are not the specific company who own 50% of Anfi resorts (the other half owned by rivals Lopesan Hotels) but in fact this major share of the timeshare group, with a “golden vote”, is owned by a completely separate company who, the letter says, is not a subsidiary of HSC and therefore is totally unconnected to the dealings with Anfi.
Specifically, the judge suspended the companies 959 Oliva Inversión Internacional SL; 947 MSC Inversión Internacional SL; Santana Cazorla Servicios SL, and Bodegas Tirajana SL.
HSC was operated by the Santana Cazorla brothers, whose children, and other family members, do involve themselves in various aspects of the group of companies, whose interests spread far and wide across the islands.  Although Santana Cazorla were the developers who provided machinery and workers for the transformation of the now defunct Anfi Tauro Beach, Trujillo makes clear in his letter that HSC’s bankruptcy is unlikely to have any serious repercussions for Anfi, themselves.
And we have no reason to doubt him.
Altogether this looks like the end of the road for the Tauro Beach project, for now at least, with several years likely to elapse before anyone tries a further plan on this scale. But in a municipality like Mogán, where huge urban projects are sometimes green lighted, seemingly without warning, or consultation, it really is anyone’s guess as to what might just happen next.
What is clear is that citizens of Spain have a constitutional right to access all coasts, which are in the public domain.  One important question will now start to be asked in earnest, particularly by the residents of Playa de Tauro, and that is when will the fences be removed again, and when will the people of Mogán regain their right to access their beach once more?
The founders of Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria & Tourism in Mogán
Puerto Rico SA have been operating for more than 50 years on the south of the island, under the  auspices of the Roca family, who literally founded Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria in 1968, having purchased the entire valley two years earlier, for the meagre sum of 30m pesetas.  The Barranco de Puerto Rico was part of a huge estate farm, some estimate 8 million m2, stretching 12km inland and another 2km to the west), and on the cliffs either side of the valley was constructed the tourist resort town we know today. The resort peaked at 20,000 tourist beds, however a large number of those apartments were subsequently sold to private buyers who chose to live in them,  able to take advantage of a town hall who seemed happy to turn a blind eye to the existing laws around residential use of tourist property, the land it is built on and the licenses under which it operates.  The current mayor expressed her displeasure, in 2015, at tourist beds not being used for tourism, however after a long controversy, the Canary Islands Government stepped in to regularise those who had bought in good faith, while making clear new procedures for change of use in the future.
The four Roca brothers, who had done very well out of construction in the early 60s tourism boom in Maspalomas, and whose father was a well known realtor, started work on Puerto Rico in 1966. By 1972 they were constructing the very first artificial beach in Spain, which in turn kick started tourism in the area.
Mogán prior to that was an agricultural zone, peopled by simple folk, with dirt roads and a small fishing fleet. They say the town hall still had an earthen floor. Any visitors who came, headed to Playa de Mogán, and due to their free loving, smoke hazed ways, were known as Los Hippies. The Roca clan and their descendants did so well from the concessions to operate tourism infrastructure, and from urbanising the Puerto Rico valley, selling plots for tourism development, and promoting the building of “Shopping Center Puerto Rico”, that in 1986 they were able to construct Gran Canaria’s second artificial beach at Amadores.  Those whose families had always held power in the area must have looked on with green eyes at these incoming businessmen with fresh ideas and the ability to attract capital.  They welcomed them with open arms, and Mogán propspered.
The town hall’s recent decisions to refuse support for their concession  renewal applications, may feel like a slap in the face after so long, but running tourist beaches is big business round these parts, with a lot of potential benefits, and this administration has never been backwards about going forwards when it comes to grabbing revenues and awarding contracts to businesses they take a shine to.  Will Puerto Rico SA recover, yes, most certainly.  Will they try again, for sure, they have lasted longer than most operators on the coast of Gran Canaria’s wild south west, and certainly they are tenacious enough to take on the dynastic political families who tend, by hook or by crook, to gain control of this local council.
Even with the best will in the world, even mayors are somewhat limited to the 4-yearly electoral cycle. Somewhat.  Let’s see if we don’t find a Roca on the ballot in 2023… or perhaps sufficient divisions will remain to keep the same old faces on the same old lamp posts and billboards, serving up more of the same for a fist full of dollars and few years more.

The mayor, Bueno, has kept a very low profile in recent days, having spent months trying to distract the world with her “humanitarian efforts” to remove irregular migrants from the Port of Arguineguin, she moved on to marching through the streets with anti-immigration protesters.
Subsequently she has made loud, if meaningless, noises regarding her opposition empty hotels temporarily accommodating migrants, reading well the rightist rhetoric, stirred initially by fishermen afraid of Covid infections, then others with time on their hands, to join the cries to “Save Tourism” by moving these people out of her municipality, she has even tried to fine those hoteliers who aided the humanitarian effort, while detention camps were being constructed into which to move the migrants.
Now that all but a handful of migrants remain in Mogán, along with a couple of hundred unaccompanied minors, accommodated in the municipality’s (still empty) hotels, and while a further influx (of either visitors or migrants) is awaited, presumably tourism has now been saved. Bueno will no doubt return to other more pressing matters, such as jetting off to meet with her Madrid legal team, to prepare a defence for her upcoming court appearances to answer many niggling doubts that have arisen about her administration’s management of municipal affairs, and indeed how it was they came to office in the first place.
Various concerning questions have certainly emerged, both before and during her tenure in the town hall, regarding the methods with which she and her party serve the good people of Mogán.
Not least of all the fact that she has been under investigation for many years, this time round since at least 2015, over very serious allegations of fraud, nepotism, irregularly awarded contracts, urban planning concerns and various alleged electoral irregularities.
She faces trial, likely this year, following a very public arrest by Guardia Civil last September, along with two of her councillors, which she responded to by concentrating on international migration, and alleging a massive state conspiracy against her.  Without a doubt she is bare faced and tireless.  We wish her well. Qué Bueno.

**An error in this article, published April 5, was corrected after it came to our attention that the bankrupt company Hermanos Santana Cazorla had been incorrectly stated to be a shareholder in the timeshare operators Anfi Group.  A letter signed by Anfi CEO Jose Luis Trujillo, made clear to Anfi members that there was no reason to be concerned with regards to the bankruptcy as HSC, though part of the same family of companies, was not in actual fact the company that owns a 5o% shareholding in Anfi.
If you spot any errors in our reporting please do not hesitate to contact us  by email, or through our Contact page, or by calling +34 928 987 988

Bulo in Paradise: The Tauro Beach Saga

The Ballad of Tauro Beach:...Posted by The Canary News on Thursday, April 8, 2021


The Canary News

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Cordial director says they will fight “illegal” decision to allow cement factory to continue in Port of Santa Águeda

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Ella the danger mouse grabs more than she bargained for on holiday in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria

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by Sanna | October 16, 2022 | Community, Fairs & Markets, Maspalomas, Playa del Inglés, Sunshine, Tourism | 0 CommentsAt the start of October the popular Maspalomas Market moved to the Parque Europeo, in the heart of Playa del Inglés. The Town Council provisionally moved the Wednesday and Saturday market due to works due to start on the new municipal market renovation The Councillor...
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Two (possibly) homeless individuals, who pretend to be car parking attendants, violently attacked in San Fernando

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Spain plans to drop 14-day quarantine rules from July 1st for foreign visitors

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Intercepted with €719,120 in two suitcases

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TUI will resume flights to the Canary Islands from Monday

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Mogán and the Government of the Canary Islands discuss Pueblo de Mogán bypass and the planned Taurito tunnel

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The Lighthouse of Maspalomas reopens to the public after ten years

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Mogán’s beaches will open on Monday to the public but with Phase 2 restrictions

by Sanna | May 22, 2020 | #TheCanaryCoronaVirus, #Tourism0, Events & Leisure, Family, Local Council, Mogán | 0 CommentsThe Mogán town hall has set out a series of measures to guarantee the safety of beach users on the south-west of Gran Canaria, when the island advances to Phase 2 of the de-escalation Plan for the Transition towards a New Normality. Currently, only individual...
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Green light for Gran Canaria expected on the UK holiday safe list along with the rest of The Canary Islands

by Timon .:. | April 26, 2021 | #Tourism0, Tourism | 0 CommentsA Green light for Gran Canaria is expected this summer after the British Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, said that the travel traffic light system the UK Government will launch from May 17, to classify countries based on their current Covid and vaccination indices,...
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What you need to know: Spain’s newly finalised Law of The New Normality is causing confusion about having to wear a mask even when sunbathing

For many, particularly in The Canary Islands, it was a bit of a bombshell to learn that Spain’s finalised Law of The New Normality, announced on Tuesday, will mean having to wear a mask everywhere, even when lying sunbathing on the beach or at the pool. The legislation comes into force throughout Spain this Wednesday, just ahead of the main four-day easter weekend. The latest Official State Gazette (BOE) tightens mandatory regulations for the use of face masks and makes very clear: it must always be worn, regardless of interpersonal distance, both outdoors and indoors, whether in public or private. And so, many are reporting that also includes places like the beach.
The simple fact is that not only have these laws been in the legislative pipeline for many months, and so are not new at all, but the BOE itself does not mention beaches, or swimming pools, nor does it announce any major changes to how these rules are interpreted. There will be further clarifications over the coming hours and days, but in the first instance this law should be seen as an extension to the measures already announced, and not a change of legislation.


Most of the newly published law, however, is really no different from the rules that have been in place since last June, when the so-called lockdown confinement was de-escalated with a decree law to end the first State of Emergency.
Despite the fact that here in the Canary Islands, until now, we have been able to follow our own regional regulation of these spaces, Spanish state standards supersede regional directives. This now means that the only exception to the use of masks, that had been allowed here on the Islands when lying down to sunbathe and so long as a safety distance of two meters was maintain, is now potentially ruled out, at least for the immediate and foreseeable future.

Spain’s central government will study whether it is necessary to “qualify” the newly published rules in a meeting this Wednesday

Spain’s Official State Gazette (BOE) published the new provisions, in a revision and clarification of the previous New Normality rules, in an attempt to further contain the coronavirus, in the face of what some health experts fear could be a European fourth wave of infection. Spain’s central government, however, will study whether it is necessary to “qualify” the newly published rules, at some point, in a meeting that will be held this Wednesday, together with the leaders of all 17 regional autonomous communities.

The Not-So-New Normality

This law has been a long time coming, it was not really a surprise
The New Normality measures announced, however, are not, strictly speaking, new. As far back as last summer most of these stipulations were written into the laws being discussed in the Spanish legislature, however the administrative process to pass these measures into law takes many months, and so during the interim time it was left to regional authorities to implement, as promptly as possible, the basic tenets contemplated. This is, in essence, what has allowed for leeway in how to implement these measures on a regional basis. Now that the measures have passed into Spanish law, all regions are expected to confirm with the wording of that law, and any changes requested, will likely take time to enact.

Don’t Panic! This pandemic is still far from over.

All in all, the new law has been expected for many months, though most had contemplated the published legislation would try to take account of how the measures were actually working in practice, so for some this is seen as an oversight by central government, for others however, concerned about rising infections, and with one of the main national annual holiday weekends looming, this is being seen as a well timed reminder that this pandemic is far from over, and a necessary control measure to help ensure that healthcare services do not become overwhelmed, just as vaccine rollouts have finally begun to offer hope to millions of citizens eager to eventually overcome the devastating affect of more than a year of public health crisis and the subsequent economic collapse that is being experienced all across the world.
“Law 2/2021, of March 29, on urgent prevention, containment and coordination measures to face the health crisis caused by Covid-19” (“Ley 2/2021, de 29 de marzo, de medidas urgentes de prevención, contención y coordinación para hacer frente a la crisis sanitaria ocasionada por la COVID-19“) is a compendium of de-escalation measures that were already agreed back in June 2020, on the basis that the first decree of the state of alarm that the Government had approved has expired.
The New Normality Law
Spain’s Official State Gazette (BOE) published the Draft Law, known as The Law of The ‘New Normality’, which was approved on March 18 in the Congress of Deputies. Among the measures contemplated in the text, which enters into force this Wednesday will remain “until the pandemic ends”. In any case, masks will not be required for people who can verify that they have some type of illness or respiratory difficulty that may be aggravated using the mask or who, due to disability or dependency, would not be able to remove the mask on their own, or who present behavioural issues that make the use of masks unviable or counterproductive.
With the newly published New Normality law, the requirement to wear a mask in outdoor spaces is now applicable to all communities, which can no longer regulate their own exceptions or graduate how the law is applied.
The New Normality articles published yesterday clearly states: “People of six years of age and older are obliged to use masks (…) on public roads, in outdoor spaces and in any closed space for public use or that is open to the public”. This implies, for example, parks, beaches or swimming pools. Also when using “air, maritime, bus, or rail transport”, as well as in “complementary public and private transport of passengers in vehicles with up to nine seats, including the driver, if the occupants of the tourism vehicles they do not live at the same address”.
When travelling by sea, passengers on ships and boats, it will not have to wear masks when they are in their own cabin.

What else does this New Normality law say?
All in all this law is simply finalising the text of the rules that have already been in place since summer 2020, clarifying some of the points of contention to follow the best advice given to the Government of Spain, and regulates the application of those rules throughout all Spanish territories.
The law now states that sale of single surgical masks, not individually packaged, can only be carried out in pharmacies, guaranteeing adequate hygiene conditions that safeguard the quality of the product.
Sports, exceptions and health issues:
Current exceptions to the use of masks have been preserved in the new wording: individual outdoor sport and people who have disease or respiratory difficulty, aggravated by the use of masks or who, due to their situation of disability or dependency, would not be able to take it off on their own.
Force majeure or situations of necessity are included as an exception or when, due to the very nature of the activities, the use of the mask is not compatible, as already stated in previous legislation.
Going to work
People who present symptoms compatible with COVID-19 or are in home isolation should not go to their workplace. If a worker begins to have COVID-19 compatible symptoms, they must immediately contact the telephone number set up by their autonomous community or health centre, and they must put on a mask and “follow the recommendations indicated, until their situation is assessed by a healthcare professional.”
Business owners, or the directors of the centres and other entities, must guarantee adequate ventilation and disinfection measures, and have water and soap or hydro-alcoholic gels available at all times  for cleaning workers’ hands. Likewise, everyone must adapt working conditions to maintain an interpersonal safety distance of  a minimum 1.5 metres (or adequate protective equipment, if that is not possible) and organise work schedules to avoid overcrowding.
Finally, business owners must “adopt measures for the progressive reincorporation in person to the jobs and the promotion of the use of telework when it is possible due to the nature of the work activity”.
No change for shops, hotels and shows
The competent administrations must ensure compliance by the owners of hotels, shops or cultural shows with the regulations for capacity, disinfection, prevention and conditioning that are determined.
They will have to ensure the necessary measures to guarantee a minimum interpersonal distance of 1.5 meters and avoid crowds.
Schools without crowds
Conditions must be guaranteed so that there is no crowding and that both students and workers can comply with “the indications of distance or limitation of contacts, as well as personal prevention measures.”
Sanitary system
The competent administrations must ensure the sufficient availability of health professionals with the capacity to reorganise them according to priorities at all times. They must guarantee of a sufficient number of professionals for the prevention and control of the disease, its early diagnosis, attention to cases and epidemiological surveillance.

La ley de “nueva normalidad” [The Law of The New Normal] https://t.co/Kq7YZaY7up
— Miki&Duarte (@MikiyDuarte) March 31, 2021

During the New Normality legislative final debate in Congress, the Lower House of the Spanish Parliament, the Cortes, the Health Minister, Carolina Darias, stressed that this law will “allow progress in the control of the pandemic and also in functions of surveillance, inspection and control of cases.”
“This rule will be central to the management of the pandemic until it’s end. It includes a good part of the commitment acquired during the management of this painful crisis. It is called to be a source of knowledge for those who have to make similar decisions in the future”, said the minister in defence of the move.
Guillermo Díaz, from the Ciudadanos party, used the opportunity to highlight the incorporation of an amendment from his party for the suspension of the medical inspection visa for the prescription of triple therapy in the treatment of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), throughout the pandemic. “It will avoid bureaucratic treatments to access the best of treatments,” he celebrated. Keeping in tune with the Minister of Health, Díaz defended the need for this law: “We cannot face a pandemic again with royal decrees, except to qualify a rule that already exists.” In any case, he demanded that the Executive “propose to establish legislation that allows a better response to a situation like this in the future.”
Laura Márquez, from Unidos Podemos, part of Spain’s governing coalition, said she was also satisfied with the incorporation into the legislative text of an extension to research contracts during the pandemic, but insisted that those working to combat the pandemic should have proper work full time contracts saying “it is necessary to address the problem of temporality in scientific research.”
“Even people who are researching vaccines in our country have temporary contracts. We must guarantee the stability of our scientists, really, without cheating or cardboard [cutouts],” she added.
The opposition PP deputy Ana Pastor, herself a former Minister of Health, said that she regretted that the New Normality document does not incorporate any of the 45 amendments presented by her main opposition group. “Never before has the parliament been so ignored as in this legislature.” she said. “Decrees have become the norm, as has happened with this one. They have not accepted any of the 45 amendments from my party. Do you not realise that this decree arrives just as it [was originally suggested], that it has only incorporated five amendments?”, she pointed out by way of example. Pastor criticised that the Government, saying that this law, “has been unable to incorporate what the health system urgently needs.” She demanded to know “Why have they not supported our amendments?”
PSOE’s deputy Carmen Andrés Añón replied that the PP amendments were “very far” from the “nature” of the guidelines, since “they intended an exhaustive regulation of all foreseeable possible and impossible situations, and in this way would handicap the Inter-territorial Council in its decision-making “.
“In addition,” she said “they raised a clear conflict of powers with the autonomous communities. They were very far from the Constitution and the spirit of the law,” she concluded.


The Canary News


Extra restrictions on Gran Canaria over easter, including travel, gatherings, entertainment and the beach

This Friday morning began the first day of additional restrictions over easter being in force, until April 9, aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus as much as possible, at a time when general mobility traditionally increases Gran Canaria over easter, as well as the rest of the canary islands. The measures already established for each island have been tightened, depending on the current alert level in play, and so this may well have generated some confusion as the various measures in place have evolved to try to keep infection rates contained.  In fact, this week, concerns have been expressed over the beginning of a fourth wave here on the islands, though of course, generally speaking, our numbers have remained significantly lower than elsewhere in Europe there is still a long road to travel before we can all let our guard down.  Here are a few key elements to keep in mind:



Curfews are in place at nightCurfew times depend on the alert level for each island, all citizens are asked to remain at home, or in their accommodation, with only essential travel permitted, such as to purchase essential items, trips to pharmacies to buy medicine, travel to or from work, going to or accompanying someone else to seek medical attention and those sorts of things. Those islands currently on the lowest Alert Level 1, which includes El Hierro, La Palma and La Gomera,  have curfews in place between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Islands at level 2 (Lanzarote and La Graciosa) and level 3 (Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura) have mobility limitations between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am.
Exempt activities are included in section 1.5.2 of the Government Agreement signed on June 19, 2020 and its successive updates.
Travel to the Canary Islands from elsewhere in SpainTravelling from elsewhere in Spain for an easter holiday this week has been restricted, primarily as most Spanish regions have closed their borders, however those with justified reasons, as established in Royal Decree 926/2020, of October 25, including those who “return to their place of habitual or family residence ” are able to travel from else where in Spain, so that students and other Canarian residents can return home for a few days.
Travelling between Canary IslandsInter-island travel is allowed, but with conditions. It is possible to travel between islands, regardless of the alarm level in place, without just cause as long as you can present a negative diagnostic test for active infection (PDIA), which will not be paid for by the the public health system. With adequate justification, as per the accepted essential exemptions, a test result will not be necessary.
Having people over to your houseGatherings at home are not permitted. Only people who are cohabiting, regardless of the current alert levels, may meet in private spaces.
Gatherings outsideOn all islands, groups of people in public, who do not live together, whether in a closed or outdoor space, are limited to just four people, and this cannot be exceeded. A group made up of cohabitants and non-cohabitants, must not exceed the maximum number of people established in each of the indicated alert levels.
The beach is still open though, right?In principle, yes. However, some cities, like Santa Cruz de Tenerife, have decided to extend restrictions on their beaches too. In general for sun bathing and swimming in the sea masks do not need to be warn, but as with all other public spaces, if you are moving around, rather than stationary, then you should be wearing your mask.
In the capital of Gran Canaria a traffic lights system has been implemented, such as on Las Canteras beach, which have been activated due to the expected influx of people, to let you know when you should avoid the beach. The rest of the city’s beaches will be reactivated for Easter and, in addition, the Red Cross service will be reinforced in coastal areas.
Live performance and Music ShowsThis is a bit of a grey area.  To ensure compliance most venues on Gran Canaria over easter have decided to avoid live music and performances altogether, as well as karaoke, dancing and anything else that encourages people to sing along, or move around.  The BOC (official gazette) actually only states that live performances or music shows “which encourage people to sing or move about are prohibited”, and so there is an interpretation that says any show that does not encourage people to enjoy themselves in this way would be theoretically allowed.  As it is a very fine line of interpretation and large fines are threatened for any venue thought to have broken the rules, most places are simply avoiding unnecessary sanctions and trouble with the authorities by postponing all live shows until after easter.
Religious worshipLike everything else, there are conditions in place. During any form of worship, physical contact between attendees must be avoided and the place of worship must remain with doors and windows open before and after the celebration, for the time necessary to guarantee its ventilation. During the celebration the doors will be kept open.
Attendance at closed places of worship can not exceed the following capacities depending on the level of alert established: at level 1, 75%; in 2, 50%; and at level 3, 33% capacity cannot be exceeded. In the latter two, it is recommended to offer services electronically or via television.
Basically, this pandemic is simply not over yet.  Whether you are on Gran Canaria over easter, or taking the opportunity to visit some of the other amazing Canary Islands, everyone is being urged to stay safe, keep each other safe and help us all to get through this year, which, with luck, will give the world time to roll out sufficient vaccines so that we can all return to something like how life was before, but for now, stay safe, don’t touch, wash your hands and be kind.


The Canary News


Gran Canaria find themselves back at Level 3 restrictions this week. The region has done extraordinarily well in coping with and controlling COVID-19 infections over the last year, and though there have been times of real concern, nevertheless, numbers have been kept relatively low in comparison to most places. However after a small, but recent, surge, Gran Canaria returns to Covid-19 Alert Level 3 restrictions again, which came back into force on Monday, March the 22nd, along with Tenerife and Fuerteventura. The rest of the Canary Islands remain at the levels they have had for a few weeks; La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro Level 1 and Lanzarote and La Graciosa at Level 2.  All islands will see “enhanced restrictions” added to their Alert Level as of March 26 and throughout the easter period, until April 9.
For the latest official data on COVID-19 in The Canary Islands, updated daily, check out our Mobile Dashboard, or for a more feature rich experience try the Desktop dashboard


Here are the current basic rules and regulations for Alert Level 3

CURFEW 10pm – 6amYou are not permitted to move around in public at all between the hours of 22:00 and 06:00.– Except : “justified trips”, such as for work, or going to buy essential items or medicine, or visiting healthcare facilities, and emergencies, including veterinarian care.

MEETINGS AND GATHERINGS: Max 4 PeopleGet togethers are limited, in both public and private spaces to Max. 4 people.–Exception : people you live with

HOSPITALITY, CATERING, RESTAURANTS, TERRACES, BARS AND CAFÉSHospitality establishments must close before 10pm. Outdoor service only is permitted, and at no more than 50% capacity, with a maximum of 4 people per table. No indoor service allowed, whatsoever, though you can still use the toilets, however you must wear a mask whenever leaving your table.–Exception: health centres, work cafeterias for staff and tourist accommodation for the exclusive use of guests staying at the accommodation.You can pick up takeaway food and drinks on the premises and home deliveries are allowed too (home delivery allowed until midnight) .On terraces or in other outdoor spaces, dependent on the establishment, all activities are prohibited that fail to encourage the maintaining of interpersonal safety distances and encourage you to dance or move or not wearing masks, such as dancing, karaoke, etc. 

SPORTS/ACTIVITIESOutdoor activities are allowed and some indoors but only with max. 4 people per group, including a monitor if you cannot maintain a distance of 2 meters from everyone else. Outdoor space only 50% of capacity and indoors 33%.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTPublic transport is limited to carrying 50% passenger capacity.

HOSPITALS AND SOCIAL HEALTH CENTRESVisits to hospitals and social health centres are suspended, except for the most necessary situations, at the sole discretion of the physician and the centre involved.

TRAVELAll flights and sea journeys, departures and arrivals, are restricted. Except for justified cause that occurs for any of the reasons contemplated in article 6 of Royal Decree 926/2020, of October 25. Tourists arriving from outside The Canary Islands, staying in registered hospitality accommodation, are permitted, so long as they observe all the relevant guidelines.

Congresses and all kinds of meetings are only allowed online. 


Level 3 will include enhanced measures, along with all other Alert Levels, over the easter holidays, between March 26 & April 9


The Canary News