Tag: testing

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.


Gran Canaria demands that Spain accepts antigen tests as well as PCR results

The President of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, Antonio Morales, has called on the Spanish state government to immediately authorise the use of antigen tests for travellers instead of the more expensive PCR tests to save the winter tourist season in the Canary Islands.
The the island government supports the demands of the tourism sector to reactivate the main economic activity of the island, repeating that the antigen tests allow detection of  the virus with a level of reliability sufficient to receive tourists in safety and thereby favors socioeconomic reactivation.


The mandatory requirement for PCR tests for anyone travelling from a high risk area is preventing in practice tourists from coming due to the high price, which can range between 150 and 200 euros, although some UK airports have subsidised the cost, however in some countries they are not freely accessible at all, as they are reserved for hospital use or for those identifiably at risk.
The Cabildo, in their considered opinion, believes that the Government of Spain has no reason not to authorise this type of test and therefore demands that it complies with the request from both the hotel businesses and the Government of the Canary Islands.
The positive evolution of the pandemic in the Canary Islands archipelago has allowed the islands to be the only open tourist destination in Europe, which represents an opportunity for tourism activity in the archipelago and for the European tourism sector that is being slowed down by this current requirement for entry to Spain.
The island president warned that if airlines and tour operators do not have bookings for the Canary Islands between now and March, there is a high risk of many dealing with bankruptcy that could permanently damage connectivity with the islands.


Europe now recommends no systematic testing or mandatory quarantines on travellers

The European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) have this Wednesday requested that no systematic testing or mandatory quarantines be imposed on travellers who travel between member states, saying that the risk of contagion between airline passengers is “much smaller” than among the general population, but has demanded clear and precise information for tourists about the situation at their destinations.
You can download their full report here


European experts argue that in the current epidemiological situation the number of imported cases represents “a very low proportion” and they see that the general contagion rates would significantly increase as being “unlikely”.
“The prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in travellers is estimated likely to be lower than the prevalence in the general population or among contacts of confirmed cases.” the document states, adding that though the recommendations are not binding on member states, it is supported by the European Commission.
In the opinion of the ECDC experts and EASA, no systematic testing should be enforced but instead measures designed to combat the pandemic in the travel sector should focus more on offering tourists extensive information on the epidemiological situation at their destinations and on the measures implemented in practice at airports and on airplanes to avoid contagion.
European Commissioner for Health, Stella Kyriakides
The Health Commissioner, Stella Kyriakides, said at a press conference after the meeting by videoconference with the EU 27 that the risk of coronavirus “is not the trip itself”, but the containment measures in the places of origin and destination,  insisting on governments being aware of “the risk of relaxing confinement measures too quickly.”
In any case, the European recommendations now ask member states to understand that “travellers not be considered a risk population or treated as if they had been in contact” with a coronavirus patient, unless they are aware of having been in contact with an infected person.


Spanish Airline Association welcomes European Commission antigen test recommendations

Madrid, November 19, 2020– The Spanish Airline Association ALA has welcomed the recommendation adopted by the European Commission that encourages EU member states to use rapid antigen tests to contain the spread of the virus and limit isolation and quarantine measures. This opens the door to their being accepted from travelers, in addition to defending the validation and mutual recognition of these tests and their results.
With this recommendation, the EC seeks to increase EU coordination on COVID-19 testing, guiding Member States on the use of rapid antigen testing to better manage COVID-19 outbreaks.


Javier Gándara, president of the Spanish Airline Association ALA said in a statement “We are at a momentous time for tourism and the aviation sector. The latest data from the Ministry of Health show that since May 11 to date only 0.3% of Covid cases diagnosed in Spain have been imported from another country (just 156 in the last 7 days). With these data on the table, right now we must all find a way to build trust so that citizens travel with guarantees. At ALA we work to find and support solutions that combine the best efficiency and safety to facilitate travel and build bridges and not barriers.”
The EC recommendation is in line with proposals from the airline sector, which defends the implementation of a globally harmonised COVID-19 test system, or at least within the EU, with rapid, affordable and reliable tests, easy implementation, both on the way out and on the way back, to regain confidence and restore air connectivity.
“In recent days we have seen how different organisations have indicated that the obligation to show a negative PCR [result] to enter Spain has slowed down tourist reservations, so these new EC indications open a door to mitigating risks of propagation, to be able to find a system that helps us to trace the data of a sector that already predicts a very complicated Christmas” Gándara said.
Specifically, the European Commission pointed out that “the possibility of using rapid antigen tests for travelers can be further considered, taking into account the latest scientific and technological advances in light of the epidemiological situation.” in their Recommendation on COVID-19 Testing Strategies from October 28, 2020.
The ALA say it also appreciates that the EC is recommending that Member States mutually recognise the results of rapid antigen tests, that meet the required criteria, in order to facilitate cross-border movement and thus contribute to the free movement of people and the proper functioning of the interior market in times of limited testability.


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