I was saying a few days ago that obligatory Covid testing was on the cards for travel to the Canary Islands. The legislation has now been approved by the Canarian government and will come into force on Saturday, November 14th – but of course the travel restrictions imposed by the varying lockdowns in the UK mean a lot of people will have to postpone their winter sun plans.
So what do you need to do?
All visitors who are staying in any kind of tourist accommodation must take a Covid test at their own expense – either PCR or antigen, with a negative result – between 48 and 72 hours before travelling. This might well not be straightforward to arrange and may add quite a chunk to the cost of your holiday.
The test certificate must be shown – either a digital version or printed out – when you arrive at your accommodation.
Note that you do not have to show your test result on arrival at the airport – the responsibility for implementing this legislation has, controversially, been put on the shoulders of hoteliers and holiday accommodation companies.
You also need to download the Radar COVID notification app and keep it activated throughout your stay on the islands and for 15 days after your return home.
What happens if I don’t manage to get tested before travelling?
If you do travel without a prior test, you will be sent to a testing centre when you get to your hotel, villa or apartment. Some places will also offer the option of an on the spot test, but you will then have to self isolate in the accommodation until the results come in. Anyone who tests positive at this stage will have to self isolate in designated accommodation before being sent home. The costs of this (apart from the test) will be covered by the insurance policy which the Canarian government introduced in August for all visitors to the islands.
Do I need to show anything apart from my passport at the airport?
Yes. You need to fill in an online FCS health control form no more than 48 hours before you travel. You will then get a QR code which you show when you arrive at any of the airports in the Canaries – either a digital version on your phone or other device or printed out.
What if I’m staying in my own holiday home or in a friend or relative’s home?
In this case you do not need to show a negative result, but it is recommended that you at least have an antigen test before you travel in the interests of everyone’s health.
Do children need to take the test?
Children are exempt from the test ruling up to their sixth birthday – those who are already six do need to be tested.
I have had Covid. Do I still need to have a test?
Yes. People who have had the virus must also provide a negative test taken no more than 72 hours in advance.
What if I am travelling from mainland Spain or the Balearics? Do I need to have a test to be able to stay in tourist accommodation in Canaries?
Yes. You must provide a negative test taken no more than 72 hours before you arrive in the islands.
I am going to be in the islands for a long time. Do I need to have a test every time I change accommodation?
No, you only need to show that you arrived in Canary Islands more than 15 days ago by showing your travel documents and state that you have not experienced symptoms suggestive of Covid-19 during that period.