Spain holidays: Latest FCDO update as Canary Islands covid travel advice changes again

Holidays: Mike Gooley gives advice on booking travel in 2021

Spain is a hugely popular destination both for Britons eager to escape on holiday and for those keen to relocate permanently. Travel has been made tricky as a result of changing rules amid the covid pandemic. The Canary Islands, in particular, have seen measures chop and change.

The Canaries were removed from the travel corridor on Saturday, December 12, joining mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands on the quarantine list.

However, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is not currently warning against non-essential travel to the archipelago.

Its ongoing travel advice for Spain states: The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic Islands but excluding the Canary Islands, based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.”

Today, however, the Foreign Office issued a new update for the Canaries.

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The new guidance concerned coronavirus testing.

“If you’re travelling to the Canary Islands, local authorities have announced that a negative COVID-19 antigen test is also valid, as well as a PCR, TMA or LAMP test,” detailed the FCDO.

“You can find further information from the Canary Island Tourism Authority and check entry requirements with your travel provider prior to travel.”

The FCDO explained what this means for those booked into hotels, rental villas and suchlike.

“If you are booked into regulated tourist accommodation in the Canaries, you will be obliged to present an official, negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours earlier, when checking in to your accommodation,” clarified the authority.

“This can be the same test used to enter the Canary Islands providing you check-in within the 72 hours of having taken the test.”

Travellers to the Canaries also need to download and activate the Radar COVID notification app.

You will need to have this throughout your stay on the islands and for 15 days after your return home.

“These measures are specific to the Canary Islands and apply to all guests aged six years and over unless they have proof of travel confirming their uninterrupted presence on the islands for the previous 15 days,” said the FCDO.

“Any traveller failing to comply, risks being refused access to accommodation.

“For further information, refer to guidance from the Canarian tourist board, and check with your accommodation provider prior to travel.”

Holidaymakers were also issued a warning regarding testing services in the UK.

“You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country,” cautioned the FCDO.

“You should arrange to take a private test and should confirm with the testing facility the type of tests available prior to booking an appointment.”

It is also mandatory for all passengers travelling to Spain to fill out and sign a Health Control Form 48 hours prior to travel.

This can be done on the Spain Travel Health website or downloadable app.

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