Canary Islands approved antigen tests for international tourists

Published on December 09, 2020
Canary IslandsNews from Canary Islands
canary islands accept antigen tests
Foreign tourists will be able to come to the Canary Islands with an antigen test

The Government of the Canary Islands has just announced that they will allow antigen tests for international visitors coming to the archipelago starting tomorrow, December 10th.

The antigen tests were approved by means of a decree of the President, Ángel Víctor Torres, which will come into force tomorrow, after its publication this Wednesday, December 9, in the Official Gazette of the Canary Islands.

What does this mean for tourists coming to the Canary Islands?

This means that starting from December 10th, both PCR (RT-PCR) and rapid antigen detection tests will be accepted as diagnostic tests for active SARS-COV-2 infection, in the case of foreign tourists coming to the Canaries on holiday.

This decree is based on the powers derived from the State of Alarm - whose delegated competent authority is the regional president; this means that the Canary Islands have the power at the moment to establish that both PCR tests and antigen tests are accepted from tourists coming to the archipelago. 

Tourists have 4 choices in regards to testing and arrival to the Canary Islands

  • 1. Isolation in your residence for 14 days (also includes temporary residence or tourist accommodation)
  • 2. Isolation in their residence, temporary residence or tourist accommodation, and realization of a diagnostic test for active infection for SARS-CoV-2 within 72 hours
    of their arrival. The isolation must be maintained until obtaining a negative diagnostic test or, where appropriate, epidemiological discharge.
  • 3. Arriving with a certificate for a negative test for active infection for SARS-CoV-2 (either PCR or antigen test), in the 72 hours prior to arrival. The certificate must include name, surname and documentation number of the person who performs the test, name of the authorized health entity that performed the test, contact details of the company, type of test performed, date and time of completion and test result. In the case of antigen testing, the certificate should reflect homologated specificity and sensitivity.
  • 4. Carrying out a diagnostic test for active infection for SARS-CoV-2 at
    arrival at the airport or maritime terminal, under the terms established by the Canary Islands Service of Health

In options a) and b), in the transit from the airport/harbor to the residence, the
precautionary measures, including social distancing, hand hygiene, and use
of the mask should be observed. People choosing these options must also indicate to the health authorities the address of the residence or accommodation where they will carry out the isolation and a telephone number.

Accepted types of active SARS-CoV-2 Infection Diagnostic Tests:

a) PCR (COVID-19 RT-PCR)

b) Rapid detection tests for SARS-CoV-2 antigens with a specificity of more than 97% and a sensitivity of more than 80%, according to the corresponding approval of a country of the European Union or the European Economic Area.

This Decree will be in effect from December 10th, 2020 until January 10, 2021, and may be subject to extensions or modifications in the terms provided.

Even after the approval, the Government of the Canary Islands maintains negotiations within the central Government of Spain to harmonize the regional standard with the national one.

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