IT'S OFFICIAL: Negative Test Required for Tourists in the Canary Islands

Published on October 31, 2020
Canary IslandsNews from Canary Islands
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The Council approved a decree-law aimed at facing the effects of the health and economic crisis caused by the pandemic and making the Canary Islands the first community in Spain that required a negative test from tourists.

The Governing Council has approved the decree-law of extraordinary measures in tourism to face the effects of the health and economic crisis produced by the COVID-19 pandemic, a legal text that establishes that in order to access tourist accommodation establishments on the Islands, visitors must demonstrate the completion, within a maximum period of 72 hours prior to their arrival, of an active infection diagnostic test approved by the health authorities that certifies the person has not tested positive as a transmitter of this disease.

Read the official documentBOC Nº 223. Saturday 31 October 2020 - 3996 (in Spanish)

What does this mean exactly?

The Canary Islands are now the first Spanish autonomous community to require through a decree-law a certificate for a diagnostic test in the place of origin of each tourist, in order for tourists to be allowed to accede to their accommodation establishment.

Certificate for a negative test is required for entry in tourist establishments

  • The test is mandatory over the age of 6
  • The test does not have to be a PCR test. It can also be an antigen test. 
  • The test must be carried out in a maximum of 72 h before the arrival in the Canary Islands
  • Tests are required from both international visitors, as well as visitors from the peninsula (mainland Spain), in order to stay in tourist establishments. 
  • Tests should be accredited by the Health Authorities in the country of origin of the tourist

According to the decree, tourists over the age of 6, will need to present a negative test in order to be accepted into hotels and licensed private rentals like villas or apartments. 

Tourists may certify the completion of the diagnostic test within the indicated period of 72 hours prior to arrival by providing the certificate, either electronically or on paper. This document must state the date and time of the test, their identity, the laboratory responsible for verification and its nature, as well as the negative result.

Canary Islands residents and non-residents who have already been in the archipelago for over 15 days

The aforementioned rule exempts Canary Islands residents, who have to declare under their own responsibility that they have not left the territory of the autonomous community during the last 15 days. If they have left over the past 15 days, they will be required to show the result of a negative test as well, in order to stay in a tourist establishment. This exemption also applies to non-residents who can prove they have been in the Canary Islands for more than 15 days, so they won't need another test in order to stay in another establishment.

What is the responsibility of hotels and owners of licensed private rentals?

Regarding tourist accommodation, their only responsibility with respect to this new regulation is limited to the verification of the certificates that are provided when tourists arrive to their facilities, as well as the duty to provide information regarding the places where tourists can undergo diagnostic tests if they have arrived on the islands without the test already done. 

This legal text, also establishes that, prior to finalizing the booking for a licensed accommodation, the user has to be informed that the conditions of access to it include that of accepting the completion of a diagnostic test for Sars Cov-2. In addition, the user must acknowledge that he was informed prior to making the reservation. 

Radar Covid app (Track & Trace)

Tourists staying in regulated accommodation should download the Radar Covid app, which is the track & trace app for the Canary Islands, and they should keep it installed on their phones for another 15 days after they have returned home from their holiday. 

From what date will the negative test be required in the Canary Islands?

  • From November 14th, 2020

The obligation to show a certificate for a negative COVID-19 test in order to be allowed entry into a hotel or a licensed holiday home in the Canary Islands will become mandatory 10 business days after this decree-law has been published in the BOC. The date of publication is 31 October 2020, which means it goes into effect on November 14th.

At the moment, there is no end date scheduled for this requirement.

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