What are the new rules for holidays in the Canary Islands & Spain in 2021?

new rules 2020 holidays spain canary islands
What do you need to know before coming on holiday to Spain in 2021 during the Coronavirus pandemic?

What is the new normality in Spain and what are the rules for foreign visitors traveling to Spain this summer? The summer season of 2020 comes with some changes and new rules that we all have to respect in order to keep everyone safe.

What you need to understand before visiting Spain and the Canary Islands in 2020

Spain has been one of the most affected countries in Europe by the Covid-19 pandemic and its citizens have endured a very long and strict lockdown in order to battle the spread of the virus.

Now that Spain has reopened its borders for tourism, it is all our duty to respect the rules in order to keep the country safe. It is understandable that the local population does not want to go back to a total lockdown like before, so with the arrival of tourists to Spain, it is important that everyone respect the safety guidelines.

How are the Canary Islands affected? Are the new rules in Spain also valid in the Canary Islands?

YES, the safety rules in Spain also apply to the Canary Islands.

Since the Canary Islands are part of Spain, all the rules are also valid here.

It is true that the rate of infection in the Canary Islands has been much lower compared to other regions of Spain, which is even more reason for the locals to want to keep the virus away and maintain their safety and their health.

As a visitor to the Canary Islands, please respect the local rules, which are put in place to keep you safe as well throughout your holiday.

You have to fill out a form before coming to Spain

After the reopening of the country, Spain has introduced a health control of passengers upon arrival in Spain. You will have to fill out the health control form and obtain your QR Code, to show it at the control points upon arrival in Spain.

You can fill out your form on the official website https://www.spth.gob.es/

Is wearing a mask required in the Canary Islands and in Spain?

The current regulations in the Canary Islands require the mandatory use of a mask for those over 6 years of age in all public indoor spaces and also outdoor, regardless of the distance between people.

So masks are mandatory in the circumstances:

  • On public roads and in outdoor spaces
  • When entering a beach or a hotel pool area. You DON'T need to wear a mask when sitting on a sunbed or when going in the pool/sea for a swim, but you do need a mask for walking around to get a drink or go use the toilet.
  • In all closed spaces dedicated to public use, regardless of maintaining the interpersonal safety distance of at least 1.5 meters.
  • As for the hotel and restaurant establishments -including bars and cafeterias-, the obligation to use the mask is only EXCLUDED at the time of the food or drink consumption; while in the open spaces of these establishments and services, their use will be excluded only when the safety distance of at least 1.5 m is guaranteed.
  • The maximum occupancy per table or group of tables indoors will be 10 people.
    Regarding meetings of people who don't live together, the use of a mask is recommended in private spaces, both open and closed.
  • Regarding the measures for tourist accommodation, in the event that any service is provided in the form of a buffet, the client must wear a mask when using the buffet and should also comply with hand cleaning, keep the physical distance of 1.5m between non-cohabitants.

Masks are mandatory in all public places, even when the safety distance of 1.5 m could be observed. 

This means that you should have a mask with you at all times when you go out, in order to avoid situations where you can't distance yourself from other and you don't have a mask either to protect yourself.


In natural spaces and outside of population centers, the obligation to wear a mask is excluded as long as the influx of people allows maintaining the interpersonal safety distance of at least 1.5 meters. So you don't need to wear a mask if you are going hiking or walking in small groups outside of towns and populated places.

Children under 6 are exempt from wearing a mask.

Masks are mandatory in these places:

  • on public roads 
  • parks
  • supermarket and other shops
  • taxis
  • bus and other forms of public transport
  • public institutions
  • hotel lobby 
  • in bars and restaurant EXCEPT for the times when you are eating or consuming a drink

This is only a short list of places where it is absolutely required to wear a mask in the Canary Islands. In general, you need to keep in mind the rule of 1.5 m distance from other people and use a mask where this distance can't be maintained.

Masks can be bought in pharmacies and usually cost under 1 Euro (for normal surgical masks).

Do you have to wear a mask in bars and restaurants?

In the Canary Islands, masks need to be worn in bars and restaurants at all times, EXCEPT when you are actually consuming your food or drink. 

So you need to wear a mask while waiting to be seated, while waiting for your order or when you get up to go to the toilet or at any other point when you need to get up from your chair and move around. 

A safety distance of 1.5 meters must be observed between the tables or groupings of tables, as well as in the bar, between customers or groups.

The client cannot occupy a table without the staff of the establishment accommodating him, after proceeding to the cleaning and disinfection of the table.

Are hotels in the Canary Islands open for summer 2020?

Some of the hotels in the Canary Islands have reopened already and it is estimated that in August around 50% of the hotels in the archipelago will be open to the public again.

Check the following lists:

These lists don't comprise all the hotels on the islands since there are a lot of places of accommodation and we are unable to check them all. Please pop an email to your tour operator or to the hotel directly to find out if your hotel will be reopening before you are due to come on holiday.

Are the pools open in hotels? 

Yes, the pools are operational in hotels that have decided to reopen.

Each hotel can impose its own rules and many of them will limit the occupancy rate on pool chairs, so it's best to check with your hotel to find out about their specific rules.

At the moment there aren't many tourists in the Canary Islands, so there's no need to worry about overcrowding around hotel pools.

Rules for beaches and natural swimming pools in the Canary Islands

City councils may establish restrictions on access, permanence and maximum capacity on beaches and bathing areas, in order to facilitate the maintenance of interpersonal distance and avoid congestion.

For the purposes of calculating the maximum capacity, the beach area to be occupied by each user will be 4 m².

Personal items such as towels, sunbeds, etc., will be arranged to keep the distance with respect to other users, except in the case of cohabitants.

Should you come on holiday to the Canary Islands in 2020?

This is a very heated subject and every person has its own opinion.

As long as Spain has reopened their borders and you are not breaking any rules in order to get to the Canary Islands, then it is perfectly fine to come over for a much needed holiday.

Things are quiet at the moment, not all hotels, bars and restaurants have reopened but things are slowly picking up.

If you want a quiet holiday in Tenerife or Gran Canaria, which are usually the busiest islands in the Canaries, then this is the moment to come over.

There's not much nighttime entertainment, so if you're into clubbing or dancing all night long, then you should postpone your visit and wait a few more months.

Is it safe to travel to the Canary Islands at the moment?

The Canary Islands are a safe destination in Europe for summer 2020 and if we all go by the rules that are put in place, we can keep them safe from further infection spikes.

Share This Story
Was this helpful?
© Copyright GuideToCanaryIslands 2023. All rigths reserved.
Loving the Canary Islands? We will notify you when we publish new articles!
No, thank you. Yes, please.
We do not collect personal data.