What test do you need? The updated guide to visiting the Canary Islands
The Canary Islands are working hard every day so you can visit them in optimal conditions of safety, hygiene and quality, to have the best possible holiday. Even though you may not be allowed to travel at the moment, here is a definitive guide to all of the information that will be of interest to you for when you can.
Who can visit Canary Islands?
As long as your country permits travel, you can visit the Canary Islands from within the European Union, from a country in the Schengen area, or from a third country with which Spain has reciprocal agreements regarding the acceptance of travellers. These are Australia, Canada, China, South Korea, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.
When planning your return, it is recommended that you check the requirements and recommendations of your country of origin.
Must I have a coronavirus test before travelling to Canaries?
There are two legislations in place for coming to the Canary Islands, one from the central Government and one from the regional Governement.
Firstly, from Monday 23rd November, if you are travelling from a ‘risk country’ or area, as specified by the ECDC Covid map, you must provide a negative PCR test result on arrival at your destination to enter the islands, to be presented at the airport in a control area signed ‘Foreign Health Authority’.
This test MUST be a PCR test, MUST have been carried out within 72 hours prior to arrival in Spain, including the Canary Islands, and you MUST have a paper or digital certificate in English or Spanish. This applies to ALL travellers, including children.
Failure to produce this without a valid reason, can lead to a fine up to 6,000 euros plus having to have an antigen test at the airport leading to possible isolation.
If you are NOT travelling from a risk country or area, but you will be staying in tourist accommodation in the Canary Islands, from November 14th you must also provide a negative test result for Covid-19, to be submitted when you check into your chosen tourist accommodation. This test result can be either PCR or an antigen test, must be taken within 72 hours of arrival, and again you must have a paper or digital certificate in English or Spanish.
These measures apply to all guests aged 6 years and over, unless they have proof of travel confirming their uninterrupted presence on the islands for the previous 15 days.
In any case, it is extremely important you check your operator or airline's conditions before travelling to the Canary Islands.
Also, no more than 48 hours before you travel, but only if you are coming from outside of Spain, you must complete and sign a Health control form (FCS form) before you travel to the Canary Islands. Get your form and sign it on the Spanish Travel Health site or via the Android or iOs apps.
When you have signed it, you will get a QR code which you must present when you reach Canaries, and both digital and printed forms are valid. Remember you must complete a separate form for each journey and each person.
Get a copy of the form here>>
I have had the coronavirus and I am immune. Do I need to have a test, too?
Yes. People who have had the coronavirus must also submit the negative result of a diagnostic test administered no more than 72 hours in advance.
I am travelling from another Spanish region. Do I need to have a diagnostic test to be able to stay in tourist accommodation in Canaries?
Yes. You must also provide the negative results of a test administered no more than 72 hours ago.
I'm travelling to the islands but I'm staying in my own holiday home or in a friend or relative's home.
Yes you need a test if coming from a 'risk' area. No you don't need one if not.
I am a resident in the Canaries. Do I need to submit a negative test certificate to stay in tourist accommodation in Canaries?
No, you only need to prove you are a resident of Canaries and make a responsible declaration that you have not left the Islands during the previous 15 days before you check in at the accommodation and have not experienced symptoms suggestive of Covid-19 during that period.
I am going to be in the islands for a long time. Must I have a test every time I change accommodation?
No, you only need to prove that you arrived in Canary Islands more than 15 days ago by showing your travel documents, and that you have not experienced any symptoms of Covid-19 during that period.
Must I have a test before I leave Canary Islands?
No this is not a requirement of the Canary Islands, but you may be asked for one when you reach your destination. It is recommended that you always check the requirements in your country of origin.
Will I be able to have a test in the islands before I leave?
Of course. There are top-level health facilities in Canary Islands. Your accommodation will tell you the nearest place where you can get a certified diagnostic test.
What measures will I find at the airport and/or on board the aircraft?
All international passengers receive a health check at Canary Islands' airports. This check may involve having your temperature taken, a document check and a visual examination of the passenger's health. All passengers must provide the Health Control Form (FCS).
Remember that you must wear a mask and comply with all the safety measures imposed by the airline and the airport authorities while you are at the airport and during your flight.
Whenever possible, check in online to avoid unnecessary formalities at the airport. Remember that many airlines do not allow cabin bags other than a bag for personal use that fits underneath your seat.
Can I move freely between the islands?
Of course. One of the great advantages of visiting the Canary Islands is that you can discover several islands on the same trip. The islands are all very different from each other, which makes the trip all the more interesting and enriching.
Movement between the islands is fully reinstated with daily connections that allow you to easily get from one to any other, either by plane or by boat. You can travel between the islands with airlines Binter and Canaryfly or ferries with Fred Olsen, Armas, Biosfera Express and Líneas Romero.
What do I need to know before my arrival in the Canary Islands? What safety measures are in place?
It is recommended to download the RadarCOVID contagion alert app to your mobile. It is available for both iPhone and Android and will notify you of the risk of exposure to Covid-19 depending on your location.
You should also be familiar with the main measures being applied to ensure your well-being.
- Masks must be worn by adults and children over the age of six when outdoors or in enclosed public spaces, except when eating or drinking, doing physical exercise and/or if you are disabled or have a respiratory condition.
- Interpersonal safety distance is set at 1.5 metres.
- The use of products for individual hygiene, hydroalcoholic gels and soap, is encouraged.
- Appropriate cleaning and disinfection of all establishments and all materials for activities, especially toilets and similar common spaces.
- Outdoors and in enclosed public spaces, masks must be worn regardless of whether you are at the interpersonal safety distance of 1.5 metres or not.
- You may not smoke or use tobacco inhalation devices when it is not possible to guarantee a 2-metre separation.
- Smoking is not permitted on public streets or bar/restaurant terraces.
Public and/or group transport:
- Masks must be worn by adults and children over the age of six, except if you are disabled or have a respiratory condition. Seats will be assigned on tour buses.
- Capacity is restricted in common areas, at social activities and in group classes, as per the required social distancing. You will also come across served buffets, where food is plated individually, or self-service buffets, where there are separator screens in the food areas.
Beaches, pools and other nature areas:
- Masks must be worn on entry to the beach or pool area, when moving around or when taking a walk. The only time they are not compulsory is when you are swimming, or when you are sitting or lying in a certain place, without moving from it and at the recommended safety distance from other people.
- Catering businesses, restaurants and outdoor cafés, beach bars and restaurants must close by 1.00am and new customers will not be allowed in after midnight. (Midnight closing and 11pm under red traffic light).
- The minimum distance between tables, groups or the bar is 1.5 metres, with a maximum of ten people per table or group.
- Items for general use and/or self-service items have been removed, including napkin dispensers, sugar bowls and menus, which have been replaced by QR codes, signs or other similar measures.
- Before customers are seated, tables are cleaned and disinfected.
Tourist attractions and guided tours:
- Prior booking is required as there are restrictions on capacity.
- At attractions, tours are directed one-way to avoid people passing by and crowding.
- The use of individual headphones is being encouraged for audio guides and they are disinfected after every use.
- Garments are cleaned after they are tried on by a customer, and the changing rooms are also disinfected frequently.
- The ventilation systems in place guarantee sufficient renewal of air. We recommend paying by card.
Cultural activities and events:
- For now, there are limited events on offer, but the archipelago’s usual agenda will gradually return.
- At cinemas, theatres and such like, seats are being assigned and distributed by family unit or groups of people who live together. The security staff are also monitoring the entrances and surrounding areas at all times to ensure the interpersonal distance is respected.
Spas and wellness centres:
- These establishments follow very strict hygiene protocols, and these have been further reinforced as a result of the pandemic.
- Service is by prior appointment only, as there are restrictions on capacity.
- You must wear a towel or bathrobe within the facilities.
Gyms and sports activities:
- Group activities in enclosed spaces are permitted for a maximum of 25 people, and in the open air, for a maximum of 30, in order to ensure the interpersonal distance can be respected.
- Materials are provided for clients to disinfect the equipment and other resources used at the facilities.
- Towels must be used.
- The ventilation systems in place ensure that the air is frequently renewed.
- Games can be played between four people, as long as the interpersonal distance is respected.
- The player’s ball cannot be touched by the caddie or other players.
- The use of buggies is restricted to two people at a time and they are disinfected before use.
- At the moment all nightclubs and discotheques are closed until further notice.
- Open-air active tourism activities entail little risk and are usually run for small groups. Nonetheless, individual sports materials cannot be shared and specific cleaning and disinfection protocols are in place.
What personal protection measures must I take to prevent spreading the virus?
The Government of Canary Islands recommends that all citizens follow these personal pr
- When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and then put the tissue in a bin.
- Stay at a distance of at least 1.5 metres from anybody who doesn’t live with you, whether they have symptoms or not.
- Wear your mask when you are outdoors or in an enclosed public space.
- Any gathering or meeting in private spaces of people who do not live together should be restricted to a maximum of ten people, even if the safety distance can be guaranteed.
What should I do if I get symptoms during my stay on Canary Islands?
If you experience symptoms such as a cough, a temperature, shortness of breath or feeling generally unwell, self-isolate at your accommodation and call 900 112 061 for instructions and to be put in touch with the appropriate medical centre.
Remember that you must wear a mask if you go to any medical centre in the islands and avoid touching anything with your hands.
As what is most important is your health and well-being, if you do not have medical insurance, the government will provide you with an AXA policy free of charge in the Canary Islands, as long as you are staying in tourist accommodation, to cover all expenses relating to Covid-19.
See everything that it covers here>>