Canary Islands: Latest FCDO update as Britons banned from holiday hotspot – new rules

Spain announce travel ban for UK flights amid coronavirus strain

Spain holidays have faced much upheaval this year due to covid. The country has been absent from the travel corridor list for several months but the Canary Islands are a relatively recent addition. Today the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) updated its travel advice for the Canaries.

The latest update for the Canary Islands concerns Spain’s recent move to ban UK flights.

This came after a new strain of covid was identified in Britain.

The news led to a raft of countries all over the world blocking arrivals from the UK.

“Spain have announced they will be restricting passenger travel from the UK (by air and sea) from December 22 until 6pm (GMT+1) on January 5 (5pm/GMT in the Canary Islands), with the exception of Spanish nationals and those legally resident in Spain,” said the FCDO.

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“If you were due to travel to Spain please contact your travel operator before departure.”

This comes on the back of confusion over travel rules for Tenerife.

The island in the Canaries announced last week that mobility on the island would be severely limited until the start of January.

The Canary government said last week: “The entry and exit of people to the island of Tenerife is restricted from midnight on December 18 (Friday) to January 1, 2021, and it is also recommended to avoid mobility between its municipalities.”

The statement added: “In the case of national and foreign tourists who plan to come to the island of Tenerife on vacation, they can take advantage of the exceptionalities contemplated by the current regulations on the right of admission in tourist accommodation establishments, where a negative health test must be presented that accredit being free of coronavirus.”

Spain as a whole still has strict covid testing requirements in place, applying to the mainland, Balearics and Canaries.

“All passengers (excluding children under the age of six years old) travelling to Spanish airports and ports from ‘risk’ countries (as determined by the European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control) will be required to present a negative PCR swab test taken within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival, in order to enter the country,” detailed the FCDO.

“From December 10, a TMA (Transcription-Mediated Amplification) swab test or a LAMP (Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification) test are also accepted by Spanish authorities, again taken within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival.

It added: “While TMA and LAMP tests are not currently widely available in the UK, you should refer to testing facilities directly for specific information on the types of tests available to you, prior to booking an appointment.

“The UK is currently on the ‘risk’ countries list and passengers arriving from the UK are therefore subject to this requirement.”

“If you are travelling by air or sea to Spain, you must declare on the mandatory ‘Health Control Form’… that you have undertaken a PCR, TMA or LAMP test within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival, have tested negative for COVID-19, and can show on request evidence certifying your results,” the FCDO explained.

“The document you provide must be the original, be written in Spanish or English, may be submitted in paper or electronic format.”

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

The form must contain the following information:

  • name of passenger
  • passport number or ID card number (the number provided must match the one provided on the Health Control Form)
  • test date
  • name and contact details of the testing centre
  • testing method applied (i.e. PCR)
  • test results

“On completion, you will be issued a personal and non-transferable QR code which you must show (electronically or hardcopy) at airport health controls on arrival,” said the FCDO.

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