Spain's Canary Islands impose negative Covid-19 test rule for tourists

Holidaymakers visiting the archipelago off the coast of north-western Africa must show negative results when checking-in at hotels

Holidaymakers to Spain's Canary Islands need to show negative Covid-19 tests when checking in at hotels. Courtesy Unsplash
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Spain's Canary Islands have passed a law obliging tourists visiting the archipelago's hotels to present a negative Covid-19 test result as part of efforts to prevent imported infections.

Located around 60 miles off Morocco's Atlantic coast, the chain of seven islands is popular among sun-seeking northern Europeans, especially during the winter, when half its tourism revenues are generated.

Under the new decree, hotels will require guests over the age of 12 to provide a negative test result taken within the 72 hours prior to arrival.

"It is the feasible solution, for the time being…, for the protection of the islands, our tourists and our residents," regional tourism chief Yaiza Castilla said.

Salvaging the winter tourism season

Maspalomas beach, Gran Canaria, the Canary Islands
Maspalomas beach, Gran Canaria, the Canary Islands

While the Spanish mainland has long been one of Europe's worst coronavirus hotspots, with an infection rate of 468 cases per 100,000 people, the Canaries have a rate of only 79 cases per 100,000.

Germany and Britain last week lifted restrictions on visiting the islands, providing a glimmer of hope that the winter season could be salvaged after a dismal summer.

In anticipation of rising demand for flights, budget airline Ryanair announced on Friday it would add an extra service per week between London Stansted and Tenerife.