The latest news from Gran Canaria for residents and visitors.
This is a personal message from Lex and Alex at Gran Canaria Info.
It has been a loooong year since the first lockdown and the collapse of tourism here in the Canary Islands. During this period we have done our best to provide accurate and useful information about a wide range of subjects; travel restrictions, Covid rules, mask use, migrants, more migrants, etc. We feel like we have done a good job overall and we hope the majority of you do too.
However, we also know that we have, at different times, annoyed a lot of people. Many of them haven't been shy about telling exactly why and most of the time we appreciated the communication and honesty. We did remove a small number of people from the group and from the page for consistently being rude to us and/ or other members, and for sharing fringe beliefs such as "Covid doesn't exist", "you are all sheeple", "the chemtrails did it", "migrants should be thrown in the sea", etc. Life is just too short!
Back during the first lockdown we warned that Covid was going to take at least a year to sort out (based on official government estimates and the scienfitic consensus on vaccine development) and were heavily criticised for being negative. Unfortunately, we were right and even now in April of 2021, tourism is still at very low levels and even the optimists don't expect summer numbers to be above 50% of pre-Covid figures.
We also covered the ever-changing mask, distancing and travel rules imposed by the Canary Islands, Spain and other countries in as much detail as we could. We were shouted at for encouraging people to follow "the stupid rules" and shouted at for not being strident enough about getting people to follow them. We have been frustrated at times by the many rule changes and by the need to wear masks at all times outdoors. However, we have also seen that there has been very little conflict here between the people and the police because of the simple mask rules.
We also got the standard Brexit outrage from people at both ends of the argument. We were either too pro-Europe or too anti-Britain, or too pro-Britain and anti-Europe. For the record, as foreign residents living in Spain, we believe that the EU is a good idea despite its flaws.
As for vaccines, we are in favour. We plan to be in the queue for ours with a bag of ice and a bottle of rum as soon as possible (even Lex, who very likely had Covid back in February 2020). Not everyone agrees with us about this either.
We have allowed plenty of debate in the Gran Canaria Info group but it really isn't the place for endless arguments so we have also deleted a lot of posts.
It is our deeply-held belief that there is no grown-up or friendly way of calling us or anyone else in the group "sheeple".
Then the migrants hit the headlines and all hell broke loose...
As we said, fun, fun, fun in the sun!
Migrants have arrived on Gran Canaria's shores in small boats for 25 years but they only became a story in 2020 due to Covid and messy Spanish politics.
Our position was and still is that the people arriving in Gran Canaria should be treated with dignity and allowed to continue on their journey as soon as possible. Almost all of them come with the dream of working to provide for their families back at home. None of the migrants arriving in the Canary Islands want to stay here. They all have a destination in mind somewhere in mainland Europe. Many have borrowed money from family and friends to get to the islands and feel huge pressure to move on and start earning.
To give a bit of context to this, here is a single statistic; those lucky enough to work in one of Senegal's fish processing factories make the equivalent of one dollar per day.
Whatever your politics and beliefs about migration, the migrant's interests and the interests of the Canary Islands are pretty much the same. It is in all of our best interests for them to be allowed to continue to migrate from the Islands to mainland Spain and Europe. Why? Because as we saw this autumn, the Canary Islands do not have, and shouldn't need to have, the facilities to house thousands of people. Spain and Europe both have agreements in place to process and house migrants. and while Covid did make things harder, the only reason these agreements didn't work was due to politics. As one Spanish minister said, the Canary Islands were used "like a cork in the bottle" to stop migrants reaching Spain.
To us, this idea that treating people badly stops them dreaming is absurd.
Almost all migrants have now been moved out of Gran Canaria's resorts and there isn't any reason why the islands will need to house migrants in resort areas again. Even at the peak of the wave almost all the migrants housed in resort areas behaved well despite the lurid press reports in Europe's tabloid press.
That said, we do aknowledge that many people living in areas like Puerto Rico experienced serious disruption from migrants housed in empty complexes. There were serious crimes, including a rape, committed by migrants and the noise and disturbance in some areas was considerable and constant.
But the theory that the migrants have caused Gran Canaria's resorts to be empty, or will cause them to be empty in the future is pretty thin. Gran Canaria's resorts are empty due to Covid, not the migrants. And once Covid travel restrictions end, tourists coming back will find Gran Canaria is the same as always (better in the case of Puerto Rico thanks to the new malls and the refurbished main shopping centre).
We make no apology for our position about the migrants. The fact that the islands have handled the migrants with dignity and respect is to our credit. We believe that the vast majority of people who want to come back to Gran Canaria will understand that the islands dealt with a difficult situation pretty well.
We hope to see you all on the beach again very soon.
Hi, Alex here from Gran Canaria Info and I'd like to tell a little bit about Gran Canarias Info and its Club.
Lex and I have worked on Gran Canaria Info since 1998 when Lex first started the website. Since then we've taken thousands of photos, written hundreds of articles and made countless social media posts and comments. We run one of the busiest Facebook groups about Gran Canaria and the biggest Facebook page about the island.
It's been a labour of love for over 20 years and we want to make it better than ever with the Gran Canaria Info Club
The GCI Club is for people who love Gran Canaria and really want to explore the whole island. It's where we share the hidden spots and local places that you can't really reveal to everyone without spoiling them. It includes a map of all the best local places in Gran Canaria, a place for members to chat, regular meetups, and a small but growing set of discounts and offers just for members.
The GCI Club is the first time we have ever charged for anything on Gran Canaria Info and we know that it has to be excellent if it is going to work.
So, please read on for the top five reasons we think the GCI Club is a great idea for you...
We've never made any money directly from the site or the Facebook group. Ok, that's not completely true: We cover our server costs with ads and started to sell excursions at the start of 2020.
But we don't want to ruin Gran Canaria Info with adverts and sales. We want to keep doing exactly what we do; providing quality, independent information about Gran Canaria, showing you the best of your favourite island, and doing our best to support quality local businesses and restaurants.
The Gran Canaria Info Club lets us do exactly that. As a member you get exclusive information and perks but you also support the whole idea behind Gran Canaria Info.
As a member you get exclusive content written by Lex, Alex and guest local experts, and access to our huge map of local spots with all the best hidden bits of Gran Canaria. Natural pools, instagram photo locations, snorkelling spots, and local bars and restaurants. It's like a extra layer of Gran Canaria Info that lets you get the most out of your time on the island. When we find something new or exciting, you will be the first to know about it.
Plus you'll get news posts from Alex covering the most important things that happen in Gran Canaria.
We'll keep updating the content so that there is always something new for you to explore or try the next time you come to Gran Canaria.
We want the GCI Club to become a place where true Gran Canaria fans can get together and talk about the island and also get to know each other, organise meetups and events, and help each other to enjoy Gran Canaria.
We'll start by organising regular meetups in Gran Canaria's resorts for members and their friends and we hope this side of the club develops a life of its own.
If you have a question about Gran Canaria and want an answer, ask the other members or contact us directly and we'll reply straight away.
If you need help in Gran Canaria, just let us know. Anything we can do, we will: We may not be able to get you out of jail in Gran Canaria, but we can come and visit you (joke).
Don't join the Gran Canaria Info Club just for the discounts, but please do take advantage of them. We'll be arranging exclusive offers and perks for members at many of our favourite places in Gran Canaria just for members.
Are you a Gran Canaria fan who wants to really get to know the island like a local? Do you want to hit the ground running as soon as you arrive? Do you already know what the weather is like in Gran Canaria in October?
Join the Gran Canaria Info Club for just ten euros per year and you get immediate access to the best source of detailed Gran Canaria information there is, plus a load of other perks.
Here's what you get for less than one euro a month...
As a member you get exclusive access to our huge map of local spots with all the best hidden bits of Gran Canaria: Natural pools, instagram photo locations, snorkelling spots, and local bars and restaurants. The places we wouldn't necessarily tell everyone about because they are small and easily ruined by crowds.
It's like a extra layer of Gran Canaria Info that lets you get the most out of your time on the island. As soon as we find something new or exciting in Gran Canaria, you know about it via the map.
You get detailed news posts from Alex covering the most important things that happen in Gran Canaria. New restaurants, local events, news and travel information.
And, you get one big monthly feature article every month covering a new area of Gran Canaria in detail with photos and local-level information.
We want the GCI Club to become a place where true Gran Canaria fans can get together and talk about the island and also get to know each other, organise meetups and events, and help each other to enjoy Gran Canaria.
So we made a private GCI Club group that will skip many of the questions we get in the main GCI Group.
The Club has it's own Facebook Group and Whatsapp list so you can stay in touch and share experiences with other Gran Canaria fans.
If you have a question about Gran Canaria and want an answer, ask the other members in the group or contact us directly and we'll reply straight away.
If you need help in Gran Canaria, just let us know. Anything we can do, we will: The club has its own Whatsapp List so you can contact Lex and Alex directly at any time. We may not be able to get you out of jail in Gran Canaria, but we can come and visit you (joke).
Don't join the Gran Canaria Info Club just for the discounts, but please do take advantage of them. We'll be arranging exclusive offers and perks for members at many of our favourite places in Gran Canaria just for members. For example, you get commission free airport transfers, and commission free excursion bookings and discounts at quality local restaurants.
Gran Canaria Info started in 1998 and has grown since then into the biggest community of Gran Canaria fans online and on social media. We have shared thousands of photos, hundered of articles and countless socialmedia posts since then and now run the biggest Facebook group about Gran Canaria and the biggest Facebook page. The website is still packed with useful information about visiting Gran Canaria and living in Gran Canaria.
Over the years, the experience Lex and I got from has earned us some great photographer and social media jobs and we are very grateful for them. However, we've never made any money directly from the site or the Facebook group.
Ok, that's not completely true: We cover our server costs with ads and offer offer excursions and reliable airport transfers.
But we don't want to ruin Gran Canaria Info with adverts and sales. We want to keep providing quality, independent information about Gran Canaria, showing you the best of your favourite island, and doing our best to support quality local businesses and restaurants.
If you join the club, for less than a euro per month, you help us to do exactly that. You get exclusive information all the other perks but you also support the whole idea behind Gran Canaria Info.
the Gran Canaria Info Club
Gran Canaria's biggest music event, the annual Bioagaete festival, can't happen this year due to Covid-19.
However, the organisers have decided against taking a well-deserved year off and have instead launched a charity music playlist.
Dubbed the BIODISCO, it features 18 new songs from local famous singers and bands that always play for free at the festival.
To listen to the BIODISCO, please go here and make a small donation to the Bioagaete Foundation. The money raised goes to local families who have been left in need due to the Coronavirus, and to street children in Senegal.
Britain remains on track to leave the EU on January 1st 2021 and this will affect both British visitors and tourists, and British residents in Gran Canaria and the Canary Islands.
From January, British visitors will have to use the non-EU passport queue at Gran Canaria airport and will be electronically logged in as a visitor to the Schengen Area.
British citizens will only be allowed to spend 90 days within the Schengen Zone during a rolling 180 day period. This won't affect most holidaymakers but does pose a problem for those who plan to spend the winter in the Canaries. For example, you cannot avoid the 90 day limit by popping to Marrakesh for the weekend or spending a week back in the UK.
British citizens will not require a visa for entry for stays of less than 90 days, and where they will not be working. However, they will have to pay for the EU Visa waiver scheme to be called ETIAS. This will start at some point in 2021 and cost about seven euros.
Pets: The EU Pet passport scheme will no longer be valid for British citizens and the new rules are not yet clear.
Roaming Charges: UK telecoms firms are not obliged to keep up with flat roaming charges but some have said that they will.
Driving Licences: For now your UK driving license will be valid for car rental in Gran Canaria. This may change in the future but is unlikely. Residents should swap over to a Spanish license before the end of 2020.
Healthcare: British citizens will no longer be included in the European Health Card (EHIC) system and will have to pay for comprehensive travel insurance that includes cover for any preexisting conditions.
Customs: All good purchased in the UK will be subject to inspection and relevant import taxes.
All UK citizens should register with extranjeria and make sure that they are registered as permanent residents if possible. You can now swap the little bit of green NIE paper for a TIE card complete with photo; this is not obligatory but does give you legally valid photo ID with having to carry your passport at all times.
There is no UK government travel advisory against travelling to the Canary Islands but UK citizens must isolate for 14 days after returning.
Here are four tourists who are currently spending their holidays in the south of Gran Canaria. They talk about wearing masks, social distancing, travelling in airplanes and going through airports, using shops and enjoying restaurants. All of the interviews were done on July 21 2020. (At the bottom of this article you'll find useful links to more information.)
With travel just starting back up after Coronavirus lockdowns all over Europe, lots of people are asking if it is a good idea to travel to Gran Canaria on holiday. For many people summer and autumn of 2020 are an excellent time to come on holiday to Gran Canaria.
The beaches are quiet in a good way, hotels are relaxed and not crowded, plenty of shops and restaurants are open and more open up every day.
Members of our Gran Canaria Facebook Group have already arrived in Gran Canaria and shared their experiences. They are almost all completely positive...
"Dont be put off coming here, we flew from Luton yesterday, the flight is actually alot more pleasent with restrictions in place, more space on the plane & the staff are extra helpful.
Everyone has been welcoming in Mogán and we've been greeted with open arms, restaurants are table service (which i prefer) the beaches are open, shops are open as long as you wear a mask inside, restaurants a mask isnt needed. If i was you id get over here while its still quiet to be honest its been amazing".
"Here for almost two weeks now. Its very relaxed, not many tourists yet. If you like to go wild and searching for nightlife think you may be at the wrong spot at this moment.And the mask wearing is very good to do. Just follow the rules and its all ok. More things opened the last few days, so that good progress"
"Places are slowly opening up, some hotels restaurants and bars. The weather is very hot and it's good to see people arriving on the island again"
Let's have a look at some of the main concerns about travelling to Gran Canaria in 2020
My insurance isn't valid: Many insurance companies have changed their terms and conditions so it is definitely worth checking that yours covers Coronavirus-related issues. There are insurers that offer decent coverage. ASDA in the UK seems to offer a good policy at the moment.
You have to have a Covid-19 test? At the moment all you need to visit Gran Canaria fill in this online form and download or print the QR code it generates. Do it within 48 hours of travelling.
Flights keep getting cancelled: Ryanair, EasyJet and WizzAir seem to be following their schedules well but there have been some cancellations. These will get rarer as the travel industry gets going agian.
Traveling by plane is dangerous: There is little evidence that people catch Covid-19 on planes. They have high-quality air filters and airflow that prevents droplets from spreading within the cabin.
Spain has lots of Coronavirus: Parts of Spain was hit hard by the initial wave of the virus but it reacted well and levels are now low and dropping all over the country. In Gran Canaria the virus never really got into the population and the island always had one of the lowest Covid-19 levels in Europe.
We'll need to wear masks all the time: You only have to wear masks in Gran Canaria when you can't stay more then 1.5 metres from other people. Basically this means that you only have to wear them in shops, supermarkets and indoor areas of hotels where people tend to gather. You don't have to wear them around the pool, by the beach or walking around outdoors. Read our a guide to evefrything you need to know about masks and distancing in Gran Canaria.
Nothing is open in Gran Canaria: Half the hotels in the Canary Islands will be open in August and many apartment and bungalow complexes are already open. Shops are mostly open and more restaurants and bars open every day. You won't be wandering around a ghost resort because the locals are taking advantage of the summer to visit, and tourists are now flying in every day. Hotel swimming pools and beaches are open.
My accommodation isn't open: This is a genuine concern as some places shut down completely and aren't answering their email. Some travel agencies are also struggling to contact the places they have booked guests into. We've put together a list of places that we know are open and suggest that you try to contact your hotel or bungalow via Facebook, email and the telephone. As places get ready to open they start top check their emails and answer the phone. If you plan to book, contact the hotel or apartment before you book via a travel agency as some are taking bookings without checking opening dates.
If you are after a party-holiday with dancing until dawn, you should probably wait for a year or so before coming to Gran Canaria. But if you want a relaxing holiday in the sun with plenty to see and do, it might just be the best time ever to visit Gran Canaria.
Outdoors: Masks are necessary in outdoor public places where you can not maintain a DISTANCE OF 1.5 metres FROM OTHER PEOPLE (excluding the people you are living/staying with).
So with consideration it is possible to move around in many areas WITHOUT a mask on.
Indoors: Masks are now obligatory in all indpoor public places even if you are alone. Places like shops, restaurant toilets, malls, receptions areas, offices, etc.
Alway carry a mask with you when you go out as you never know when it might be needed.
If you end up in a situation where you should have on a mask but are not wearing one, the fines start from 100 euros up to 30,000 (Ley de la Seguridad Cuidadana - and yes there have been over 600,000 sanctions issued under this law since the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak in Spain for 'disobedience or resistance of authority').
Recommended masks can easily be purchased in a pharmacy and in some supermarkets. Prices start from under 1 Euro.
Fabric masks (those that provide the same level of protection as the recommended masks) can also be purchased and used but also check they fit correctly (firmly) around your mouth and nose.
Mask are mandatory for everyone six years or older and are recommended for 3 to 5 year olds. Under 3 years not required.
If for medical reasons you can not wear a mask you must carry with you a medical exemption letter from your doctor.
An option for those people may be a face visor, not ideal but better than nothing for the wearer and the people around them. Also before travelling check with your airline about thier in-flight mask requirements. I only looked at Easyjet and thier FAQs said "If you are unable to wear a face mask for medical reasons you will be exempt from doing so as long as you have a medical exemption letter from a doctor stating that you cannot wear a face mask (which must be available on request for airport staff and crew to see) and also that you are fit to fly".
People don't need to wear masks when 'eating and drinking' in bars and restaurants. You do have to wear then when you head to your table and while ordering your first drink or food. When it arrives you can take the mask off.
You still need to use a mask in common areas such as the corridor/toilets (where you can't maintain the 1.5m distance).
People will need use hand sanitizer at the entrance of a bar or restaurant and to wait to be seated (their table cleaned before they sit down). Table service - bars and restaurants have to operate 'table service'.
Menus - Traditional format menu cards are not currently allowed. You may find 'QR codes' to access the menu online, printed menus on disposible place mats or, menus displayed on the wall. Some restaurants also provide throwaway meus on paper.
Generally they require wearing of mask and use hand sanitizer when entering a shop, office, bank, pharmacy, shopping centre or supermarket.
Many shops do not allow clothes to be tried-on in the shop, but do allow items to be returned if not suitable.
Supermarkets - Some are very strict and have expectations of how there customers will behave.
You MUST wear a mask.
You MUST wear the supplied disposible gloves when handling fruit and veg.
At the checkouts only one person served at a time. It will something like:
- Queue with the required distancing.
- When it is your turn, i.e. only after the person in front of you's shopping has been scanned. Put your trolley or basket by the END of the conveyor belt and unload it from there.
- Do not move forward until the person in front of you has completely finished and taken away thier bags. Then go right through to the other end and load your bags. They prefer payment by card (contactless or with pin).
Banks - Check opening hours, many have only limited times open to the public, the remainder of the day will be 'by apointment'. ATM machines are working as normal.
On the beach - Check and respect the rules of each municipality, and keep a 1.5 metre distance between you and other people/groups. Any equipment/sunbeds must be cleaned before and after each use. Popular beaches have information boards posted by the entrances with specific rules.
Hotel and Community pools - will have limited capacity and rules to follow in addition to the 1.5m rule. Make sure you know the rules if you use them.
Each will have its own internal rules. Ask for them when you arrive. Wear a MASK in busy common areas such as reception and lifts.
All establishments have a capacity limits of the number of people allowed.
If full to capacity, you will be asked to wait. Although I have not happen very often.
Masks must be worn on all public transport and in taxis and private buses. Also in all Spanish airports and bus stations.
Cars - If you own or hire a car and if any person in that car is not staying in the same accomodation, then everyone in the car must be wearing a mask and you must sit yourselves in seats with the maximum distance possible between each other (these seating rules also apply to passengers in a taxi)
Airports - In the Spanish airports there are no baggage trolleys. The shops and cafes inside the airport are mostly closed. Duty free and one cafe may be open.
Car hire desks are open. ATMs are working. Toilets are open.
There are vending machines for water and snacks (taking cash or cards).
If people from different households gather together, they must all wear masks. Any organised events will have special arrangements for distancing. Many local fiesta events have been cancelled
When directly talking face to face with anyone who is a stranger/cashier/official, they WILL expect you to be wearing your obligatory mask.
Many residents are concerned about visitors arriving and not following all of these current health based rules. Rules that are there for the benefit of everyone, resident or visitor.
Despite the rules there is every opportunity to welcome people here to have a lovely safe holiday in the sun.
So, PLEASE PLEASE, ALL VISITORS RESPECT THESE RULES. They are there to keep everyone healthy and virus free.
Residents have just spent 3 months living with very tough strict 'Spanish Lockdown Rules' and now the virus is under control here.
It would be so unfair to see all that effort ruined by visitors not following these current rules that do allow you to move around freely and safely.
Even if you see someone else not wearing a mask. Please don't think it means that it is not necessay, because the status of this island as a safe place to visit and to live will very quickly deteriorate.
Thank you Amanda Ockwell for the considerable amount of work that went into writying this guide and thank you again for letting us share it.
A (small) earth quake of 3.6 degrees magnitude and with its epicentre in the sea at the east coast of the island, 18 kilometers deep has been felt, very slightly, all over the island at 8.18 am this morning. Nothing serious happened, no one got hurt.
More information: https://www.ign.es/web/ign/portal/ultimos-terremotos/-/ultimos-terremotos/getDetails?evid=es2020kjeyf&zona=1
The Maspalomas dune system in Gran Canaria has transformed since the beginning of the Coronavirus lockdown. The undisturbed dunes have recovered their natural shape and grown in height, and the area's native vegetation has started to recover.
The dune system, considered one of the jewels in Gran Canaria’s crown, has suffered in recent years from constant trampling and sand loss.
From now on visitors will have to stick to the eight kilometres of marked trails within the dunes or risk a fine. The new rules mean that visitors will no longer be able to walk across the dune field, sunbathe in the bushes (yeah, yeah, we know), or surf down the dunes themselves. Access to the beach along the front of the dunes will not be affected by the new rules.
The rules will be enforced by a team of six caretakers and regular police patrols, both with the ability to fine people. Fines start at 150 euros for going off the path to 600,000 euros for removing sand on a large scale.
While this move will be unpopular with those used to roaming the dunes, they are designed to protect a threatened ecosystem. The Maspalomas dunes have slowly shrunk in recent years due to constant trampling and changes to natural wind flows.
The dunes are so threatened that the authorities now transport sand from the seashore to the back of the dunes rather than let it blow into the ocean. They have also removed 15,000 invasive tilapia fish from the Charco de Maspalomas lagoon.
With businesses now reopening across Gran Canaria, new ways of working are set to improve customer experience. The island's estate agencies are leading the way.
The post-Coronavirus world may seem like an endless series of queues and a constant routine of masks, gloves and hydroalcohol gel but much more is happening behind the scenes. The need to guarantee safety and reduce unecessary procedures means that Gran Canaria businesses are rethinking the way things are done.
For example, in real estate the number of physical bits of paper needed for property transactions has dropped fast. Digital signatures mean buyers and sellers don't have to visit as many offices and can even buy or sell from abroad. The property registry and other government departments now offer more online services and legaly valid digital documents.
The virtual visit or 3D tour is now a standard feature of all quality estate agencies in Gran Canaria and allow buyers to view properties from home and visit only the ones they want to see in real life.
With more of the process of buying and selling property moving online and going digital, it is ever more important to choose a quality estate agency to guide you through the process.
Ramón Sánchez Bruhn, Marketing & Productivity Manager at leading south Gran Canaria estate agency Cárdenas Real Estate, told us that "the real estate business is all about service and trust and this means people must meet and talk openly. If this isn't possible physically, we have the technology to help us; shared documents, walk through visits in real time, live video calls, all these things allow us to be open with our clients".
As Gran Canaria estate agent Laura Leyshon confirmed, "it's not just about the technology, its about using it to talk and share opinions. I can walk buyers through properties and answer their questions in real time and that really helps me to understand their needs".
Tourism restarts on July 1st in Gran Canaria, the Canary Islands and Spain although we don't have many details about how it will all work. Here's what we know about travel and tourism in Gran Canaria during the rest of 2020 and beyond.
Spain's borders are currently sealed to everyone who isn't Spanish, an official resident of Spain, or one of a small number of workers from key industries such as aviation, healthcare and transportation. The border closure is in place until June 30th.
The EU's borders are sealed to all non-EU citizens and and many EU countries are restricting international travel for most of 2020.
Travel between the Canary Islands is now allowed without any restrictions and some hotels and apartments are reopening during June. More will reopen during July.
The Canary Islands president and several other government sources have stated that the islands hope to welcome Spanish tourists during the summer of 2020. This will depend on the Coronavirus case levels on the islands remaining low, and on declining levels in the rest of Spain. The two main airports in Spain, Madrid and Barcelona, are in zones that have suffered most from Covid-19.
However, the Spanish authorities now regard the epidemic to be under control and national tourism will restart on June 15.
Everyone in the Canary Islands has endured a long and strict lockdown and the islands now have one of the lowest levels of Coronavirus in Europe. The virus is no longer in community transmission according to local health authorities. This is positive for island residents and for the future of tourism here although many locals worry that tourists will bring Covid-19 back.
The Canary Islands will open to tourism with the rest of Spain on July 1st. However, the working assumption in the Canary Islands is that there will be few international tourists visiting the Canary Islands in the summer of 2020. Setting up tracking apps and travel protocols will take time and even if a vaccine or effective treatment emerges it will not be manufactured fast enough to save the summer.
At best, the Islands could get 20-30% of the normal number of tourists in the last months of 2020 with number picking up at the start of the winter season in October 2020.
The situation with Great Britain is complicated because the country still has a higher number of virus cases than Spain. We are waiting for news about how the islands plan to adress this. They may insist on people getting a test before they travel.
The ongoing Brexit process also makes the future of travel between the UK and the Canary Islands more complex. If the EU keeps it external borders closed, British tourists would not be allowed to fly to the Canary Islands after the UK leaves the EU.
Bars and restaurants with outside tables reopen tomorrow, Monday 11 May, at 50% of their capacity as Phase One of the lockdown de-escalation begins. Groups of up to 10 people can also meet in public places and restaurants (while maintaining safe distances) and small shops can reopen.
There were no new cases of Coronavirus reported yesterday in Gran Canaria or anywhere in the Canary Islands for the first time since March 8, according to the local press..
Several adult veiled chameleons (Chamaeleo calyptratus) have been found close to Arucas, raising fears that the potentially invasive species has gone wild in Gran Canaria.
The Maspalomas sand dunes have recovered their pristine natural form after six weeks of lockdown in Gran Canaria.
Gran Canaria took another step towards the end of its quarantine today as adults stepped out for exercise for the first time in almost two months. Many chose to run or walk along its open beaches.
The Spanish Government has announced the national timetable that governs the relaxation of quarantine rules. The lockdown will end over the next 8 weeks in four different phases. Each phase lasts for a minimum of two weeks meaning that Spain returns to normality (within the confines of social distancing) by the end of June.