🇬🇧 New Canarian covid test law

Aktualisiert: 13. Nov 2020

Dated 31/10/2020.

The above NEW DECREE will be law tomorrow (the day after publication) and will apply to tourist accommodation arrivals from 10 working days after that – by my calculations that is Friday 13 November

It is imperative that owners who let their properties to tourists understand and act on the new regulations governing this decree. Failure of owners to manage and inform their holidaymakers of the new regulation will incur the owner's fines for violation of emergency health measures, which can run into the many tens, sometimes hundreds, of thousands of euros. Tourist who does not have a mandatory test will not be allowed access to tourist accommodation.

The decree is a single measure to establish a regime for access to tourist accommodation. The Canarian Government cannot control its international borders because that is not a devolved power but it can control tourism, which is. As such, the Canarian Government says that its measures in this decree are within its powers to control tourism and restrict access to tourist accommodation: the decree will remain in place until further notice.

This means that these measures are related only to those staying in regulated touristic accommodation, ie hotels, touristic complexes of apartments, and residential property registered for holiday letting under the Vivienda Vacacional scheme.

Any and all international arrivals to Spain, however, have to provide a passenger location form for track and trace purposes, paper or digital.

This means that anyone letting out unregulated holiday accommodation, ie illegal lets, is putting themselves at enormous risk, first for illegal letting and secondly for putting up tourists without the mandatory test that all tourists have to provide: fines for violation of emergency health measures run into the many tens, sometimes hundreds, of thousands 
 I’m just saying what the situation is.

A test certifying that any visitor over the age of six is not positive for covid19 is required before they are allowed to access their tourist accommodation. This test is described as “test de diagnóstico de infección Activa” – diagnostic test of active infection, which is the official generic name of this type of test: the term is used because different tests are constantly being developed by researchers, some more reliable and easier to carry out than others, and the specific test is, therefore, less important than it being one that diagnoses an active infection.

The test certification can be provided in digital or paper form and must show the identity of the person tested, the lab doing the testing, and the negative result. It must also show by means of date and time that it was carried out a maximum of 72 hours before arrival in the Canaries. (I know this is an issue so this means that the test must be physically carried out no more than 72 hours before arrival here 
 so you have to factor in time to get the results and to fly here).

The test should be done before the visitor leaves their country of origin but can be done here in designated places prior to the visitor accessing their accommodation.

Tourist establishments will be responsible for telling them where they can get that test and are required to deny access to any visitor not complying with this decree’s regulations.

In the case of a visitor without a test certificate but who is prepared to get one immediately, they can allow access to the accommodation overnight and the visitor must remain under lockdown except to go for the test and get its results with the establishment legally liable for any violation. (Anyone who gets a positive result in a test carried out here will be required to stay in isolating, accommodation.

Tourist establishments are responsible for getting visitors to make a formal agreement of compliance, and verifying the certification they provide, on accessing their accommodation, and from now on for telling people at the point of booking of the requirements. They must also have signs and notices in at least five languages with information in reception areas.

These must include the requirement for visitors to download the covid Radar app for the purposes of track and trace, and keep it active during their stay in the Canaries, and for 15 days following their return.

Residents who are staying in tourist accommodation but who have already been in the Canaries for 15 days can instead make a formal legal declaration for Sanidad records that they have not left the islands in that period and that they have not had symptoms in that time. They will have to supply their residence registration document as well. Non-residents can also make the declaration if they have been here a fortnight already but will be required to show travel documents to prove it if they cannot produce a Registro/TIE. This is because they will have already been here for the period in which they could be expected to become ill and therefore represent no risk for Sanidad’s capacity. Nevertheless, given the epidemiological uncertainty of the pandemic abroad as well as here, the regional Government can modify the rule to make tests compulsory in these cases too.

Although not applicable at the moment, should the UK require those returning home to have test results or go into quarantine, this decree requires tourist establishments here to advise people where they can get such a test if they want one.

Tourist establishments are responsible for keeping records of all certifications, compliance statements, etc., for Sanidad under data protection rules.

The decree will be law tomorrow (the day after publication), and will apply to tourist accommodation arrivals from 10 working days after that – by my calculations that is Friday 13 November.

The above is a direct copy with edits from Janet Anscombe's website at

Where you can get more information about how to get tests, forms, radar app and all the latest updates regarding this issue.

Thank you, Janet, for keeping us informed.

Michael Hudson


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