Why the Canary Islands is the only region in Spain without a curfew

Why the Canary Islands is the only region in Spain without a curfew
Photo: AFP
The Canary Islands is the only region in Spain to be free from a curfew measure that sees all other residents in Spain confined to their homes at night.

The archipelago escaped the measure because it has recorded far fewer cases of coronavirus than the rest of Spain.

Over the last seven days, the islands have recorded 44 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, by far the lowest figure of any region in Spain where the average incidence rate currently stands at 378 cases per 100,000 people.

The Canary Islands has successfully kept the contagion under control halving the number of new daily coronavirus cases since September.

Only 2.5 percent of all PCR tests conducted on the islands turn out to be positive and a total of 7.7 percent of beds in Canary Islands are occupied by Covid-19 patients (11.16 percent of ICU beds).  This compares with 19.59 percent of all beds in Madrid hospitals and 38.9percent in ICU.

To date the Canary Islands as a whole have registered 16.845 positive cases of Covid-19 and 272 deaths with the numbers on each island as follows:

Gran Canaria has had a total of 8,571 cases, Tenerife with 5,941 cases Lanzarote with 1,225 cases, Fuertaventura with 755, La Palma with 192, La Gomera with 88 and El Hierro with 72.

 

 

Health authorities on the seven islands had implemented a “traffic light” system categorising each island according to a three tier system based on epidemiological data.

Since September the islands of Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and La Gomera were all classified as red zones but all but Tenerife have now been given green status.

Tenerife is expected to have its red light lifted by November 6th.

Under a red status various restrictions kicked in including limiting events or gatherings of more than 10 people, with the exception of the celebration of ordinary programmed cultural activity of a public nature.

Under the red light hotels, restaurants, bars, and terrace establishments, as well as beach bars and restaurants, had to close by midnight, and cannot admit new clients after 11pm.

The regional government of the Canary Islands negotiated with Spain's central government to be exempt from the curfew measure just as the UK and Germany added the destination to the “safe list”. 

This means holidaymakers from those countires will be allowed to visit the Canary Islands without needing to quarantine on their return.

The news is expected to bring a huge boost to the Canary Islands whose authorities have long been lobbying to be treated differently from mainland Spain which has the highest infection rate in Europe.

The Canary Islands are now open up in time for October half term and prepare for the winter tourism season after suffering a devastating spring and summer.

Beyond having to fill in passenger locator forms and have a temperature check on arrival, visitors to the Canaries currently face no restrictions to entry.

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