Anger as Canary Islands removed from UK safe travel corridor list

The Local Spain
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Anger as Canary Islands removed from UK safe travel corridor list
Photo: AFP

British holidaymakers planning a trip to the Canary Island over Christmas will now have to quarantine on their return after the UK government removed the Spanish archipelago from the travel corridor list.


The news has come as a blow to tourism chiefs on the islands which were hoping to see increased visitor numbers over the Christmas holidays after a devastating year.

But from Saturday, travellers from the UK will be required to self-isolate on their return after a rise in infection rates on the islands.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed the news in a tweet on Thursday.

Although the Canary Islands region has seen much lower coronavirus figures than the rest of Spain it has been rising in recent weeks while Spain’s overall average has been decreasing and now stands at 189, down from a peak of 529.43 a month ago.


The Canary Islands has a 14-day cumulative number of 96.92 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, according to data published on Thursday while the seven-day figure is 51.83.


But the infection rate differs across each island with a 14-day incidence rate of 174.54 cases per 100,000 in Tenerife and just 39.35 in Fuerteventura, prompting calls for the UK authorities to distinguish between the islands as they did with Greece.




The regional government had just announced that it would pass a decree allowing tourists to the islands to present a negative antigen coronavirus test on arrival instead of the more expensive PCR test required at other Spanish points of entry.

Thousands were encouraged to book a winter sun break in the Canary Islands over the Christmas period after the UK placed them on the travel corridor exempting travellers from quarantine.

The quarantine change comes ahead of the British government's new test-to-release programme next week, which will allow travellers arriving into England to reduce their quarantine by more than half if they test negative for Covid after five days.

Travellers arriving into the UK will have to opt-in to the scheme on a passenger locator form, according to the government website.



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