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.
Data indicates weekly cases and positive tests are increasing in the CANARY ISLANDS and so we are REMOVING them from the #TravelCorridor list to reduce the risk of importing COVID-19. From 4am Sat 12 Dec, if you arrive from these islands you WILL need to self-isolate.
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) December 10, 2020
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.
Baffled, and furious. Yesterday booked flights for some winter sun to Fuerteventura. An island that yesterday had FORTY THREE active cases. Mr Shapps I dare you to respond and try and justify this decision. pic.twitter.com/0rT48JBghx
— tony pearce (@teepee61) December 10, 2020
So we have over 20,000 cass per day and they have had just 200 across the 8 islands and you stop us from travelling to all the Canaries. You are killing the travel industry with no sign of sector specific support #SaveTravel pic.twitter.com/AG8AC8rEbQ
— Spires Travel (@SpiresTravel) December 10, 2020
The data indicates nothing of the sort. You need to explain how returning to the UK from somewhere with infinitesimally small infection rates compared with the UK could possibly present a risk of “importing” something that we already have more of than them.
— Steve Bentley (@sdb) December 10, 2020
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.