Canary Island travellers must now self-isolate on return to the UK

Friday, 11th December 2020, 1:46 pm
Updated Friday, 11th December 2020, 1:46 pm

Spain’s Canary Islands have been removed from the UK’s quarantine exemption list, transport secretary Grant Shapps has announced.

The decision has been made due to rising infection rates on the islands, said Mr Shapps.

Travellers returning from the Canaries will now have to self-isolate on their return, joining mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands on the quarantine list list.

Posting on Twitter, Mr Shapps said, “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.”

However, from Monday 14 December, at 12.01am, the 14 day self-isolation period for both returning holidaymakers and those who have had close contact with someone with coronavirus, will be cut to 10 days.

In a joint statement, the four UK chief medical officers (CMOs), said, “Self-isolation is essential to reducing the spread of COVID as it breaks the chains of transmission.

“After reviewing the evidence, we are now confident that we can reduce the number of days that contacts self-isolate from 14 days to 10 days. People who return from countries which are not on the travel corridor list should also self-isolate for 10 days instead of 14 days.

“People who test positive should continue to self-isolate for 10 days from onset of symptoms or 10 days from point of taking a positive test if asymptomatic. We urge everyone to self-isolate when appropriate, it will save lives.”

What are the entry requirements for Spain?

Currently, it is mandatory for all passengers travelling by air or sea to Spain to fill out and sign an online Health Control Form 48 hours prior to travel, providing the Spanish Ministry of Health with:

  • contact information
  • details of any known history of exposure to Covid-19
  • confirmation that you are able to provide evidence (electronically or hardcopy) that you have undertaken a PCR (swab) test taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival and have tested negative for Covid-19

Travellers must also undergo a temperature check and a visual health assessment.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) adds, “In addition to the nationwide requirement to provide a negative Covid-19 PCR (swab) test on entry to Spain, all travellers aged 6 years and over to the Canary Islands must present a negative Covid-19 test when checking-in to regulated tourist accommodation.”