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The ‘ghost’ closure of Tenerife: tourists will be able to enter and now also non-residents who are going to spend Christmas

The closure of the island of Tenerife, decreed on Wednesday and which comes into force as of today, perfectly illustrates the regulatory chaos that has sometimes occurred throughout this pandemic. This measure it was decreed last wednesday, arguing that it was to control infections. Shortly after, it was decided to make an exception for tourists, given that the Canary Islands are in their high season and December is the busiest month. Today the Canary Government has decided to make another exception for non-residents who visit their relatives at Christmas.

The Canarian Government thus softens its initial intention, which excluded this group. This is reflected in the order published in the Official Gazette of the Canary Islands this Friday, in which the details of the measure are given. There are so many exceptions to mobility on the island that in reality the entry ban does not exclude practically anyone. The island is closed but, de facto, there is no closure.

The Canarian president cited on Wednesday the exceptions to the ban on entering and leaving Tenerife. He cited the assistance to health centers, services and establishments and to fulfill labor obligations, professional, business, institutional or legal.

Also for attend university centers, teachers and educational, including early childhood education schools, assistance and care for the elderly, minors, dependents, people with disabilities or especially vulnerable people, travel to financial institutions and the return “to the place of habitual or family residence”.


Shortly after his appearance, he clarified that there was an exception (which he did not mention in the entire press conference): tourists staying in a hotel or regulated establishment can enter. This excludes, for example, travelers who are staying overnight with resident friends.

This exception caused a certain stupor, as it left out thousands of non-resident canaries who are going to spend the holidays with their families and who could only enter the island with a hotel reservation. Today the BOC qualifies as an exception “the return to the place of habitual or family residence is also authorized, including movements to territories that are the place of habitual residence of relatives or close friends of those who are displaced. ”

The Ministry of Health confirms that this “close people” includes non-resident canaries who go to the home of a relative. With this, the closure of the island remains a dead letter, as few people cannot prove any of the exceptions contemplated.

In addition, all travelers arriving in the Canary Islands will have to present a negative Covid test. With this there is also controversy, as the Constitutional Court today suspended the validity of the Canarian norm that accepted the antigen test. Health only admits the PCR. From now on, the Canary Islands will no longer be able to accept tourists with a simple antigen test.

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