As of the 16th December 2020 these are the latest Covid test requirements to travel to the Canary Islands.
There is currently a two tier Covid test system for travel to the Canary Islands in Spain. If travelling from a high risk country, the Spanish law will apply. If travelling from a low risk country, the Canary Islands law will apply.
In summary, if you are staying in tourist accommodation you will require a negative Covid test with medical certificate to check in to your accommodation. If travelling from a high risk country, this test will have to be a PCR test. If in any doubt, take a PCR test to avoid any penalty or delay on arrival.
Children under the age of 6 years old are exempt from Covid testing.
You will also be required to wear a face mask in public, this includes inside and outside areas.
The Spanish Government have introduced a new law regarding international visitors into Spain from a high risk countries, which came into force on Monday 23rd November 2020.
All visitors arriving into Spanish airports and ports from high risk countries must present a negative Covid-19 test certificate which has been performed within 72 hours prior to their arrival time in Spain. Tests accepted from 10/12/20 include PCR, TMA (Transcription-Mediated Amplification) or RT-LAMP (Reverse Transcriptase Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification). The certificate must be an original, written in English or Spanish and can be presented in paper or electronic format. It must state the passengers name, passport or identification number, date of the test, identification and contact details of the test centre that performed the analysis, the technique used and a negative test result. NB. The personal identification number on your test certificate must correspond to the QR code from the SPTH / FCS health form required to enter Spain.
The high risk countries are determined by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), their website is updated every Thursday.
The Ministerio de Sanidad will update their list of high risk countries every 15 days, to be implemented 7 days following publication. The United Kingdom (Reino Unido) is listed under third countries, rather than under the EU countries.
Arrivals failing to produce the negative PCR test on entry into Spain can be fined up to a maximum of €6,000.
Canary Islands Law
Following the Covid test announcement from Angel Victor Torres, the president of the Canary Islands, a new regional law has now been confirmed in the Boletín Oficial de Canarias (BOC) 223 dated 31st October 2020.
To check in to tourist accommodation in the Canary Islands it will be necessary for tourists aged over 6 years old to provide a negative test for Covid-19, taken within a maximum period of 72 hours prior to arrival.
The Covid test required has not been specified as PCR. It can be any test capable of detecting an active case of Covid-19 and has to be a test approved by your country of origin’s health authority.
Canary Island residents requiring tourist accommodation locally need to declare that they have not left the islands within 15 days prior to arrival, and that they do not have symptoms compatible with Covid-19.
Non-residents who have already been in the Canary Islands for more than 15 days prior to the date of check in, will need to show their travel documents confirming that they have been in the region for more than 15 days, and declare that they do not have symptoms compatible with Covid-19.
Tourist accommodation establishments will deny access to anyone not meeting the above conditions. If necessary you will be advised of local places where a Covid-19 test could be taken at their personal cost. Under exceptional circumstances, tourists may be allowed to check in overnight, although confined to their room other than to take a test locally, until their results have been confirmed.
The negative test result certificate should include the tourist’s identity, date & time of their test and the laboratory responsible for verification. This can be provided in digital or paper format.
Tourists should download the Radar Covid app and leave it active during their stay on the islands and for 15 days when they leave the destination. You can download the app here:
Apple Radar Covid
Google Radar Covid
The requirement of Covid-19 tests will be implemented within 10 business days of this law coming into force. This Decree Law will enter into force the day following its publication in the Official Gazette of the Canary Islands.
As the law was published on Saturday 31st October 2020, the above takes effect from Saturday 14th November 2020.
We highly recommend arranging your Covid test in country of origin before departure where possible, to avoid delays or even worse quarantine at the start of your holiday. You may also need to provide a Covid fit-to-fly certificate by your airline / tour operator in advance of departure.
The type of negative Covid-19 test required must include a medical certificate and be approved by your home health authority. PCR, serological and antigen tests are valid if a medical certificate is included. NB. The rapid / quick antigen tests without certificate will not be accepted. If you have already had Covid-19, an official serological test certificate showing you have antibodies is valid.
UK airports with Covid-19 PCR testing centres:
Edinburgh airport has an ExpressTest Covid-19 PCR drive through centre. Tests cost £99 for the general public with a discount of up to 30% off for groups of 4 or more. Passengers and airport staff can book a test at a reduced cost of £80 and £60 respectively. Results are emailed or sent by text the next day, along with a fit to fly certificate authorised by a doctor.
London Gatwick airport has partnered with ExpressTest (a division of Cignpost Diagnostics Limited) to provide a fast lab-analysed PCR swab test from the 30th November 2020. The test costs £60 for Gatwick passengers and airport staff, or £99 for the general public and a discount of up to 30% off for groups of four or more taking the full priced test. Situated at the airport’s Long Stay Car Park at the South Terminal. A fit to fly certificate will be issued with test results, by text or email, normally the next day. Open 08:00-20:00.
London Heathrow airport has opened a 24 lane Covid-19 testing facility at the N4 car park that will be open 365 days. Two labs are planned for the site, when operating at full facility they are capable of processing 5,000 tests with next day results. Tests costs £80 for passengers, £60 for airport staff and £99 for general public.
Manchester airport group (MAG) has partnered with Collinson to provide pre-flight testing at Manchester, East Midlands and Stansted airports. Testing prices start at £40 for Antibody tests, £50 for Antigen tests, £79 for RT-LAMP tests and £99 for RT-PCR tests. Bookable through the airport websites.
Newcastle Airport tests cost £99 and are available from the 1st December 2020. The two companies NPH Group and MDNA Life Sciences providing tests will be administered by trained clinicians and results within 2 days. The testing area will be based in the Premium Meet and Greet car park building and free on-site parking will be available.
The Post Office offer travel insurance cover for a missed departure while waiting for test results, or testing positive before departure.
The Canary Islands have a Covid Insurance Policy in place for visitors staying in official tourist information, should you test positive during your holiday.
UK official travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain
Canary Islands official tourist advice: https://www.hellocanaryislands.com/coronavirus/
Test to release authorised centres to reduce UK quarantine from 10 days https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/list-of-private-providers-of-coronavirus-testing/list-of-private-providers-of-coronavirus-testing#test-to-release-for-international-travel