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From Covid tests to quarantine and latest entry rules – Which? News

Year round sunshine and the Canary Islands’ green list status make Tenerife, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura a popular option for half term and beyond. But with entry requirements updating frequently, you’ll need to keep an eye on latest rules.

Spain has declared that from 1 December, only fully vaccinated people will be permitted entry to the country (excluding children under the age of 12). No further island-specific entry guidance has been issued yet.

Exactly what red tape is required depends on where you are travelling from and if you are travelling with children. But everyone needs to follow these four basic steps:

  • STEP 1 – Show evidence that you are fully vaccinated
  • STEP 2 – Fill in the Spanish health control form within 48 hours of travel
  • STEP 3 – Book the tests you need to return home 
  • STEP 4 – Fill in UK passenger locator form up to 48 hours before returning home

Read on to find out what evidence you need to show at the airport, which tests you need to return home, and which rules children need to follow and at what age.


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Before you go: What are the Canary Islands Covid entry requirements?

Fully vaccinated passengers

STEP 1: If you have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to arriving in the Canary Islands, you’ll need to be able to prove it. 

English holidaymakers visiting the Canary Islands can use the NHS Covid Pass app to provide evidence of the date of their vaccinations. Our advice is to print out the required QR code, or at least save it in your phone’s document wallet. Some travellers have missed their flights when the Covid Pass app stopped working, leaving them with no means of proving when they received their vaccinations.

Find out more about how to use the NHS app and the options for residents of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

If you don’t have a smartphone, you can also access your vaccine status online, or request proof in letter form. 

STEP 2: Before your flight, you will also need to complete and sign an online Health Control Form, no more than 48 hours prior to travel, declaring any known history of Covid exposure. Once the form is completed you will receive a QR code (again, print this out as a backup). 

On arrival in the Canary Islands, you may be asked to present the QR code, undergo a temperature check and/or undergo a visual health assessment. 

Unvaccinated passengers

If you are unvaccinated, you will not be allowed to enter Spain. This rule applies to everyone over the age of 12. A certificate of recent recovery is not accepted by Spain. 

Travelling with children

STEP 1: Children under the age of 12 do not need to take a test, or show evidence of vaccination, to enter the Canary Islands. 

However, children aged 12 and over are treated the same as adults and must present evidence of full vaccination. 

STEP 2: All passengers, regardless of age must complete the Spanish health form (see Step 2 above) no more than 48 hours prior to travel. Parents or legal guardians are able to complete an individual form on behalf of their children. Alternatively you can fill in a family/group form. 

What if my child has recently recovered from Covid – but is not yet fully vaccinated?

Certificates of recovery are not currently accepted in Spain, meaning that any unvaccinated individual over the age of 12 will not be permitted to enter Spain.

I have a holiday booked but am unvaccinated – what can I do?

It’s worth contacting your provider to discuss your situation. Decent package holiday companies with flexible booking policies may allow you to rebook your holiday for different dates and/or a different destination.

What are the Canary Islands Covid rules while I am there?

The Canary Islands government has also set conditions for accessing regulated tourist accommodation. 

So when you arrive at your accommodation you may be asked to provide evidence of either a negative Covid test, taken 72 hours prior to arrival in the Canary Islands, or your vaccine status. Your accommodation will also accept an official medical certificate showing that you have recovered from Covid within the last six months. 

Children under the age of 12 are exempt from this requirement. 

The Canary Islands tourist board says you must also download the Radar Covid notification app to your mobile, which will notify you of the risk of exposure to Covid depending on your location.

Will I need to wear a mask?

Anyone over the age of 6 must wear a mask in enclosed public spaces like shops, bars, restaurants and hairdressers and on public or group transport, except when eating or drinking. 

They should also wear a mask outside at mass events or anywhere where it’s not possible to maintain a distance of 1.5m. But as long as there’s plenty of space, it’s fine to be mask-free on the beach. 

Fines may be imposed if you don’t comply with these rules. However, those with a disability of respiratory condition are exempt.

Can I travel between the Canary Islands?

Movement between the islands has been fully reinstated, with daily connections allowing you to travel by plane or boat. 

What Covid forms, tests and quarantines are required when I return to the UK?

Fully vaccinated passengers

The Canary Islands are on the government’s ‘rest of world’ green list, which means you no longer need to take a pre-departure test. But you’ll still need to fill in a passenger locator form before you travel home and take a PCR day two test when you arrive home, self-isolating until you get a negative result.

STEP 3: Book a PCR test to be taken on or before day two (the day of your arrival is day zero). The PCR test must be privately purchased before you return home because you will need to enter the test booking code into your passenger locator form (see below). Day two PCR tests cost between £43 and £90+ per person.

Find a cheap and reliable PCR test provider

STEP 4: You must complete a passenger locator form online, and submit it any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in the UK. You’ll need to show your form when you check in, or board your plane. 

To complete the form you’ll need your passport details, your travel details and the booking reference numbers for any Covid tests you need to take after arriving in the UK. 

Unvaccinated passengers

From 1 Dec, unvaccinated travellers over the age of 12 are not permitted entry to Spain.

Individuals already in Spain who have not received both doses of an approved vaccine and are returning from the Canary Islands must take a pre-departure test, followed by a day 2 and day 8 test. 

They must also quarantine at home. Test to release on day 5 remains an option to reduce the self isolation period. 

Travelling with children

The fully vaccinated rules apply to any UK resident who is under 18. Children aged 5-17 must take a day two test.

Those aged 4 and under do not have to take any Covid travel tests to return home.

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