The move would make it easier for tourists from countries with high rates of Covid infection to travel to the islands this winter. Arrivals into both the Canary Islands and mainland Spain are currently required to provide proof of a negative PCR test for coronavirus taken up to 72 hours prior to departure.
However, Canaries President Angel Victor Torres last week explained that Spain was exploring a harmonised testing standard for entry, which would include both PCR and antigen tests for Covid.
Antigen tests are sufficient for health safety
Canarian Weekly reported that at a press conference on 27 November, Torres said analysis by Tenerife’s Hospital de la Candelaria had established antigen tests would offer sufficient health security.
Officials hope to have the new testing standard signed off ready for the start of December. In August, the Canarys Islands’ government decided to pay all medical costs for tourists if they contract Covid-19 whilst on the islands.
The offer covers all tourists’ health costs in relation to Covid-19 in an attempt to bring more holidaymakers to the island, which depends heavily on the tourism industry. The policy is managed by French insurer AXA and includes health-related repatriations. In a statement, the Canary Islands regional government announced: “It will last for one year and will exclude health conditions that were known of before the traveller concerned came to the islands.”