Sunday, May 31, 2020

Romería de Las Mercedes

Romería de Las Mercedes. Image Jose Mesa Some rights reserved

Today should have been the Romería de Las Mercedes in the Las Mercedes district of La Laguna, but this year we shall have to content ourselves with a video of the colourful danzas de cintas (ribbon dances) from last year and hope for next.

Romería de Las Mercedes 2019

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Council offers three online contests to mark Día de Canarias

Contest of typical costumes

With no likelihood of any gatherings to mark Día de Canarias (Canary Islands Day) - the public holiday on 30 May chosen as the anniversary of the first session of the Parliament of the Canary Islands, held on that date in 1983 - celebrating all things Canarian, including traditional food, sport and music will have to be instead be done at home this year.

Contest of musical talents of Canarian folklore

As a substitute, Santa Cruz de Tenerife Council, is offering three online contests for Canary Islands Day, under the titles 'Contest of musical talents of Canarian folklore', 'Photography contest on prints or Canarian still lifes' and 'Contest of typical costumes', in which residents of the capital's municipality will be able to participate.

El Ayuntamiento de Santa Cruz de Tenerife ofrece tres concursos on line con motivo del Día de Canarias (Via)

Photography contest on prints or Canarian still lifes

Friday, May 29, 2020

NUMAcircuit 020 Festival begins the cultural de-escalation in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

NUMAcircuit020 Festival

NUMACircuit 2020 is a platform for the creation and dissemination of new forms of artistic expression

The NUMAcircuit 020 Festival premieres the cultural de-escalation in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The eight performances will be held in a controlled environment, with the capacity allowed by regulations, a closed list of attendees and all the hygienic measures required.

The twelfth edition of the niche festival takes place on two consecutive weekends, May 29 and 30 and June 5 and 6. The event will have two performances every day that, in addition to being broadcast on its website and social networks, will have an audience in the room.

El Festival NUMAcircuit020 inicia la desescalada

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Candidate for Junior Carnival Queen 2020

Candidate for Junior Carnival Queen Chloe Breban

The focus usually is on the winners, but we want to show you all the candidates for the carnival queens in Santa Cruz in 2020, who all deserve recognition for taking part.

There will be no Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2021, although the City Council is working with the Carnival groups in the design of some activities that can maintain the spirit of the festivities during the weeks in which it should have been celebrated

Chloe Breban | Gala Reina Infantil | S/C Tenerife 2020

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Potaje de coles al estilo de Las Mercedes (Cabbage soup in the style of Las Mercedes)

The humble cabbage stars in this hearty soup

A hearty, traditional dish that is served in the homes of residents of Las Mercedes.

Ingredients: (for a large cauldron)

500 gr. soaked chickpeas
1 cabbage
3 carrots
2 potatoes
1 chorizo
1 piece of ham bone
200 gr. pork (lean, or rib)
100 gr. chicken
1 bay leaf
2 to 3 liters of water

For the sofrito

1 onion
3 garlic cloves (minced)
1 tablespoon of sweet paprika
1 teaspoon of cumin
3 tablespoons olive oil


Put all the ingredients in the cauldron; the soaked chickpeas, the cabbage (sliced), the peeled and whole potatoes, the carrots peeled and in 2 cm pieces, the chorizo (sliced), the ham bone, the pork meat, the chicken and the bay leaf. Covered with water and bring to the boil. Do not season at this point as the ham already adds salt.

Cooking time depends on taste, but at least an hour of cooking will be required, or longer.

Almost at the end of cooking, prepare a sofrito with the onion and the minced garlic, together with the cumin and olive oil. Before they are browned, add the sweet paprika to the pan, stir for a few seconds, without letting it burn, so that it does not become bitter. Add the sofrito to the stew and let the cooking finish.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

On Tuesday 26th an official 10-day mourning for the victims of COVID-19 will begin

On Tuesday 26th an official 10-day mourning for the victims of COVID-19 will begin

Throughout Spain, a ten-day official mourning for the victims of the coronavirus begins from Tuesday 26 May, coinciding with the entry of the entire country into phase 1 of the de-escalation. It is the longest mourning period decreed in Spain, to pay tribute to the almost 30,000 deaths from the pandemic. The Prime Minister has also announced that a greater tribute ceremony will be held for the fatalities at the end of the de-escalation.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

On Monday the whole of the Canary Islands will progress onto phase 2 of the de-escalation plan of the state of alarm

The obligatory photo of La Teresitas beach

It is now official: Minister Salvador Illa announced Friday that on Monday, May 25, all of the Canary Islands will progress to Phase 2 of the plan of de-escalation of the state of alarm, which La Gomera, La Palma and La Graciosa had entered last week. Along with it, will be a relaxation of some of the restrictions currently in force (although security measures and social distancing will be maintained to prevent the spread of COVID-19).

Freedom of movement

One of the main new social measures in this phase refers to the mobility of people, allowing residents to attend events or places such as:

1. Funerals and burials: with a maximum limit of 25 people in open spaces, or 15 people in closed spaces, whether or not they live together.

2. Places of worship: as long as 50 percent of the capacity is not exceeded.

3. Weddings: as long as 50 percent of the capacity is not exceeded.

4. Hospitality and retail: up to 40 percent of the capacity and minimum social distance of 2 meters between clients.

5. Shopping centers: the capacity will be limited to 40 percent. No presence of clients is allowed in common or recreational areas.

6. Visits to sheltered homes or nursing homes: by appointment and only one person per resident.

7. Libraries, exhibition halls, cinemas, etc: as long as one third of the capacity is not exceeded.

8. Physical activity: People under 70 years of age may carry out non-professional physical activity in any time slot except between 10:00 and 12:00 and between 19:00 and 20:00.

9. Federated non-professional athletes: will be able to carry out basic training sessions, aimed at a specific sport modality, individually.

10. Professional athletes: will be able to carry out total training. They may be exercised in covered sports facilities.

11. Recreational pools: as long as one third of the capacity is not exceeded.

12. Beaches: you will only be allowed to walk and bathe; sunbathing or remaining static at a certain point is still not permitted. The practice of sports, professional or recreational activities is allowed, as long as they can be carried out individually and without physical contact, allowing a minimum distance of two meters to be maintained between the participants.
13. Tourism and nature: active and nature tourism activities may be carried out for groups of up to 20 people, these activities should be arranged preferably by appointment.

14. Fishing and hunting: are allowed in all their modalities as long as the safety distance and the hygiene and prevention measures set by the health authorities are respected.

Use of masks in the car

The rule established in Phase 1 is continued, so that if all the occupants live together in the same house, as many people may travel as there are seats in the vehicle, provided that all reside at the same address. In this case, the use of a mask will not be necessary.

If the occupants of the car do not live together at the same address, two people can travel for each row of seats, provided they use a mask and respect the maximum possible distance between the occupants.

Masks will still be necessary on public transport, taxis, etc.

La utilización del coche en la Fase 2 de la desescalada (25 mayo)

El lunes toda Canarias se zambullirá en la fase 2 del plan de desescalada del estado de alarma

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Spanish Government is considering opening the doors to foreign tourism in July, but with an emphasis on security

Playa de las Vistas Image by Enrico Lombardi from Pixabay

Only a declaration of intent has been made, without specifying an exact date for the return of tourists and no guarantee that reopening not be delayed beyond July.

After more than two months of zero tourism, with the borders and tourist establishments closed, central government have said that July could be the month in which the doors to foreign tourism are reopened and the activity begins to reactivate, although it would be done with extreme security.

What has been made clear is that during June Spain will continue without receiving foreign visitors into the country. It has also become clear that the central government intends to save part of the sector's summer season and the remainder of the year thereafter, albeit cautiously, very cautiously, even at the cost of reopening those doors several weeks after competing destinations like Italy or Greece.

This period actually coincides with central government's initial forecast of the phases of de-escalation of the state of alarm and would coincide with the completion of the three phases announced as a transition to return "to a new normality."

It was stressed that it would be "irresponsible" to open the borders prematurely and ruled out a return to mass tourism at least in the short term. They advocate going "very carefully" so that those who come to Spain do not run risks nor endanger the local population.

Safe destinations

An idea that has been circulating in the Canary Islands, is that of working on "safe origins and destinations". The data shows that the control of the pandemic in destinations such as the Canary Islands, Balearic Islands or Andalusia "are extraordinary", but this is because there is no mobility between provinces or from foreign countries, which prevents the arrival of people who could potentially be infected.

We have to be very careful, because the person who comes is not at risk, because they arrive at a safe destination, but at the same time, they must not pose a risk to the local population. If tourism reopens massively, it could be irresponsibe, recalling that the outbreaks of Covid-19 in China, South Korea and Singapore were associated with the importation of cases from abroad.


As for the 14-day quarantine that has been imposed for those who enter the country (currently only a possibility with many limitations), the possibility exists that this measure will disappear when the state of alarm ends.

The minister assured that the European Union understands that tourism is "an important issue" and that several Spanish ministries work to "manage it wisely". It is acknowledged that there is beginning to be interest and demand from foreign tourists wanting to travel to Spain once the situation of the pandemic is controlled and the weather is good.

Competing destinations

Italy has already announced that its doors will open to tourists on June 3 and without any quarantine. And in Greece, airports will receive foreigners from July 1, without isolations either, although it will randomly subject those who arrive to coronavirus testing. Thus, two of the major competitors for foreign tourism (especially German and British) overtake Spain.

El Gobierno tantea empezar a abrir las puertas al turismo extranjero en julio, pero incidiendo en la seguridad

[NB: Whilst Greece may be opening, the UK's current record on coronavirus is currently not good enough for Brits to be allowed to visit Greece when the country open its doors to overseas holidaymakers from July. We must wait and see if Spain imposes similar restrictions, based on how safe it considers the sending nations to be.]

Friday, May 22, 2020

Santa Cruz de Tenerife City Council and the Market regulate access to avoid crowds

Nuestra Señora de África Market in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Santa Cruz de Tenerife City Council has reached an agreement with the Nuestra Señora de África Market over measures to be implemented in the facility to protect both stallholders and shoppers against Covid-19. This agreement has been reached after police reports last weekend arose over the lack of controls on access and social distancing.

The Market must control access, mark one-way routes around the stalls and establish measures so that distances are marked and so customers cannot touch the merchandise. From now on, the Market must have delimited entrances and exits, implement a capacity control system, ensure that all people inside wear masks and that both authorized routes and safety distances are defined on the ground between clients. Public Services will carry out an inspection this Friday to verify that everything agreed is followed.

La Recova is a fundamental part of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, with more than 76 years serving the public and that has always stood out for its excellence both in the products it sells and in the care they provide. However, last weekend the Local Police had collected various reports of numerous breaches of basic preventive measures.

Ayuntamiento de Santa Cruz de Tenerife y Mercado regulan los accesos para evitar aglomeraciones

Fruit and Veg Stall at the Nuestra Señora de África Market in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

How has COVID-19 affected the planning of Santa Cruz de Tenerife carnival 2021?

Fernando Hernández with Marlene Morreau in 2019

In an interview published by AtlánticoHoy, Fernado Hernández, front man of Comparsa Los Joroperos since 1988, talks about the future of carnival beyond the COVID-19 crisis.

For we spectators, the various components of carnival are just something to watch; an exhibition, a show, but for the groups themselves, the contests are important, because where groups place in the pecking order doesn't just determine what order they process in parades, it also affects how much work they get outside the island and how much they can earn ... that goes back into staging their performances, costumes, etc. Of course, the current lockdown has meant that these trips have not been able to go ahead.

"This year is going to be the first time since I have led the group, since 88, we have not traveled."

Hernández says that, "... many performances have been lost (almost 20%)." [These cancellations have generated additional costs for the group.] "When these phases [in the plan towards the new normality] pass, I will meet with the board and we will assess." Hernández is adamant that he is not going to mortgage the troupe nor do a bad job just to perform at all costs. It is also not clear when rehersals can be resumed. "If they tell me that in November we can start rehearsing, I wont take out the troupe," he adds.

Asked if he sees the 2021 carnival as viable, he responds that, "I see it as complicated."

As with everything else currently, we shall just have to wait and see.

UPDATE: There will be no Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2021, although the City Council is working with the Carnival groups in the design of some activities that can maintain the spirit of the festivities during the weeks in which it should have been celebrated

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Candidate for Carnival Queen in 2020

Ana Luisa Herrera García

The focus usually is on the winners, but we want to show you all the candidates for the carnival queens in Santa Cruz in 2020, who all deserve recognition for taking part. This candidate is Ana Luisa Herrera García, in a costume entitled, "Aware", designed by Miguel Ángel Castilla Abreu and representing Centro Comercial Rosa Center Playa Paraíso.

There will be no Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2021, although the City Council is working with the Carnival groups in the design of some activities that can maintain the spirit of the festivities during the weeks in which it should have been celebrated

Ana Luisa Herrera García | Gala Reina del Carnaval | S/C Tenerife 2020

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Carnivals of the World: Nice Carnival

Roi du Carnaval de Nice (King of Carnival in Nice)

Nice Carnival hadn't come up on my radar until I began this series on the Carnivals of the World - the theme chosen for Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival in 2021 - but it's the largest carnival in France, held annually in Nice on the French Riviera. The first records for it appear in 1294, which, they claim, may make it the original carnival celebration.


Organised by the municipality since 1873, each year Nice Carnival draws over a million visitors, but was interrupted by the first and second world wars, as well as the Gulf War in 1991. The planned dates for Nice Carnival in 2021 are from 13th to 27th February.

The « corso illuminé » (illuminated parade) of Nice Carnival 2009 (France) debs-eye photostream / CC BY

There will be no Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2021, although the City Council is working with the Carnival groups in the design of some activities that can maintain the spirit of the festivities during the weeks in which it should have been celebrated

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Masks have become compulsory outside the home when it's not possible to maintain the minimum safe distance of two meters

Masks to be mandatory where minimum safety distance cannot be guaranteed

The use of masks will also become mandatory on public roads and in closed spaces when compliance with the minimum safety distance between people, set at two meters, cannot be guaranteed, as well as when traveling by public transport.

This was agreed on Monday by the Government and the Autonomous Communities during the meeting of the Inter-territorial Council of the National Health System.

The department led by Salvador Illa has indicated that the use of masks will be regulated in a Ministerial Order that will be published in the coming days. SEE BELOW

UPDATE: The key provisions of Orden SND/422/2020 (PDF) of 19 May 2020, coming into force the day after it's publication, confirms that the use of masks outside the home is compulsory, from 21 May, in the open air and particularly in enclosed spaces, whenever you cannot guarantee being able to maintain a safe distance of two meters from others.

Masks should be preferably hygienic and surgical, covering the nose and mouth.

The directive explains, "The widespread use of masks by the general population to reduce the Community transmission of SARS-CoV2 is justified not only by its high transmissibility, but also because of the ability of the masks to block the emission of infected drops, very important when it is not possible to maintain the safety distance."

The use of masks is compulsory for adults and children aged six and above and is also recommended in children from three to five. The only exceptions will be for those persons who present some type of respiratory distress that may be aggravated by the use of the mask and those for whom use is contraindicated for health or disability reasons. Likewise, its use will not be required during activities that are incompatible, such as food and drink intake, as well as in circumstances of force majeure or a situation of need.

La mascarilla será obligatoria en la calle cuando no se mantenga la distancia de seguridad

Public Health publishes a protocol for swimming pools against COVID-19

Lago Martiánez in Puerto de la Cruz

The document, agreed with the autonomous communities and the sector, establishes the necessary preparatory measures for the opening of pools when this is permitted according to the phases of the transition plan towards a new normality.

The Ministry of Health has just published a protocol whose objective is to establish basic security measures to ensure the health of citizens in swimming pools. This document, agreed upon with the autonomous communities and the sector that manages this type of establishment, will enter into force only and exclusively when the Transition Plan towards a new normality establishes that opening is possible.

An important aspect to take into account is the ventilation of closed spaces, such as changing rooms and bathrooms, medicine cabinets and technical rooms. Overcrowding and the absence of ventilation are factors that favor the transmission of the virus. It is thus recommended to open exterior doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area. And, in the event that ventilation is provided through mechanical means, they must be kept in a good state of maintenance, cleanliness and adequate degree of disinfection.

In addition, it is essential that an exhaustive cleaning is carried out before disinfecting all the furniture (glass, ropes, stainless steel ladders, showers, walls, lockers, etc.), and paying special attention to the surfaces most frequently contacted, such as taps, railings, or door knobs. The protocol draws attention to the fact that disinfection is ineffective if the surface has not previously been made devoid of dirt that can serve as a refuge for microorganisms.

Likewise, it is urged that, in addition to this document, a specific protocol be available that responds to the specific characteristics of each installation. In general, aspects such as disposable wipes and materials should not be forgotten, or cleaning and disinfection must be carried out properly. Regarding disinfectants, dilutions of freshly prepared 1:50 bleach or any of the disinfectants with virucidal activity that are on the market and that have been authorized and registered by the Ministry of Health may be used.

The water in the pools must have a physical and chemical purification process, renewed by feed/inflow water and by carrying out operational or routine controls. To eliminate the virus, the treatment and residual disinfection levels in the water must be correctly maintained.

The hospitality establishments that are located in the pool must follow the protocols corresponding to this sector. And, sports facilities and playgrounds may not be used until this is established in the appropriate phase of de-escalation.

Capacity and access control

It is proposed as a restrictive measure of at least doubling the area per person in outdoor spaces and tripling it in covered spaces. These measures are indicative and depending on the configuration of the pool and the public area, more restrictive measures may be established to ensure social distancing.

It will be the lifeguard or personnel designated by the manager of the facility, who are responsible for supervising the number of bathers in each of the pools and restricting access to them and in accordance with the legislation in force in each autonomous community.

For the entrance to the pool it is proposed to draw or place lines on the reception floor that mark the minimum distance between people of 2 meters to access the counter and the entrance.

In the event that the access barrier is a turnstile, it is preferable to touch it with clothing [rather than hands]. And, if the installation allows it, it is recommended to use one designated entrance door and a separate exit door to try to avoid crossings as much as possible.

Other security measures

The protocol states that establishments must have systems for hand disinfection at the entrance and incorporate a shoe cleaning and disinfection system at the entrance, as well as recommending the use of exclusive footwear within the facility.

In addition, a plastic bag for disposable material will be made available to users that must be deposited closed conveniently in a garbage can (with lid and pedal) at the exit and,
 payment by credit card or through mobile applications will be favored .

The importance of disseminating prevention messages through posters and / or public address is also emphasized. The signs will remind you of good public hygiene practices such as showering before entering the pool or washing bathing suits and towels, to eliminate all bacteria or viruses.

Measures in common areas

The pools must have a spatial distribution of at least 2 meters among users that will be marked on the ground. All personal items such as towels, sun cream containers, shoes, backpacks, etc., must remain within the established security perimeter and avoid contact with other users.

Cleaning and disinfection of bathing areas and transit areas should be carried out at least twice a day, with special emphasis on the most frequented areas such as changing rooms, lockers, showers and toilets.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Candidate for Senior Carnival Queen 2020

Candidate for Senior Carnival Queen 2020: Carmen Marina Ramos Mesa

The focus usually is on the winners, but we want to show you all the candidates for the carnival queens in Santa Cruz in 2020, who all deserve recognition for taking part.

There will be no Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2021, although the City Council is working with the Carnival groups in the design of some activities that can maintain the spirit of the festivities during the weeks in which it should have been celebrated

Carmen Marina Ramos Mesa | Gala de Elección de la Reina | S/C Tenerife 2020

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Tenerife and the plague

Plague Doctor Mask

As in countless places discovered and conquered during the period of European colonial expansion, the Canary Islands were not immune to the arrival of pathogens totally unknown to them and for which their population did not have any defense. Plague, typhus, yellow fever, influenza and other communicable diseases ravaged them during and after the Castilian conquest. Here we refer to the different plague epidemics suffered by Tenerife since the conquest and subsequent centuries.

From 1513, when a ship reached the anchorage of Santa Cruz, nobody could go ashore without a health certificate. The History of Epidemics in Tenerife

The first outbreak of plague on our island took place in 1506, just 10 years after the conquest ended, when the disease spread freely in Spain. Although the island prepared as well as it could to try to protect itself, the arrival was inevitable and it did so by sea from Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, which, in turn, had been exposed by the ships that reached them and brought with them the pathogens that plagued the Peninsula. When the ports were closed it was too late and the disease spread rapidly throughout the island. This first outbreak would last two years and would especially affect the recently founded Santa Cruz de Tenerife and also La Laguna, where the sick were isolated in the Bufadero and San Andrés valleys. From this epidemic the first Lazaretto (quarantine station) of the city would be built, in 1512, in the area known as Puerto Caballo, located next to the port. One of the hardest hit areas was Anaga, where many Guanches still lived, who suffered the disease in a terrible way because they did not have any immune mechanism to protect them. The number of victims is unknown but it must have been very high.

The word "quarantine" originates from quarantena,
the Venetian language form, meaning "forty days"

Thereafter, various outbreaks of plague of greater or less virulence, alternating with long periods of famine and other major epidemics, would alter the life of the island until 1648, the year of the last epidemic of this disease. The most important of them all was, without any doubt, the one of 1582 that began in San Cristóbal de La laguna, later spreading over a large part of the island. This epidemic is considered in several historical-medical texts as one of the most serious outbreaks in relation to the number of inhabitants anywhere on the planet. Apparently it was caused by tapestries that brought the rat flea and that came from Flanders (hence this episode is also known as "the plague of Flanders"). It began around the Corpus Day of that year when the new governor of the Canary Islands hung them from the balconies giving rise to the development of the outbreak that in a couple of weeks had killed more than 2000 people in La Laguna alone. Such was the number of deceased that places had to be made available for new burials because there was no longer any space in churches (where they were usually buried at that time). It is calculated that the final balance of deaths was  between 7500 and 9000, only in what we now call the metropolitan area, which represented, more than half of the population of Santa Cruz and La Laguna together, a true demographic cataclysm. When the epidemic began to show signs of remission in the then capital of the Canary Islands, it was exacerbated in Santa Cruz, so a sanitary cordon, guarded by the army, had to be established around it to prevent further expansion. Our current capital, a small urban nucleus at that time, lost almost two thirds of its population. After a few months, as early as 1583, the disease was receding but its balance was terrifying and it would take Tenerife decades to recover from the tragedy.

Ermita de San Roque in Garachico
Paweł 'pbm' Szubert / CC BY-SA The origin of the temple is linked to an epidemic of bubonic plague that devastated Garachico between 1601 and 1606 (PDF).
The third outbreak in chronological order was that of 1601 that began in Garachico, a port of great importance at that time and in years to come until its destruction in May 1706 by the eruption of the Trevejo Volcano that would bury much of the city and all of its sea port. Its origin was a ship from Seville with infected merchandise. Soon the epidemic spread to the whole north of Tenerife, reaching Santa Cruz after a few weeks, where it was very severe. Curiously, La Laguna was not affected at all on this occasion. Once again a sanitary cordon was installed to isolate Santa Cruz and a death penalty was established for anyone who dared cross it. The final balance of victims is not known exactly, but it reached several thousand, causing a very large loss on an island that less than twenty years before, as we have seen previously, had lost almost half of its inhabitants.
The plague of 1601The disobedience of the crew of a ship from Seville was the cause of a new plague episode in Tenerife in 1601. Two boats arrived at the port of Garachico at that time from Seville. They were forbidden to enter, but one of them disobeyed. The disease did not take long to spread through the municipalities of Los Realejos, Icod, Los Silos and the port of Santa Cruz. From Tenerife, it spread to Gran Canaria and from there to Fuerteventura and Lanzarote.
The last date of the plague in Tenerife took place in the year 1648 and it affected again, although in a much less virulent way and without causing the terrible effects of the previous outbreaks, the area of Santa Cruz - La Laguna.

«La peste» (IV) «La peste» (III)«La peste» (II)«La peste» (I)

Monday, May 11, 2020

The Kiosko Weyler to be one of the first terraces in the capital to resume activity

Plaza Weyler in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Phase 1 of the de-escalation programmed by the Government of Spain begins on May 11 and, with it come new measures to try to recover the economy in the midst of this global crisis, such as allowing terraces to be opened to the public, restricted to 50% occupancy. In Santa Cruz some terraces may resume their activity this day and one of them is set to be the Kiosko Weyler - located in the central square of the capital - which will return to service taking the appropriate measures in order to guarantee the safety of its customers.

- 50% occupancy

- Limitation of the time of stay at the table (30 minutes)
- Properly equipped work equipment (Mask, protective screen and gloves)
- Disinfection of tables and chairs after each service
- Access controlled to guarantee the rotation of the tables
- Restrooms temporarily closed (The public toilet in the plaza will remain open)
- Digital menu via mobile app
- Hours from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
- The floor will be disinfected 4 times a day
- Use of disposable materials

El Kubo, as it is popularly known because of its particular cubic structure, a design by architect Eustaquio Martínez's, began its journey in 2016, becoming a benchmark for many tourists and residents of the capital who want to have a drink or tapas at any time of the day in the heart of Santa Cruz. On its menu we can find tapas, gourmet sandwiches and a wide variety of beers and cocktails, among other specialties.

El Kiosko Weyler será una de las primeras terrazas de la capital en retomar la actividad

If last Friday the majority of the 200 hospitality businesses in the center of Santa Cruz, under the umbrella of the Association of Entrepreneurs and Commerce of the Avenida Marítima (Aecam) and Zona Centro, communicated their intention not to open their businesses Monday with a capacity of only 30% on its terraces, the increase in this percentage to 50%, has led many to rethink their refusal to open. This was confirmed to DIARIO DE AVISOS by the president of Aecam, Eduardo Morales. “Some are going to open and others are not. It is true that the increase in capacity and the possibility of gradually recovering ERTE workers has led many to consider a change of posture. ”

Friday, May 08, 2020

Rules for using private and public transport and when masks are obligatory, from May 11

Car on the road to Mount Teide, Tenerife

On Monday, Phase I of the coronavirus de-escalation comes into force, which allows less restrictive use of the car (and other modes of transport). Below we summarize the conditions under which we will be permitted to travel from next week

The general provisions drawn up by the Ministry of Transport, dictate, among others, instructions on the use of masks on different means of transport and establish requirements to guarantee safe mobility in accordance with the plan for the transition to a new normal.

Use of masks on means of transport

1. The use of masks that cover the nose and mouth will be mandatory for all users of bus, rail, air and sea transportation. In the case of passengers on ships and boats, the use of masks will not be necessary when they are in their cabins.

Masks will also be mandatory for users of public passenger transport in vehicles of up to nine seats, including the driver.

2. Transport service workers who have direct contact with travelers must be provided with masks and have access to hydro-alcoholic solutions to practice frequent hand hygiene.

Vehicle occupation

1. In private transport of people in vehicles of up to nine seats, including the driver, two people can be carried for each row of seats, provided they use masks and respect the maximum possible distance between the occupants. [If the people already live in the same household, the use of a mask is not necessary.]

[Interesting question came up in the comments to the article was whether it's allowed to transport two people on a motorbike and no clarification could be found.]

UPDATE: - On motorcycles, mopeds and similar vehicles, which are provided with two approved seats (driver and passenger), two people can now travel as long as they meet one of these three requirements: either wear an integral helmet with a visor, or wear a mask, or that they reside at the same address. The use of gloves will be mandatory for the riders. For these purposes, motorcycle protection gloves will be accepted.

2. In public passenger transport in vehicles with up to nine seats, including the driver, two people may travel for each additional row of seats other than that of the driver, and in any case the maximum possible distance between its occupants must be guaranteed. [We read that as, for example, just 2 passengers can travel and only in the back seat of a taxi.]

3. In vehicles in which, due to their technical characteristics, only one row of seats is available, as in the case of cabins of heavy vehicles, vans, or others, a maximum of two people may travel, provided that their occupants use masks that cover the airways and keep as much distance as possible. Otherwise, only the driver may travel.

4. In regular, discretionary and private complimentary public transport by bus, as well as rail transport, in which all occupants must be seated, companies shall take the necessary measures to ensure the maximum possible separation between passengers, in such a way that no more than half of the available seats may be occupied.

In buses the row behind the seat occupied by the driver must always be kept empty.

5. In collective public passenger transport in urban areas, where there are platforms enabled for the transport of foot passengers, efforts shall be made to ensure that people maintain as much distance from each other as possible.

Where can we go and for what purpose?

The Ministry of Health has published an explanatory table that lists the activities that can be carried out in each of the four de-escalation phases.

From May 11 (Phase I), these are the assumptions of circumstances in which the car can be used as a means of travel, apart from the already known essential services:

1. Home care and continuous monitoring of older people who do not live in care homes.

2. Displacement to commercial premises and establishments that are not a commercial center. The capacity will be limited to 30%. A minimum distance of 2 meters between clients will be guaranteed. On the terraces the capacity will be limited to 50% of the tables.

3. Attention to activities in the agricultural, food and fishing sector.

4. Attendance at libraries, events and cultural shows of less than 30 people in closed places (with 1/3 of capacity).

• Outdoor cultural events and shows of less than 200 people.

• Museums (visits only, not cultural activities) with 1/3 capacity and control of crowds in rooms.

• Active and nature tourism for limited groups of people.

• Audiovisual production and filming of movies and series.

Normas de uso del coche a partir del 11 de mayo

Thursday, May 07, 2020

Candidate for Carnival Queen in 2020

Aroa Cuesta Vega

The focus usually is on the winners, but we want to show you all the candidates for the carnival queens in Santa Cruz in 2020, who all deserve recognition for taking part. This is Aroa Cuesta Vega in a costume entitled, Tajinaste, designed by José Yeray Díaz Fernández, representing ID Ortodoncia y Estética Bucodental and Taller Las Zocas.

There will be no Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2021, although the City Council is working with the Carnival groups in the design of some activities that can maintain the spirit of the festivities during the weeks in which it should have been celebrated

Aroa Cuesta Vega | Gala Reina del Carnaval | S/C Tenerife 2020

Arona and Granadilla allow aquatic sports

Windsurfers at El Médano in the before times

The town halls of Arona and Granadilla have removed their prohibitions to allow the practice of amateur aquatic sports. Basically, this means you can go for a swim, dive or surf, etc., as exercise, but you cannot lie on the beach sunbathing

After several days of intense controversy over the refusal of municipalities in the South of Tenerife such as those of Arona and Granadilla to allow the practice of amateur water sports, despite the fact that state regulations authorized them since Saturday, both have finally had their arms twisted. Granadilla was actually allowing them, while Arona, has modified its interpretation. Although the State had allowed non-professional water sports, they had thought they could not be practiced because the beaches are closed.

Although in most of the Spanish territory, including the municipalities of Güímar, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the practice of non-professional water sports was allowed since the aforementioned order came into force, that is, since Saturday, the majority of southern municipalities had vetoed their practice.

In Arona, amateur water sports can now be practiced from Thursday, May 7, only on the beaches of Los Cristianos and Las Galletas. In Granadilla, on the other hand, different beaches have been assigned for each sport. Adeje has not issued a statement, but it already authorizes non-professional water sports, as stated on its Facebook page.

In Arona, the following beach areas can be used:

  • Los Cristianos beach and Sailing School area. Areas suitable for water sports, such as swimming, and sports such as sailing, windsurfing, paddle SUP, etc., for amateurs, federated and professionals. Time slots: from dawn to 10 am and from 8 pm to dusk for those over 14 years of age, and from 10 am to 12 noon and from 7 pm to 8 pm for those over 70 years of age.
  • Playa Honda. Area for surfing, as well as spearfishing in the areas and days enabled for it, only for federated and professional, appropriately accredited by the Higher Sports Council or federations. Professionals must justify training day and time.
  • Las Galletas beach. Water sports activity, such as swimming, and water sports, such as sailing, windsurfing or paddle surfing, for amateurs, federated and professionals.
  • Las Galletas (breakwater behind the pier). Surf activity for amateurs, federated and professionals. Time bands and age conditions are repeated.

Provided the following rules are followed: 

  • Comply with the schedules and conditions established above.
  • You can only access the beach through the designated areas.
  • You can only do the sports activity once a day, except professionals and federated athletes
  • The federated athletes and professionals will have to be duly accredited in the exclusive areas for them.
  • Public toilets and showers may not be used.
  • Avoid physical interrelation on the beach and its surroundings, such as shaking hands, stopping to talk, kissing or hugging, and especially crowds.
  • Maintain a minimum interpersonal distance of two meters.
  • For sports activities, it is recommended to maintain a distance of at least four meters in moderate winds and greater than this in strong winds.
  • The prevention and hygiene measures against Covid-19 indicated by the health authorities must be complied with.

Meanwhile in Granadilla, specific activities are permitted in specific areas: 

  • Swimming: Leocadio Machado and La Tejita Beaches:
  • Paddel surf, windsurf and kitesurf: El Médano, El Cabezo and La Jaquita beaches.
  • Surf and bodyboards: on any beach not assigned to the exclusive use for swimming.
  • Fishing: Agua Dulce and El Confital
  • Spearfishing, photo hunting and underwater photography: in the areas authorized by the consistory and the Canary Islands Government.

Again, currently following the rules on time slots for your age group, staying within your municipality and, always providing that the beach is no more than 1 km from your home. Some of these restrictions may be relaxed as the phases of deconfinement progress. 

International tourists drop 65.7% in the Canary Islands in March and spending drops 64.9%, to 611 million euros

Playa La Vistas in other times with tourists

The arrival of international tourists plummeted in the Canary Islands in March due to the 'zero tourism' caused by the coronavirus and fell 65.7% compared to March 2019, reaching just under 460,000, according to data released this Wednesday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE).

This figure represents 22.8% of international tourists who came to Spain in March, while in the first quarter the Canary Islands received a total of 2.7 million visitors, 25.7% less than in the same period last year.

The United Kingdom remained, in March, as the top source of visitors to the archipelago with 31.7% followed by Germany (22.8%).

Regarding the expenditure of foreign tourists, it also collapsed 64.9% to 611 million, with an average expenditure of 1,329 euros - 2.2% more -, at a rate of 148 euros a day (+3, 6%), with an average trip duration of nine days (-1.4%).

In the first three months of the year, the Canary Islands led the accumulated tourist expenditure with a total of 3,452 million, almost 30% of the national total but 25.8% less than in the same period of the previous year.


Spain received only two million international tourists in March, when the state of alarm due to the health crisis was underway, a figure that is 64.3% less compared to the same month of 2019.

This lower influx of tourists was reflected in spending: foreign tourists who visited Spain in March spent 2,215 million euros, 63.3% less than in the same month of 2019, according to the tourist spending survey also published this Tuesday by the statistical agency.

The data from both surveys are affected by the health crisis and the state of alarm decreed in Spain in mid-March. Thus, the INE explains that only visitor arrivals to Spain by road and rail have been counted until March 16 and by ports and airports until March 21.

Likewise, it specifies that the moment in which the information collection of the visitors is carried out (trip made, stay, reason, expense made) is the moment in which they leave the country by any of the aforementioned routes, therefore that the only interviews that have been carried out during the month of March have been prior to the entry into force of the state of alarm. Thus, complete information is available on the trips made by all visitors who left Spain before March 14.

Secondly, the INE explains, although the methodological process of the survey has allowed results to be obtained, the fact that field work could only be extended until March 14 has determined that it had had to deal with a certain lack of sample in some strata, which has been supplemented by the usual mechanisms included in the methodology of this statistical operation.

Thus, the INE concludes that the data provided by the Frontur and Egatur statistics are of "sufficient quality" to be disseminated.

Each tourist who visited Spain in the third month of 2020 spent an average of 1,097 euros, 2.7% more than in the same month last year, and stayed in the country for an average of 7.2 days, slightly above the 2019 registration.


The main source markets for tourists arriving in Spain in March were the United Kingdom, Germany and France. Specifically, the United Kingdom, with 397,117 tourists, 64.2% less than in March 2019, remained as the main issuer of visitors, followed by France, with 288,903 tourists (-57.3%) and Germany, with 277,862 tourists , 65.7% less.

On the expenditure side, during this month the United Kingdom was the country with the highest accumulated visitors, 17.1% of the total, followed by Germany (13.3%) and the Nordic countries as a whole (10%).

The Canary Islands was the first main tourist destination in March, with 459,947 visitors (22.8% of the total), followed by Catalonia, with 406,683 (20.1%) and Andalusia, with 302,928 (15%), the three communities registering falls greater than 64% due to the impact of the coronavirus.

The Canary archipelago was also ranked as the destination with the highest tourist spending in March, with an average of 1,329 euros, accumulating 27.6% of the total, also followed by Catalonia and Andalusia.


In the first three months of 2020, the number of tourists who have visited Spain has decreased by 25.6%, reaching 10.6 million, while the total expenditure of international tourists has decreased by 23.8% compared to the same period of the previous year, reaching 11,707 million euros.

The main emitting countries so far this year have been the United Kingdom (with just over two million tourists and a decrease of 27.8% compared to the first three months of 2019), France (with more than 1.3 million and a decrease of 20.1%) and Germany (with 1.3 million tourists, 29.9% less).

The communities that have received the most tourists are the Canary Islands (with more than 2.7 million and a decrease of 25.7% compared to the same period in 2019), Catalonia (with 2.2 million and a drop of 30, 4%) and Andalusia (with 1.5 million, 25.0% less).


Hotel accommodations were chosen by 1.1 million tourists, 67.6% less in March, while rental housing fell 56.5% to 263,929 travelers. Hotels concentrated 60.8% of total spending in March, with an annual decrease of 63.6%.

Non-market accommodation (home ownership, home of family and friends and others) experienced a drop of 58.4%, while spending fell 62.4%.

Leisure, recreation and holidays were the main reason for the trip to Spain for almost 1.7 million tourists in March, representing an annual decrease of 64.4%. 136,668 (71.9% less) arrived for business or professional reasons and 211,688 visitors (55.6% less) for other reasons.

Los turistas internacionales bajan un 65,7% en Canarias en marzo y el gasto se hunde un 64,9%, hasta 611 millones

Plan for the Transition to a New Normality

Corona Exit Strategy by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

PM, Pedro Sánchez, Wednesday, secured authorization from Congress to extend the state of alarm, first for another 15 days [until 23 May] and, later, for "several more weeks", up to six, for the duration of the de-escalation process, arguing that this is the only means to contain the pandemic and that to end it now would amount to "grave irresponsibility, an absolute and unforgivable error."

In summary, the phases of de-escalation in Spain are the following:

Phase 0 or preparation of de-escalation

This is the situation as of 28 April, characterized by the establishment of common relief measures for the entire country once the contagion curve has been flattened, allowing mobility outside the home, mainly in the private sphere, and measures with an associated risk of contagion of very low or null, provided that the safety instructions are complied with, based on the responsibility and self-protection of the citizens (individual sports activity without contact and walks, care of family gardens, some economic activities with capacity control, etc.). For this, measures are planned such as May 2 to allow outings and individual exercises for adults and small gaps in economic activity will be opened. For example, the opening of premises and establishments by appointment for individual customer service such as the opening of restaurants with food service to be able to take home, without consumption on the premises. Another example would be the opening of individual training, of professional and federated athletes and the basic training of professional leagues.

Throughout this phase, from Phase 0, from the preparation phase to that de-escalation, the preparation of all public premises with signage and protection measures will be intensified to prepare for the start of the next phase, which is the Phase I.

During this phase, measures may be adopted that exclusively affect certain territories. In particular, islands without external mobility and with practically zero contagion rates; the island of Formentera in the Balearic Islands and the islands La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa in the Canary Islands will anticipate their de-escalation, to Phase 1, on May 4.

Phase I or initial

Depending on the fulfillment of the indicators in the different territories, the partial opening of activities will be allowed, in particular, economic activities such as the opening of small businesses; in the restaurant trade, the opening of terraces with occupancy limitations of 30% [has since been increased to 50%]; in hospitality, the opening of hotels and tourist accommodation excluding common areas and with certain restrictions; activities in the agricultural field, professional sports activities with the necessary hygiene measures and places of worship may open, limiting their capacity to one third.

Phase II or intermediate

In this phase the partial opening of activities that remain restricted in phase I is proposed. With capacity limitations, in restaurants, the interior space of the premises will be opened with an occupation of a third of the capacity and guarantees of separation and only for table service. The school year will begin in September, however, in this Phase II, some exceptions are established to reopen educational centers with three purposes: reinforcement activities, ensuring that children under the age of six can attend the centers in the event that both parents have to work and for the EBAU (University entrance exams). Likewise, the resumption of hunting and sport fishing is planned, as well as the reopening of cinemas, theaters, auditoriums and similar spaces with preassigned seats; visits to monuments and other cultural facilities such as exhibition halls, conference rooms, all with a third of their usual capacity. Cultural acts and shows of less than 50 people may be held in closed places with 1/3 of capacity; and if it is outdoors it will be possible when these gather less than 400 people seated. Places of worship must limit their capacity to 50% in this second phase.

Phase III or advanced

In this phase, general mobility is made more flexible, although the recommendation to use a mask outside the home and on public transport will be maintained. In the commercial sphere, the capacity will be limited to 50% and a minimum distance of 2 meters will be set. In restaurants, the restrictions on capacity and occupation will be somewhat softened, although strict separation conditions will be maintained between the public.

New normal

Social and economic restrictions will end, but epidemiological surveillance, the strengthened capacity of the health system and the self-protection of citizens are maintained.

The specific dates and the actual evolution will depend on the behavior and control of the pandemic, as well as on the ability to overcome the different phases, under the conditions established in the plan. The time between each of the phases will have a minimum duration of two weeks, which is the average period of incubation of the virus.

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

The South refuses to open its terraces

Terrace of El Cine in Los Cristianos in other times

For entrepreneurs, the government's proposal to allow only 50% of the restaurant business space is "a trap and a collective suicide"

"The Government's proposal to reopen restaurant business with these restrictions, now 50% capacity on the terraces, is a trap and a collective suicide," says Carlos Magdalena, owner of Grupo El Cine and member of the association of businessmen and merchants of Los Cristianos. Many other businesses thought the same, as is the case of El Escondite, also in Los Cristianos. "In the restaurant business in general and in the case of Grupo El Cine in particular with three different types of restaurant business, we will not be able to adapt to the de-escalation criteria proposed by the Government," says Magdalena.

"In the case of El Cine Restaurant and El Teatro del Puerto - the Los Cristianos port cafeteria - restaurant businesses where we have terraces, it will not be viable to open with 50% of our table capacity, therefore we will not open under these conditions, at least during this month," says the businessman. He insists that "this proposal is a real trap, since the Government passes the buck and the resolution of the problem and health crisis to self-employed, small and medium-sized entrepreneurs. This is a State problem and it is the State that has than fix it," he says.

“There is not yet a legal formula that we know of that allows us to de-escalate ERTE (furloughed) personnel gradually. If we opened on Monday, we could not restart of all our staff at the same time and there is still no legal tool to help us incorporate staff as we need tthem, that is, remove three from ERTE and then, for example, three others later. That is the clarity that we must demand from the Government, ”says Carlos Magdalena.

He says, "if airplanes, for example, are required to carry only a third of their capacity, the cost of the empty seats will surely be reflected in the cost of the tickets they do sell, but we cannot pass on this extra cost to our clients or increase the prices of our menus, with the economic crisis in which affects people, both Canary Islanders and visitors alike ”.

“It would be suicidal to encourage the entire restaurant sector to look for solutions to open up. On the contrary, I do not advise any restaurateur to commit suicide,” he says.

Juan Luis Hernández, owner of the HH bar-brewery in Costa Adeje, said "the government's opening plan will lead us to absolute closure, which is not feasible," after learning the conditions for reopening the restaurant sector next Monday. The change from 30% to 50% of capacity on terraces, he feels "is more reasonable", although, with a generally English clientele, he points out that "until tourism returns, profitability will be almost nil".

Already anticipating other security measures once the interior of the premises and the bar could be reopened, the owner of the HH, explained that "even if we put screens, if a couple hold hands or kiss what do we do? The hygiene and safety plan imposed on us is not at all clear. I have contacted Occupational Risks and the disinfection company to assess the measures to be taken, but there is no certainty for the short or medium term. All of this is an additional expense and there are many businesses that cannot bear it. From our group, almost 50% of the associates will not open ”.

“We are all in the same boat and no self-employed person wants to fire anyone, especially in these circumstances, but very difficult times are coming and Europe is not predicting anything good, not even in Germany, which has already recommended that they not travel to Spain. We have to prepare for serious changes in social, political and economic life.

Javier Velázquez, owner of the El Escondite restaurant, which has a large terrace on the Jorge Ledesma promenade, right next to the site where the Julián José building collapsed four years ago, explained that “at 50% of the terrace capacity, at least it will allow me to remove one worker from the ERTE (furlough), and although in reality it is not very profitable, there will be a reason to start, we cannot be closed for so long, ” he said. 

For now, waiting to open on Monday, with at least three of the seven tables that he has on the terrace, he already has the organization chart for the known de-escalation phases. "From June 4, general cleaning for two days, then fumigation for insects (two days closed) and finally cleaning again and fumigation with ozone or whatever they advise me", adding to all this process “masks, gels, for after using the bathroom and the tables; QR code on each table for the client to see the menu, which is disinfected after each use; distribution of the tables inside and the terrace with dividers and all that without using the bar”, which in summary he qualifies as “impossible to live on my business at 50% in that way ”.


If the roadmap of the de-escalation is successful, the tourism sector could save part of its season, since the hospitality industry would not have to wait for the total reopening of the country to start receiving customers. From next Monday the first terraces will reopen, with 50% of their capacity (increased from 30%), with an area reserved for the elderly. Starting on May 26, restaurants (interiors) will be accessible with a limitation of a third of their capacity and from June 8, in phase 4, attendance could be allowed to exceed 50%. Discotheques and bars will then able to open if they guarantee a third of their capacity, at most. And hotels will be able to open common areas, limited to half their capacity. But all that, is still pending the return of tourists, which is another problem entirely.