Friday, June 19, 2020

The Canary Islands enter the 'new normality' on Sunday with controls on travelers, capacity regulation and without fiestas

This is what the new normal will look like

Masks are now mandatory outside the home, in open spaces and even where social distance is maintained

The President of the Government of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, announced Friday that the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands will enter the 'new normal' on Sunday 21 June 2020, with sanitary controls, temperature measurement for travelers, sworn declarations, capacity limitations in some activities and no popular festivals.

At a press conference, he commented that the decree containing the measures will be published on Saturday in the Official Bulletin of the Canary Islands (BOC) and insisted that the obligation of "caution and prevention" is upon each citizen in order to contain the contagiousness of Covid- 19 and that a distance of 1.5 meters must be set, with mandatory use of masks if this is not possible.

Regarding the control of travelers who come from the Peninsula, Europe or another continent, he indicated that "the best formula is to do tests at origin", but as it has been ruled out, an agreement with Foreign Health is being finalized that would open the door to perform tests at the destination when there is sanitary justification, but never in a massive or indiscriminate way.

"We have powers in the Statute, but they are shared decisions and any new outbreak could take us backwards," he said, noting that several regional presidents are also asking for tests at source and will "continue to fight" because "it is what the majority is feeling."

The Government decree, which has been agreed between all the ministries and with contributions from other administrations and social and economic agents, establishes a limitation on activities to 1,000 people if they are outdoors or 300 if they are carried out in closed spaces, although Public Health may authorize some celebrations in exceptional circumstances.

In restaurants and tourist accommodation, there are no capacity limitations, but the distance of 1.5 meters is to be maintained, menus are prohibited - to be replaced by QR codes or other digital means - and clients must be seated by the staff, as well as affecting hygiene, disinfection and handwashing.

As for tourist accommodation, each one must set the rules for the use of common areas and it is recommended to reduce the use of carpets and textile materials and protect blankets and pillows, while active tourism companies will return to operating without limitation of participants.


Regarding trade, any location may open at 75% capacity except those considered essential, which will not have limitations, such as supermarkets, food stores, hairdressers or tobacconists.

Churches and sporting events are also set at 75% capacity, which will be able to gather 1,000 people if the activity is outdoors or 300 if it is indoors.

Parties and popular festivals are generally prohibited, although the door is left open for reconsideration if epidemiological developments allow it, and weddings are set at 250 people per banquet if it is outdoors or 150 if it is indoors.

In cinemas and theaters the capacity limitation disappears, although the seats will be preassigned, the same as in museums that will also have no limit.

On the beaches, the Government advocates maintaining the capacity limitation, although it is the responsibility of the municipalities, which must guarantee that a safe distance and hygiene of sunbeds, for example, are met.


The playgrounds are reopened although it is also the responsibility of the municipalities to guarantee hygiene and disinfection while the camps are open with a maximum of 200 participants, including monitors.

For the nightlife subsector, open-air terraces are allowed with a maximum of 75% occupancy, table consumption and without a dance floor.

Regarding the next school year, Torres has indicated that the Ministry of Education will design a protocol for the next year, supervised by the health authorities, the same as the two public universities will do.

The Canarian president points out that this Sunday "a stage is ending" that has lasted 14 weeks since the state of alarm began, with "very difficult moments" and making "complicated and painful decisions" for a population that felt "hopelessness and fear ", but after flattening the curve of the pandemic, the situation improved and as of Sunday" the Canary Islands will be almost as it was on March 14."

Canarias entra el domingo en 'nueva normalidad' con controles a viajeros, sin fiestas y regulación de aforos
The new regulations in full [in Spanish]