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COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Fiestas and large gatherings are still prohibited with social distancing and other restrictions still in force. Events listed here, therefore, are subject to cancellation or change and we will update, when and if any new information is made available.

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Monday, January 18, 2021

Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2018

Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2018, Carmen Laura Lourido Pérez

With the announcement that the one carnival gala in 2021 will choose Guardians of the Sceptre until Carnival 2022, from among carnival queens of the last 20 years of the Santa Cruz Carnival, we took that as a perfect excuse to take another look at them.

Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2018 was Carmen Laura Lourido Pérez, with a costume entitled "Renacida" (Reborn), designed by Jorge González Santana and representing FuenteAlta (bottled water).

Sunday, January 17, 2021

COVID: Tenerife regains the freedom to enter and leave the island as restrictions ease

Sailing Ship in Tenerife. Photo: Piotr Konieczny, CC BY-SA 3.0

The Government of the Canary Islands reduces the island's level of risk on Monday, which delays the start of curfew until 11:00 p.m., will resume visits to hospitals and care homes and will allow the interior of restaurants to be reopened

Tenerife regains the freedom to enter and leave the island from Monday. After a month at the highest alert level, red, the Government of the Canary Islands has decided to lower the alert level of the island given the "favorable" evolution of its indicators in the last two weeks. 

Tenerife residents will not only be able to travel again without justification, but they will also be able to enjoy one more hour of freedom - the curfew will begin at 23:00 hours - they will be able to sit in the interior areas of the restaurants, visit their relatives - with limitations - in hospitals and care homes and exercise again in gyms and sports centres on the island.

The new measures (Level 2) come into force in Tenerife from 00:00 on Sunday night and are slightly less restrictive than those of level 3, since social encounters will still be limited to four people. However, the caveat at this level of risk is that the groups may once again be made up of non-cohabitants both in private and public spaces, and not only on terraces.

At this new level, in addition to being able to reopen the interior of bars and restaurants – with a maximum of four diners per table – gyms, casinos and gambling establishments that were completely closed will also be able to reopen. Sports activities, however, the restriction of groups of a maximum four people, including the monitor, will remain when it is not possible to maintain safety distances of two meters, both indoors and outdoors.

Visits to hospitals and care homes will be re-enabled after a full month of isolation from patients and users. However, as the risk remains at a medium level, they should be made with caution and security. For this reason, visits will be limited and supervised at all times by the centre staff. In addition, the use of FFP2-type masks and face shields is recommended by personnel who have direct care with patients, as well as reinforcing ventilation.

Finally, the capacity of land public transport – that is, buses and trams – will remain limited as it is at the moment, allowing a maximum of 50% of its capacity.


[Whilst this means that those resident in Tenerife will be able to enter and leave again, Spain is still restricting the arrival of tourists from outside the country and the UK still isn't letting people out for leisure, so this should NOT be taken as a reason to book a holiday.]

Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2017

Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2017, Judit López García

With the announcement that the one carnival gala in 2021 will choose Guardians of the Sceptre until Carnival 2022, from among carnival queens of the last 20 years of the Santa Cruz Carnival, we took that as a perfect excuse to take another look at them.

Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2017 was Judit López García, in a costume entitled "Madame Soleil" (Madam Sun), designed by Jorge González Santana and sponsored by bottled water company, Fuentealta.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Carnaval Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2016

Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2016, Cecilia Navarro Arteaga

With the announcement that the one carnival gala in 2021 will choose Guardians of the Sceptre until Carnival 2022, from among carnival queens of the last 20 years of the Santa Cruz Carnival, we took that as a perfect excuse to take another look at them.

Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2016 was Cecilia Navarro Arteaga in a costume entitled, "Arena blanca del desierto" (White Desert Sand), designed by Daniel Pages and representing McDonald´s and La Opinión de Tenerife.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Almond Blossom Routes 2021

Great news is that the Rutas de Almendros en Flor (Almond Blossom Walks) are planned to take place between 23 January and 14 February, part of the cultural program of the Santiago del Teide Council, who say that they have the official poster and the dates for the celebration of a new edition of the Almond Blossom 2021 in Santiago del Teide and that soon they will upload in detail all the scheduled programming, as long as the health and safety guidelines allow us to carry them out

GENERAL CONDITIONS:
- It is essential to have a reservation to participate. There are a limited number of places for each route.
- The price of each route is € 5 / person
- For all routes you generally need sports clothing and shoes (preferably mountain boots), a coat, a raincoat, a picnic and water. The use of hiking poles is recommended due to the uneven terrain.
- Bad weather will not be an impediment to carrying out the activity, although the organization reserves the right to suspend it or modify its route if it deems it appropriate, especially if it considers that the physical integrity of the participants may be harmed.
- The image rights derived from the routes will be exclusive to the organization of the activity that reserves their use, so any use of them by third parties must be approved by the organization.
- You can get more information by calling 922 86 31 27 extension 234. Department of Culture of the Santiago del Teide Council.

This year, of course, you'll need a mask and to socially distance from other participants.


Inauguration of Carnival in Santa Cruz

From the Inauguration Gala 2020

The Inauguration of Carnival 2021 should have taken place today, Friday 15 January 2021, but of course, because of the COVID pandemic, carnival will not be taking place. Instead, we bring you coverage of the inauguration gala from last year. This is the first in a series of posts that aim to keep the spirit of carnival alive. Or keep the flame burning, so the torch can be passed to the next carnival, whenever we can get back to gathering normally.

Tenerife Rally Calendar for 2021

Adeje Rally in 2020 was posponed until Spring 2021

We don't have a full calendar yet, but there are potentially some motor sports to look forward to this year. So far, the Rallye Villa de Adeje (Adeje Rally) is planned to take place on 15 May 2021. This is one of three events at national level that have been announced by the Federación Interinsular de Automovilismo de Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Tenerife Motor Sports Federation), along with the Subida Guía de Isora (Guía de Isora Hillclimb) planned for 5 Jun 2021 and the Rallye Isla Tenerife (Isle of Tenerife Rally) on 30 October 2021. Details of any other events in the 2021 season will be added as and when


RALLIES
  • 10 April - RallySprint Atogo
  • 24 April - Orvecame Norte
  • 15 May - Villa de Adeje
  • 19 June - Granadilla
  • 31 July - City of La Laguna
  • 30 October - Isle of Tenerife
  • 4 December - RallySprint Tenerife Sur
HILL CLIMBS
  • 6 March - Palo Blanco
  • 27 March - Los Loros
  • 5 June - Guía de Isora
  • 3 July - Güímar (to be confirmed)
  • 11 September - San Miguel
  • 2 October - Tamaimo
  • 16 October - Arona
  • 6 November - Icod-La Guancha

A reminder that this is very much a draft calendar that indicates the will and intention for the various clubs to organise the foregoing events and is very much dependent upon the evolution of the pandemic and any restrictions applicable at the relevant times.

Of course, it will also depend on the continued evolution of the pandemic whether any of these events will be able to be celebrated with a public presence.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

COVID-19 takes a huge toll on tourism in Tenerife: Less than 36% of beds and only 83 hotels in operation + very low occupation

Tenerife, Playa de las Américas Aerial View Wouter Hagens, CC BY-SA 4.0

Hoteliers' association Ashotel has reported this Thursday that only 35.9% of tourist beds are operational on the island, a total of 32,579, and with very low occupations, in many cases below 20%, so many establishments are not sure of staying open in the coming weeks.

By zones, the metropolitan area (Santa Cruz, La Laguna) is the most active, with 67.9% of open beds (2,011), followed by the south, with 35.7% (26,768) and the north, where 30.1% is reached (3,800), so that the island has almost 58,000 beds off the market. In addition, there are only 83 open tourist complexes on the island, 40.2% of the total.

The improvement in the metropolitan area is due to the fact that its business model is not vacation tourism, the one most affected by the great restrictions on the travel market of the main issuing markets, with a high incidence of the COVID pandemic. On the contrary, it mainly provides services to business professionals, companies, port activities and sports delegations, among others, who maintain, although notably reduced, their activity.

Both in the north and the south of Tenerife, the accommodation industry is highly dependent on European tourism, mainly British and German, whose countries currently apply significant restrictions on mobility. Along with these, other winter season markets such as Scandinavia have also applied restrictions on the mobility of their nationals to the Canary Islands due to accumulated incidence data. In addition, the instability of the market caused by this health crisis has led 34 establishments to close again in recent months in Tenerife, after reopening when the first state of alarm waned at the end of June.

During the summer, some establishments were encouraged to open their facilities and began to receive customers, however, the market situation did not improve as expected due to the poor evolution of the pandemic and as of September they began to close again.

With the start of the high tourist season in the islands, at the beginning of November, many companies decided to open, after more than six months closed.

A HOTEL ONLY OPENED ONE WEEK

The decree issued by the Government of the Canary Islands at the end of October that regulated the arrival of tourists with negative diagnostic tests for COVID-19 opened a more hopeful scenario. However, the increased restrictions in Germany and the United Kingdom that occurred almost daily as early as December forced the closure of some hotels within just a month. There was even a case of a hotel establishment in the south of Tenerife that was only open for a week. Tourist establishments that have opted to stay open, even with very low occupancies, are currently making enormous efforts to stay open.

THE WINTER SEASON, LOST

"The winter season, usually the strongest in the Canary Islands, has practically been given up for lost, despite the fact that we had put a lot of hope in it." "Now we are mainly looking at the next winter, although from summer we can start the recovery process", explains the president of Ashotel, Jorge Marichal, who trusts that the vaccination process throughout Europe will be completed as soon as possible and that this herd immunity can be counted on to provide security to residents and tourists.

For those who consider that a recovery is possible before Easter or around those dates, it must be borne in mind that the cold is an ally for the spread of the virus and that the opening of a hotel - with what this implies - cannot be done given the fluctuations of the evolution of contagion. Thus, he emphasizes that "it is necessary to start the recovery as soon as possible but to be stable and growing, not in the form of a roller coaster".

Appealing to San Antonio Abad in 2021

Spectators would gather in front of the former Bernadine convent of San Sebastián

Christmas, New Year and Los Reyes have come and gone. At the end of January, Spring will begin to arrive with almond blossoms, then the celebration of Candlemas ... and in-between, in better times, there have been the delightful fiestas of San Antonio Abad (Anthony the Abbot) to enjoy, when animals of all shapes and sizes are brought to be blessed. Originally it was just livestock, but has grown to include every variety of domestic animal too from dogs and snakes and lizardy things and turkeys on leads and even tiny turtles in baskets ...

In Arona, this festival is often the start of the year's calendar of Romerías and they are celebrated in some way or another in Chio, GüímarLos Silos (3rd Sunday), Buenavista del Norte (4th Sunday), La Matanza de Acentejo, Tigaiga and in La Florida (La Orotava), where a massive cook-out feeds around 5,000 with puchero. Not this year, of course, because of COVID, so we offer you these links to more articles and photos of this lovely tradition.

Anthony is also appealed to against infectious diseases. Worth a try?


Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Carnaval Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2015

Carnaval Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2015, Adtemexi Cruz Hernández

With the announcement that the one carnival gala in 2021 will choose Guardians of the Sceptre until Carnival 2022, from among carnival queens of the last 20 years of the Santa Cruz Carnival, we took that as a perfect excuse to take another look at them.

Carnaval Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2015 was Adtemexi Cruz Hernández, with a costume entitled "Aurea" (Golden), designed by Jorge González Santana and representing Fuente Alta bottled water brand and the association 'Tu Santa Cruz'.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2014

Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2014, Amanda Perdomo San Juan

With the announcement that the one carnival gala in 2021 will choose Guardians of the Sceptre until Carnival 2022, from among carnival queens of the last 20 years of the Santa Cruz Carnival, we took that as a perfect excuse to take another look at them.

Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2014 was Amanda Perdomo San Juan, in a costume entitled “Poderosa Amazona” (Powerful Amazon), designed by Daniel Pages and representing McDonald´s and La Opinión de Tenerife.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2013

Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2013, Soraya Rodríguez Castro

With the announcement that the one carnival gala in 2021 will choose Guardians of the Sceptre until Carnival 2022, from among carnival queens of the last 20 years of the Santa Cruz Carnival, we took that as a perfect excuse to take another look at them.

Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2013, was Soraya Rodríguez Castro in a costume entitled, "Volare" (Fly), designed by Saliarca Creativos and representing Centro Comercial Carrefour – Meridiano.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

COVID: New restrictions come into force tonight in the Canary Islands

Female wearing a mask

The new restrictions come into force at 00:00 on the 11th (Monday) and will remain until January 24 (Sunday included), although they will be reviewed in the Governing Council next week. The island of Tenerife, by staying at level 3, continues with the current restrictions. 

Alert level 3 (Tenerife)


The restriction on the entry and exit of people to Tenerife is maintained at alert level 3, except for justified causes that occur for any of the reasons contemplated in article 6 of Royal Decree 926/2020, of October 25.

Limitation of the freedom of movement of people at night. At alert level 3, the freedom of movement of people is limited between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. every day. These limitations do not affect the performance of the essential activities included in article 5 of Royal Decree 926/2020, of October 25, such as the acquisition of medicines and health products in pharmacies; assistance to health centers, services and establishments: assistance to veterinary care centers for urgent reasons and compliance with labor, professional, business, institutional or legal obligations; assistance and care of domestic animals or in livestock farms, among others.

Capacity between non-cohabitants in public and private spaces. At alert level 3, mixing in both closed or outdoor public and private spaces will be limited to cohabitating people, except in hotels and restaurants and respecting the maximum number of four users per table.

Specific measures for hotels, restaurants and terraces, bars and cafes. At alert level 3, the number of diners per table is maintained at 4 people, closure to the public before 10 p.m. and the prohibition of service in interior areas, except those of health centers, those of work centers for the consumption of its staff and those of tourist accommodation for the exclusive use of guests. Collection service of food and beverages on the premises and delivery to your home is allowed. On terraces or other outdoor spaces dependent on the establishment, activities that encourage not maintaining interpersonal safety distance or not wearing masks, such as dances, karaoke, etc. are prohibited.

Gaming and betting establishments and premises. At alert level 3, recreational gaming and betting venues will be closed.

Sport practice. The practice of physical and sports activity is prohibited in the interior areas of sports facilities and centers. Physical exercise in the open air can be carried out individually and provided that the interpersonal safety distance of 2 meters can be maintained permanently.

Hospital centers and health care centers. In hospitals, external visits are suspended except in the case of minors, pregnant women, accompanying terminal patients and those other clinical situations that are considered necessary at the discretion of the physician. In nursing homes for the elderly, residents' exits outside the centers and external visits are suspended, except in the case of accompanying terminal patients and those other situations that are considered necessary at the discretion of the center's management for health reasons. Those patients who are confirmed cases with resolved infection will be exempt from this limitation. In addition, the use of FFP2-type masks and face shields is recommended by personnel who have direct care with patients in these centers, as well as reinforcing ventilation.

Public transport. In regular urban and metropolitan public land passenger transport, on islands at alert levels 2 and 3, their capacity is reduced to 50%. On all the islands, the surveillance of urban land transportation will be reinforced at peak times to avoid crowds. At peak times, avoid using public transport for non-essential or postponed trips. It is recommended to increase the frequency of public transport schedules, guaranteeing adequate ventilation and compliance with preventive measures, which include not eating or drinking and using the mask correctly.

Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2012

Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2012, Carmen Gil González

With the announcement that the one carnival gala in 2021 will choose Guardians of the Sceptre until Carnival 2022, from among carnival queens of the last 20 years of the Santa Cruz Carnival, we took that as a perfect excuse to take another look at them.

Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2012 was Carmen Gil González, with a costume entitled, "Imperio" (Empire), designed by Santi Castro and representing Zona Comercial Tranvía.

Saturday, January 09, 2021

Carnaval Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2011

Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2011, Naomi Cabrera Pulido

With the announcement that the one carnival gala in 2021 will choose Guardians of the Sceptre until Carnival 2022, from among carnival queens of the last 20 years of the Santa Cruz Carnival, we took that as a perfect excuse to take another look at them.

Carnaval Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2011, was Naomi Cabrera Pulido, with a costume entitled, "Cien años de historia" (One Hundred Years of History), designed by Leo Martínez and representing newspaper El Día, who won for the 3rd consecutive year.

Friday, January 08, 2021

Keeping the spirit of the carnival alive

Daytime Carnival around the Plaza del Príncipe (Santa Cruz de Tenerife) in 2019

When it was announced that there would be no Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2021 - especially not events in the streets that would draw crowds - it was, however, announced that there would be some activities to maintain the spirit of the festivities during the weeks in which it should have been celebrated. So far, we've been given some information about a gala intended to choose Guardians of the Sceptre until Carnival 2022, from among carnival queens of the last 20 years and we will continue with that series over the next couple of weeks. But, because Easter and, therefore, Lent are early this year, today marks just one week away from what should have been the Inauguration of Carnival 2021. 

If it's any consolation (probably not), the earlier it is, the more likely carnival could be disrupted by bad weather anyway, so if we have to miss one, let it be an early one. 

Nevertheless, in our own desire to keep the spirit of carnival alive, we've planned a series of posts that will coincide with the dates that the various events that should have been taking place, starting next week with the inauguration and continuing through the various contests and galas to the parades and other events. In between, we'll bring any news of events that do take place this year and in particular include links to any online coverage. The one 'bonus' we've all got out of this dreadful pandemic is that we now have access to an enormous amount of online media that we can watch from wherever we are in the world. 

And to keep the carnival spirit alive a bit longer still and because we won't have the various groups and candidates for the carnival queens to share throughout the rest of the year, we're also planning a weekly series on Tenerife carnivals through history with the sincere hope that you'll enjoy it as much as we do researching it. Once we can all travel and gather for such celebrations again, I hope the understanding will make us appreciate it all the better.

59% of Spanish believe stricter measures should have been taken against pandemic

The latest CIS survey on COVID-19 also reveals that 27% have suffered the loss of someone they know

59.2% of Spaniards consider that the Spanish Government and the Governments of the autonomous communities should have taken stricter measures in the face of the risks of the pandemic, while only 2.1% believe that there should be no measures to limit freedoms.

This is reflected in the latest survey by the Center for Sociological Research (CIS) on the consequences of COVID-19, which indicates that a majority of Spaniards are committed to stricter control measures.

Another percentage of 25.8% of those surveyed considers that the restrictions applied were and are adequate, while 4.7% admit that they do not have enough information.

27% of the population has suffered the loss of someone they know

The latest survey, in which 2,084 people were surveyed, carried out between December 11 and 16, also indicates that 27% of the population has suffered the loss of someone they know due to coronavirus, while 8.6% have lost a friend and a 7.3% a family member.

The CIS also asked about people who have been affected by COVID-19 and up to 75.9% claim to have an acquaintance who has suffered from it, while 47.4% have a friend, 33.7% a relative and up to 6.7% indicate having had the disease themselves. While 66% have not had affected relatives, 52% claim they have had no friends and 24% no acquaintances with coronavirus.

The coronavirus situation that is being experienced in Spain and in other places worries 49.3% a lot, quite a lot at 42.7%, while nothing or almost nothing at 2.2%. Likewise, 43.1% affirm that their life has been greatly affected or quite affected, while 23.7% indicate that it has been little affected.

Regarding the citizens who have been affected, 45.2% have indicated the main change is that of their relationships and way of living, followed by work aspects (41.2%), emotional aspects (37.2%) and in health matters (29.2%).

The pandemic has changed the way of life for 75.3%

The pandemic has changed social habits and behavior a lot or quite a lot for 79% of the population; the way of life for 75.3%; the way of taking care of health for 56.4% and the way of thinking has changed a lot or enough with this health crisis for 50.9 percent. It is striking that up to 20 percent say the current situation has not made them change or has barely modified their way of caring for their health.

Regarding the main aspects that have changed in the way of living, the main responses are the reduction or limitation of social relationships or social activities or social life and the limitation or reduction of outings (activities, walks, leisure, trips).

Regarding the way of thinking, the affected population especially has realized the fragility of life, living the moment, the present, and, on the other hand, to value other things in their life, such as what they have, what is important, family or health.

Among the people for whom the pandemic has changed their way of caring for their health, most have included hygiene measures (waring a mask, cleaning, ventilation) against the virus in their routines; followed by a change in habits and greater care in eating and exercise; Furthermore, they point out that they take more precautions out of concern for health and fear of contagion.

99% of citizens use a mask

The survey also reveals that 99.2% of citizens use a mask regularly as a measure of protection against the pandemic and almost 20% need nine or more masks throughout the week. In addition, 15.5% need seven masks weekly, 14.3%, three and 10.8%, four, while 6.3% always use the same one, which is not disposable. 20.3% use them between one and two hours of the day, 13.8% between two and three hours and 10.3% between three and four hours, while 8.3% does so for more than ten hours, in public places.

On the other hand, almost all of the respondents, 94.2% use hydroalcoholic gel to disinfect their hands. 63.4% does so when entering or leaving a restaurant or bar, 42.6% always or almost always, 37.6% each time an object is touched and 37.3% when arriving and leaving the house.

More than half doubt they will return to normal life with vaccines

COVID-19 vaccines were also asked about in the survey. 47.6% of Spaniards consider that their administration will allow citizens to do everything they did before, while almost 52% doubt or affirm that for the moment and even definitely, no.

For 47, 6% of those interviewed, when Spain has one or more vaccines against the coronavirus, people will once again be able to lead a life as before the pandemic, while 25.1% say that "not for now", a 9.7% "definitely not" and 17.1% of Spaniards doubt it.

Among the people who believe that they will not be able to live the life before the health crisis, there are those who believe that it will take time for normality to return and to see the effects (29.9%); and 21.9% do not trust the vaccine, the speed with which it has been manufactured and doubt its effectiveness.

When asked, if there is a shortage of respirators, vaccines, medicines or other remedies for COVID-19, who would they decide to provide them to, 29.6% said that the young people, with more life ahead, while 26.2% to the sickest and most at risk of dying and 9.6% to the oldest for being more vulnerable.

Un 59% de españoles cree que habría que haber tomado medidas más estrictas ante los riesgos de la pandemia

Thursday, January 07, 2021

Brexit: How to live, travel and shop in the UK now that you have left the European Union

This may be the only time I'll advocate veering to the right!

(The following is for Spanish nationals visiting or living in the UK, so may not be relevant to you. However, I thought it was interesting to see this from the opposite point of view and particularly to see the disparities. The first glaring ones are that whilst Spanish tourists can stay in the UK for six months, British nationals visiting Spain as a tourist can now only stay for any 90 days in any 180-day period and need to have at least 6 months left on a passport to travel to most countries in Europe. See: Spain travel advice for more.)

A new phase began between the United Kingdom and the European Union on Friday, January 1, 2021, when the free trade and cooperation agreement that will govern relations between both territories came into force after the four years of Brexit negotiation.

The text ties up the main issues on trade, fishing, air transport, energy, mobility, etc. However, with the first rupture in the history of the common market, doubts assail citizens on both sides of the new frontier. Do I need a passport or visa to travel? Will I need a residence permit? Is roaming back? What will happen to the services of British companies in the European market?

Do I need a visa, passport or ID to travel?

EU citizens will not need a visa to enter the UK as tourists for stays of a maximum of six months. Spaniards, just as nationals of other EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, for the moment, can enter the UK with their national identity document and can always do so with a valid passport, even if it expires in less than 6 months.

However, according to the Foreign Office, the DNI will not be valid to enter the United Kingdom from October 1, 2021, with the exception of people who have established or pre-established their status under the EU Settlement Scheme or have a Frontier Worker permit. In that case, they will be able to use it until at least December 31, 2025.

Can I stay more than six months?

Stays of more than six months are not considered tourism, so a visa is necessary. Foreign Affairs informs that on January 1, 2021, the new British immigration system comes into force, to which all citizens who wish to enter the United Kingdom to work, study or reside, regardless of their nationality, must submit.

The type of visa, permits and conditions vary if it is a question of qualified workers with a contract, investors, artists, health workers, researchers, students, etc., so the United Kingdom Government has made a website available for interested parties know the requirements and the type of document you need from Jan 1. In the process, depending on the case, knowledge of English, the payment of fees, a contract, a minimum salary or the sponsorship of an entity, among others, are required.

I already live in the UK, how does my situation change?

Adults, minors, retirees, workers or students. If you were already residing in the United Kingdom before December 31, 2020, you will need a residence permit from the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), although you have until June 30, 2021 to apply for it for free.

There are two different statuses: indefinite (for those who have been resident for more than 5 years and their families) and limited (for those resident for less than five years).

The EUSS means that citizens of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland will be able to stay and continue working, studying and accessing benefits and services such as health care from the National Health Service (NHS) in general in the same way as they currently do.

I have permission, what about my family?

The spouses, domestic partners, dependent children or grandchildren and dependent parents or grandparents of the EU citizen may enter the UK at any time, provided the relationship existed before 31 December 2020 and at the time of entry in the United Kingdom. Future children will be able to enter the UK at any time.

For non-UK family members of an EU citizen who do not reside in the UK there are specific permits that they can apply for.

Can I go to study, now that there is no Erasmus?

From now on, Spaniards will also need a visa to study in the United Kingdom. According to the Ministry, those who will start from January 1 must verify if they are required to obtain a visa.

Those over 16 years of age can apply if the accredited institution where they are to start can act as a 'sponsor'. If you are 16 or 17 years old and want to study at an independent British school, you must apply for a child student visa.

In the case of courses of up to 6 months duration (English training, business, literature ...), a visa will not be necessary, as long as you study at an accredited institution. In the specific case of English courses, there are short-term study visas of up to 11 months.

Will my academic and professional degrees be recognized?

Yes, the homologation of EU titles in the United Kingdom will continue to be carried out by the British agency UK NARIC. For the equivalence of British degrees in Spain or another member country, the procedure will be required for third States that are not members of the EU or the conditions that are included in a bilateral agreement. In any case, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Spain guarantees that the homologation or equivalence of university degrees may continue to be requested.

It is important to remember that, after Brexit, the procedure may require more paperwork, something that does not happen among the Twenty-seven [countries of the European Union]. In any case, the UK will continue to be part of the European Higher Education Area.

If something happens to me in the UK, am I entitled to medical assistance? Do I need insurance?

It depends. If you are going on a trip, you will only need the new European health card (Tarjeta Sanitaria Europea) in the United Kingdom, valid from this Friday [Presume they mean the rule is valid from 1 Jan 2021?]. But if you are going to be in the country for more than 6 months, the British Government requires the payment of a fee to the NHS. With a valid residence permit and payment of fees, healthcare is guaranteed.

In addition, migrants arriving in 2021 will have to pay an extra £624 per year and have at least £1,270  during the 28 days prior to applying for the visa.

Finally, Spanish citizens who are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement will continue with their right to receive health care as before. As for travelers who require regular health treatment, such as patients requiring dialysis or certain types of chemotherapy, they will be able to continue receiving them until the end of 2021.

Is 'roaming' back? Will it cost me more to call from there with my Spanish contract?

It depends, the European Parliament decided in 2017 to end roaming in Europe, allowing you to call from any EU country without additional charges. This rule will no longer apply in the UK, so it is left to the mobile phone operators. Some companies in the UK have already announced that they will maintain conditions similar to the current ones.

Can I go with my pet?

Yes, if you have a microchip, passport or official certificate from a veterinarian, according to Foreign Affairs. They are required to be vaccinated against rabies and have undergone antiparasitic treatment. If the requirements are not met, pets could be rejected at the border or quarantined.

In the case of introducing a pet - a pet dog, cat or ferret - from the United Kingdom into the EU or Northern Ireland, given that the British authorities have not agreed to comply with the common health regime, a health certificate will also be required the animal, although the rabies antibody test will not be necessary.

Will my driving license in the UK work for me?

Usually yes. Visitors will be able to continue using their European driving license.

For residents, a single specification has been established. And it is that from 67 years of age you can be required to drive with a British license and the one issued in Spain or another Member State will no longer be valid.

Will the lorry queues at the border be repeated?

The United Kingdom has been left out of the single market, which means that there will be more customs procedures and controls of goods, with more delays at the borders.

However, the agreement reached this Thursday [24 Dec?] will allow trade without tariffs - tariffs - or quotas - maximum volume of each product - between the two parties, "the first agreement signed by the EU" that includes it, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has assured, although there will be a watch to make sure that the UK maintains the required labor, environmental and tax standards.

What about companies offering services in the EU market?

Services will lose all international free trade rights that they had until now. They no longer benefit, for example, from passports, which allow automatic access to the entire EU single market. Again, it is something that translates into more obstacles and bureaucracy.

However, non-discrimination standards, visa facilities for company employees, for digital commerce, as well as public tenders will be established.

What has finally happened to the fishing quotas? How does it affect us?

Fishing has been one of the main obstacles, but for the moment we breathe a sigh of relief: London expected to cut European quotas by 60% or 70% in three years, but a transitional period of five and a half years has finally been reached during which reciprocal access rights will remain unchanged.

European vessels will be able to fish for the next five years in British waters, but they will have to reduce their catches. The Galician fishing sector estimates that 1,400 tons of hake, monkfish, gallo (Lepidorhombus boscii) and cigala (Nephrops norvegicus, known variously as the Norway lobster, Dublin Bay prawn, langoustine) will stop being caught. The worst, they insist, will come from 2026, when London and Brussels will have to annually renegotiate the access of the European fleet to British waters.

What about the Gibraltar border?

Spain has reached a principle of agreement with the United Kingdom, in which it allows the application to Gibraltar of policies and programs of the European Union such as the Schengen agreement, a customs regime in terms of traffic of goods, transport or the environment, as stated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arancha González Laya, when announcing the commitment.

Laya, who has not yet gone into many technical details, has explained that this means, in practice, the end of the Gibraltar border. "The Gate is demolished" and "mobility is greatly facilitated," she said, although we will still have to wait for the final treaty, which must be authorized by the European Commission.

Tenerife Municipal Holidays 2021

Tenerife Municipalities HansenBCN, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

On 31 December 2020 the Official Bulletin of the Canary Islands (BOC Nº 270) published ORDER 5287 of December 29, 2020, which finally determined the local festivals of each municipality of the Canary Islands for the year 2021 (Official version PDF). There are two days in each of the 31 municipalities, which added to the 12 decided at a national, regional and island-wide level, add up to the 14 days annual public holidays decreed by law.

Of course, with COVID restrictions, for the moment, these are just a list of dates when the town hall and shops will be closed in each area. In other times and hopefully those in the not too far distance, it also provides clues to the fiestas celebrated in each district. In particular, many districts have still opted for Carnival Tuesday (Shrove Tuesday), 16 February, as a holiday, but we already know that carnival events have been cancelled this year

ADEJE
20 January: Festivity of San Sebastián.
11 October: Festivity of Santa Úrsula.

ARAFO
16 February: Carnival Tuesday.
30 August: Festivity of San Bernardo.

ARICO
16 February: Carnival Tuesday.
8 September: Festivity of Nuestra Señora de Abona.

ARONA
16 February: Carnival Tuesday.
4 October: Festividad del Santísimo Cristo de la Salud.

BUENAVISTA DEL NORTE
24 August: Festivity of San Bartolomé.
25 October: Festivity of Nuestra Señora de Los Remedios.

CANDELARIA
16 February: Carnival Tuesday.
26 July: Festivity of Santa Ana.

EL ROSARIO
16 February: Carnival Tuesday.
2 August: Festivity of Nuestra Señora de La Esperanza.

EL SAUZAL
16 February: Carnival Tuesday.
29 June: Festivity of San Pedro Apóstol.

EL TANQUE
31 August: Festividad Nuestra Señora de Buen Viaje.
18 October: Festividad del Santísimo Cristo del Calvario.

FASNIA
16 February: Carnival Tuesday.
23 August: Fiestas for the Town's Patrons.

GARACHICO
24 June: Festivity of San Juan.
26 July: Festivity of Santa Ana.

GRANADILLA DE ABONA
16 February: Carnival Tuesday.
14 June: Festivity of San Antonio de Padua.

GUÍA DE ISORA
24 June: Festivity of San Juan Bautista.
20 September: Festividad del Santísimo Cristo de la Dulce Muerte.

GÜÍMAR
29 June: Festivity of San Pedro Apóstol.
7 September: Festivity of Nuestra Señora del Socorro.

ICOD DE LOS VINOS
26 April: Day after the Festivity of San Marcos.
5 August: Festivity of Nuestra Señora de la Virgen del Amparo.

LA GUANCHA
18 January: Festivity of Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza.
16 February: Carnival Tuesday.

LA MATANZA DE ACENTEJO
16 February: Carnival Tuesday.
6 August: Festivity of El Salvador.

LA OROTAVA
16 February: Carnival Tuesday.
10 June: Infraoctava of Corpus Christi.

LA VICTORIA DE ACENTEJO
16 February: Carnival Tuesday.
30 August: Festivity for the Municipality's Patrons.

LOS REALEJOS
22 January: Festivity of San Vicente.
3 May: Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

LOS SILOS
24 June: Festivity of San Juan Bautista.
8 September: Festivity of Nuestra Señora de la Luz.

PUERTO DE LA CRUZ
3 May: Exaltation of the Holy Cross and Commemoration of the Founding of the City.
13 July: Festivity of the Virgen del Carmen.

SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LA LAGUNA
16 February: Carnival Tuesday.
14 September: Festivity of the Most Holy Christ of La Laguna.

SAN JUAN DE LA RAMBLA
24 June: Festivity of San Juan Bautista.
13 September: Festivity of San José.

SAN MIGUEL DE ABONA
16 February: Carnival Tuesday.
29 September: Festivity of San Miguel Arcángel.

SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE
3 May: Festividad del Día de la Cruz.
16 July: Festivity of the Virgen del Carmen.

SANTA ÚRSULA
16 February: Carnival Tuesday.
21 October: Festivity of Santa Úrsula.

SANTIAGO DEL TEIDE
16 July: Festivity of the Virgen de Nuestra Señora del Carmen.
26 July: Festivity of Nuestra Señora de Santa Ana.

TACORONTE
16 February: Carnival Tuesday.
25 November: Festivity of Santa Catalina.

TEGUESTE
26 April: Festivity of San Marcos Evangelista.
8 September: Festivity of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios.

VILAFLOR DE CHASNA
19 April: Festividad of Santo Hermano Pedro.
30 August: Festivity of San Agustín y San Roque.

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

The pagan origin of the “Roscón de Reyes”

Roscón de Reyes from Pasteleria El Aderno in Buenavista del Norte

In Spain it's Epiphany, January 6th - the Feast of The Three Kings - that is the biggest day of the season's celebrations, the Three Kings having arrived, bearing gifts, on the night of January 5th. And the one indispensable item at the table is the Roscón de Reyes. 

It's easy to see that the Roscón, along with the French Galette des Rois, the King Cakes in Louisiana (albeit transplanted to Mardi Gras) and even the Twelfth Night cake that eventually became our Christmas Cake all developed from the same root. As Christendom spread across Europe, the cake caught on. Now you can find this formerly pagan cake on the Christmas tables of families throughout Spain, France, and Latin America!

At the Roman festivities of Saturnalia each December, the roscón, a circular cake in whose interior a bean was hidden, was already tradition. The fortunate one who found the bean became the “king of the feast” and all those present had to obey his/her orders. 

This is the same as the tradition in Tudor Christmas celebrations, where whoever received the slice of cake containing the bean was ‘crowned’ the Lord of Misrule. He was like a mock king and supervised entertainments or rather unruly events involving drinking, revelry, role reversal, and general chaos. During the medieval and Tudor periods, the Twelfth Night Cake was leavened with yeast, rather like a fruit-laden brioche - much more like the recipe for the Roscón de Reyes. The introduction of cake hoops in the late seventeenth century and the discovery during the early eighteenth century that beaten eggs could be used to raise a cake meant that the fruit breads of earlier times were replaced by a plum cake. We later transported the bean to become the sixpence in the Christmas pudding

Over the centuries, finding the bean in the Roscón de Reyes in Spain became "unlucky". Nowadays, the bakers will tell you that the finder just has to buy the next cake, while, the "lucky" people find either a ceramic baby Jesus (there's an irony if you were to bite on it and break a tooth!) The Roscón de Reyes from El Aderno in Tenerife - certainly the last time I bought one - contained a set of all three ceramic Kings, as well as the bean.

We've published the recipe for a Roscón de Reyes before and it is nowhere near as difficult as the result makes it look. You really should try it some time. It's a very old tradition. 

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Three Wise Men to visit families on January 5

The Three Kings Bringing Gifts

Although the pandemic will not prevent Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar from doing their work, it will change the way in which they do itSo, this year, the arrival of the Three Wise Men to different parts of Tenerife will be broadcast on televisions and social networks.

Santa Cruz will host the welcoming ceremony for the Three Wise Men. Televisión Canaria will broadcast the arrival of Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar at a Heliodoro Rodríguez López stadium, from 5:30pm. This will also be shared via the town hall's social media.

Since the beginning of the pandemic and its consequent restrictive measures, the announcement of the arrival and reception of the Magi in Santa Cruz has been changing and adapting to the circumstances and the evolution of the sanitary measures imposed. Although the last thing that was known was that Their Majesties from the East would arrive in the city through the capital's port, without an audience, it seems that they will finally do so at the Heliodoro Rodríguez López stadium, also in a ceremony behind closed doors.

Last Monday morning a helicopter could be seen flying low over the Stadium and accessing the interior of the sports complex, as has been done in other years as a preliminary test of the approach maneuver for the arrival of the Kings. Municipal sources consulted by newspaper Diario de Avisos confirmed that it seems that it has finally been decided that the Three Wise Men will arrive at the Stadium instead of at the port, in a reception that will be held without the public and behind closed doors, and that it will be recorded and broadcast. 

At the end of last November, the Santa Cruz City Council confirmed that the traditional Three Kings parade could not be held either, but that "royal walks" would be carried out through the five districts, the exact route in each district would be known at very short notice to avoid crowds forming as Their Majesties from the East passed by. There will be no stops, they won't be distributing sweets and won't be able to accept letters in person. They will begin their routes at 6:15pm, in open top busses, with a police escort.

In La Laguna authorities are preparing the tours of Their Majesties "in a format that avoids crowds" and adjusted to the safety regulations against COVID-19. They will not make their traditional parade through the Old Town, nor will they arrive by tram like in other years. However, the Three Wise Men will visit the six districts; Casco, La Cuesta, Taco, Guamasa, Comarca Nordeste and Las Mercedes. Also non-stop and without distribution of sweets, they will also be broadcast on Mírame TV

In Los Realejos too, the town hall has come to an agreement with The Three Kings, so that, for the first time, they will visit all of the districts of the municipality on 5 January.

In El Rosario, mayor, Escolástico Gil, signed a bill this weekend in which he granted the Three Wise Men a safe-conduct so they could work beyond the curfew, established at 10pm in Tenerife. There will also be a caravan through the main streets of the municipality.

In Tegueste, Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar are scheduled to be in the church of San Marcos from 6:00 p.m. There the children will be able to enter to greet them, from afar of course, and in an orderly manner, entering through one nave of the church and leaving through another. 

Tacoronte will have their Majesties of the East en route throughout the municipality from eleven o'clock in the morningIn El Sauzal the same routine will be followed, although in this case the caravan will depart at three in the afternoon from the town center to finish at 8 pm in the Plaza de San Pedro. In La Matanza, the procession will start at 11 a.m., in La Victoria at 6.30 p.m., and in Santa Úrsula at 12 p.m. In La Orotava the Kings will make a royal walk through all the neighborhoods, although it will not be until the last minute when the schedule is known. The same will happen in Puerto de la Cruz with last minute details released.

In La Guancha they are organising a caravan of Kings through the neighborhoods with the council committed to maintaining in the programming a "fleeting visit" of Their Majesties from the East on January 5, which will begin at three in the afternoon.

In Icod de Los Vinos there will also be a visit through the streets of the municipality, while in Garachico, the Kings will begin their walk at three in the afternoon. El Tanque, Los Silos and Buenavista will also enjoy the royal walk. The social networks of the municipalities offer the details of the activities, which are subject to the conditions set by Public Health.

South of Tenerife

In the South of Tenerife, there will be various events, some with the handover of keys, others with the royal caravan through the neighborhoods, but everyone will enjoy their Majesties in one way or another. Thus, in Santiago del Teide, the central courtyard of the town hall, at 5.30 pm, will receive the Three Kings, without an audience, but broadcast through the council's social networks. In Guía de Isora, the traditional parade is replaced by a royal walk that will go through all the streets. 

In San Miguel, the Three Wise Men were to have doubled their efforts, by starting to visit the districts on Monday, but this had to be posponed because of the rain. Their Majesties will make all of their royal visits today, starting at 11am. In Granadilla, the royal procession will also visit the neighborhoods on January 5, starting from 2pm, in open top cars. In Arico they will start their tour at 12 noon through El Río and La Cisnera and from three in the afternoon through the rest of the neighborhoods.

Arafo will also have a royal walk from 6.30 p.m. and before that, at five in the afternoon, they will greet all the children from the Facebook page of the Town Hall. In Candelaria, the Kings will tour the municipality aboard convertibles on the afternoon of January 5.

This year in Adeje, the arrival of the Three Wise Men will be virtual. Their Majesties the Three Wise Men, aware of the epidemiological situation, join the virtual initiatives. This year, the reception of Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar will be virtual and can be followed through the Council's Facebook page, Radio Sur Adeje, Channel 4, Channel 10 and Mírame TV.

In Arona, the Los Cristianos Cultural Center will host a virtual meeting with Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar, who will interact with the little ones through social networks.

Sunday, January 03, 2021

Carnaval Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2010

Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2010, Alicia San Juan McNulty

With the announcement that the one carnival gala in 2021 will choose Guardians of the Sceptre until Carnival 2022, from among carnival queens of the last 20 years of the Santa Cruz Carnival, we took that as a perfect excuse to take another look at them.

Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2010 was Alicia San Juan McNulty, in a costume entitled, "En el País de las Maravillas" (In Wonderland) - her name is Alicia (Alice), after all - designed by Leo Martínez and representing newspaper El Día.

Saturday, January 02, 2021

Carnaval Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2009

Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2009, Ana María Tavárez Mata

With the announcement that the one carnival gala in 2021 will choose Guardians of the Sceptre until Carnival 2022, from among carnival queens of the last 20 years of the Santa Cruz Carnival, we took that as a perfect excuse to take another look at them.

Carnaval Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2009 was Ana María Tavárez Mata, with a costume entitled "Embrujada" (Bewitched) designed by Leo Martínez and representing newspaper El Día.

Friday, January 01, 2021

Tenerife in January 2021

What awaits us all in January 2021?

Two public holidays begin the year on Friday 1 January and Wednesday 6 January for 'Los Reyes' (Kings Day), or Epiphany. That's about it for anything usual. Most of the Three Kings Parades that normally draw huge crowds in towns and cities on Twelfth Night (also known as Epiphany Eve) have been replaced this year with the trio instead visiting many more districts, so that they can be seen from homes and balconies instead

With Tenerife in special measures at least until 1 Jan, it's doubtful the annual Los Reyes markets will be able to take place. It has been announced that Tenerife will continue with the specific restrictions imposed to stop the advance of the Covid-19 pandemic until January 10. On January 11, once the current restrictions established for the Christmas period in the entire Canary Islands, and those specifically imposed in Tenerife, have ended, a new traffic light system that will determine the situation of each island will begin.

We also have no information yet on municipal holidays for 2021 and will add them once they're agreed and published. The following municipal holidays are listed for January, which were finally agreed on the 29th and published on 31 December. These, of course, with the current restrictions, merely indicate days when local shops and council offices close. 
  • 18 January: Festivity of Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza in La Guancha
  • 20 January: Festivity of San Sebastián in Adeje
  • 22 January: Festivity of San Vicente in Los Realejos

Fiestas in January, such as that of San Sebastián in La Caleta, Adeje and the Fiestas of San Antonio Abad in Arona, Buenavista del Norte, Chio, Gúímar, La Matanza de Acentejo, Los Silos, Tigaiga and La Florida (La Orotava), we shall have to live without. 

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