Canary Islands to cover COVID-related costs for tourists

The regional government of Spain's Canary Islands has stated that medical expenses, as well as costs for an extended stay if holidaymakers have to quarantine, will be covered.

Tenerife is one of the Spanish islands now seeing less British tourists / Unsplash
Tenerife is one of the Spanish islands now seeing less British tourists / Unsplash
7 August 2020, Emma Donaldson

It has been a turbulant couple of weeks for British tourists travelling to or hoping to travel to Spain. A 14-day quarantine was introduced for all travellers arriving in the UK from Spain, meaning that anyone who arrives in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland from Spain on or after 26th July 2020, must observe a 2 week period of self-isolation.

The FCO in the UK is also advising citizens in the UK against all travel to mainland Spain unless absolutely necessary. For now, this does not cover popular tourist destinations such as the Canary Islands or the Balearic Islands, however, those who return from the Spanish islands will still need to self-isolate as these areas are still deemed to hold a COVID-19 risk factor for travellers.

Despite talks between the UK and Spain, no agreement could be reached to introduce travel corridors to Spain's islands, agreements that would have allowed UK citizens to go on holiday and return to British soil without having to observe the 14 day quarantine. 

In a bid to still encourage Brits and other tourists to travel to the Canary Islands, including the popular destinations of Tenerife, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria, the regional government has introduced new measures that will cover any COVID-related costs incurred on the islands for holidaymakers.

The Canary Islands government has said in a statement that this "insurance" is a travel policy that will be managed by French insurer AXA, applying to Spanish and foreign visitors alike, and will also include repatriations for health reasons if necessary. It is important to note that this insurance only applies to those who are staying in tourist accommodation (rather than with friends or family) and that it does not cover COVID-19 cases that were known about before travel. “There is no cost to travellers and all are automatically covered,” a spokesperson for the Spanish Tourist Office told the Irish Independent newspaper.

The scheme launches this week and will be in place for the next 12 months in a bid to boost tourism in the Canary Islands.

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