express– The country was thrown into chaos on Saturday as the Government scrapped Britons’ Christmas plans for harsher restrictions. Many Britons often flee the UK for the Canary Islands over the Christmas and New Year period for a warmer climate.
However, those looking to escape may need to shelve their travel plans.
The UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has now issued new guidance following the discovery of a new highly contagious mutation of coronavirus in the UK.
Those living in London and the South East, who are now living in tier 4 restrictions, will no longer be allowed to travel.
This means any trips to Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura for some winter sun will be prohibited.
Spain has also joined a raft of countries around the world, and banned flights from the UK from entering the country.
The new tier 4 rules indicate that Britons living in those regions cannot travel around the UK either.
However, there are exceptions to the rules, which include travelling for work purposes. The latest information on the Government website reads: “If you live outside a Tier 4 area you may still transit into or through a Tier 4 area to travel abroad if you need to, but you should carefully consider whether you need to do so. In addition, you should follow the public health advice in the country you’re visiting.
“If you do need to travel overseas from a Tier 4 area (and are legally permitted to do so, for example, because it is for work), even if you are returning to a place you’ve visited before, you should look at the rules in place at your destination.”
What is the latest advice for the Canary Islands?
For those who are exempt from the latest FCDO rules, you will have to self-isolate on return to the UK from the islands.
The Canary Islands have not been mentioned in the latest FCDO advice.
The latest advice states: “Spain’s borders are open to European Union and Schengen-area countries.
“Spain have announced they will be restricting passenger travel on inbound flights from the UK from Tuesday 22 December, with the exception of Spanish nationals and those legally resident in Spain.
“If you were due to travel to Spain please contact your travel operator before departure.
“If you are resident in Spain, you should carry your residence document (the green paper EU residence certificate or the new TIE), as well as your valid passport when you travel. If you have applied but have not yet received your document, carry proof you have started the registration process. Padron certificates, utility bills and property deeds will not be accepted by Spanish authorities as proof of residency.
“Additionally, all passengers (excluding children under the age of 6 years old) travelling to Spanish airports from ‘risk’ countries, as determined by the European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control are required to present a negative PCR, TNA or LAMP test taken within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival, in order to enter the country. See Entry requirements for further details.”
Britons will be asked to provide a negative coronavirus test upon arrival, at least 72 hours before.
Britons travelling to the islands who are booked into “regulated tourist accommodation” will need to present a negative coronavirus test taken no more than 72 hours earlier when you check-in.
This can be the same test used to enter the islands.
Britons must also download and activate the Radar COVID notification app for the duration of their stay, and for 15 days after they return to the UK.
A Spanish Health Form must also be filled in and signed online before travel to the Canaries.
There will also be a health check on arrival into the Canary Islands which includes a temperature and a visual check.
However, the UK Government has issued a new rule where non-essential travel outside the country is prohibited due to the new strain of coronavirus spreading more rapidly.
Britons looking to travel abroad should not use the NHS to get a test in order to travel abroad.
Several countries have now banned flights from the UK including Spain, Portugal and France.
Only Spanish citizens and those who currently live in the country will be allowed to enter. Madrid has also said it will be reinforcing its border with Gibraltar.
Please check the government website before you travel to Spain or any of its islands.