Wednesday, 13 May 2020 11:22

When Can I Come On Holiday To Gran Canaria?

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Gran Canaria's resorts are empty and nobody knows when tourism can restart Gran Canaria's resorts are empty and nobody knows when tourism can restart

There is no official date for the restart of international tourism in Gran Canaria, the Canary Islands or Spain. Here's what we know about travel and tourism in Gran Canaria during the rest of 2020 and beyond.

Spain's borders are currently sealed to everyone who isn't Spanish, an official resident of Spain, or one of a small number of workers from key industries such as aviation, healthcare and transportation. The border closure is in place until at least May 15. 

The EU's borders are sealed to all non-EU citizens and residents untril at least June 15 and many EU countries are restricting international travel for most of 2020.

The Canary Islands are part of both Spain and the EU so these dates affect Gran Canaria's ports and airports. 

Travel within the Canary Islands in 2020

Now that the Canary Islands are in Phase One of the de-escalation of quarantine, inter-island flights and ferries are operating again with reduced capacity and timetables. Hotels in the Canary Islands are allowed to open although their buffet rooms, swimming pools and other common areas must remain closed. However, many hotels will remain closed at least until Spanish tourists start to return to Gran Canaria. 

Travel from Spain to Gran Canaria in 2020

The Canary Islands president and several other government sources have stated that the islands hope to welcome Spanish tourists during the summer of 2020. This will depend on the Coronavirus vcase levels on the islands remaining low, and on declining levels in the rest of Spain.

The two main airports in Spain, Madrid and Barcelona, are in zones that are currently still in Phase Zero of de-escalation due to higher numbers of Coronavirus cases. If and when they move tyhrough the phases of de-escalation, national tourism will get more likely. 

International travel to Gran Canaria in 2020

Everyone in the Canary Islands has endured a two month lockdown and the islands now have one of the lowest levels of Coronavirus in Europe. The virus is no longer in community transmission according to local health authorities. This is positive for island residents and for the future of tourism here although many locals worry that tourists will bring Covid-19 back. 

There is currently no official date for the restart of international travel and tourism in the Canary Islands. The Canary Islands president has said that the Islands would like to welcome tourists back from September of October. However, this depends on other countries opening their frontiers and allowing international travel, and on the airlines getting their planes back in the air.

The restart date is effectivelty out of the Canary Islands' hands even though they are doing everything they can to prepare for post Covid-19 travel. The Canary Islands Tourism Minister Yaiza Castillo has already announced a trial of a digital health travel certificate along with UNTWO, the UN's Tourism Association. The first trial flight is expected in July. 

Perhaps the best hope of a restart to international tourism lies with the EU's plan to reactivate tourism. Otherwise a complex web of travel national agreements and travel bubbles across Europe will cause confusion and risk viral outbreaks. The EU has announced a four stage plan that is based on an EU-wide track and trace app that allows people on holiday to be contact traced if needed. 

The working assumption in the Canary Islands is that there will be few international tourists visiting the Canary Islands in 2020. Setting up tracking apps will take time and even if a vaccine or effective treatment emerges it will not be manufactured fast enough to save the 2020 winter season. At best, the Islands could get 20-30% of the normal number of tourists in the last months of 2020.

Travel from the UK to Gran Canaria in 2020

The situation with Great Britain is further complicated by the ongoing Brexit process. If the EU keeps it external borders closed, British tourists would not be allowed to fly to the Canary Islands after the UK leaves the EU. 


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