Parts of the Canary Islands are seeing heightened coronavirus restrictions in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus after a sudden rise in cases. Focus is being drawn to Tenerife where new rules are impacting tourist hotspots including beaches and bars.
New rules limit the capacity of beaches in the region, meanwhile, pubs, restaurants and bars must now close at 11pm.
Local people and tourists are also being advised to stay in as much as possible, to limit their mobility and to avoid closed spaces.
The extensive new measures, which will remain in place until at least November 21st, follow concern that infections are higher in Tenerife than on the other islands which include Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura.
Capacity on Tenerife’s beaches has been slashed to half and groups limited to six but many of the local authorities are introducing new time limits and a specific number of people at any one time.
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Across Tenerife’s most popular beaches, particularly in the southern regions, a yellow flag will be hoisted once capacity has been reached in specific locations.
The other new measures for Tenerife include a limit on social groups to a maximum of six. In the restaurant sector, the capacity of bars inside is reduced to a third of the maximum, closing becomes earlier at 11pm rather than midnight and the capacity on terraces reduces to half.
Smoking is prohibited on terraces, the capacity in tourist establishments drops to a third in common areas, active tourism groups drop to 20, commercial premises will have a capacity of half and visits will be prohibited in student residences.
Tenerife is showing an incidence of 60.58 cases per 100,000 inhabitants (40.4 for the Canary Islands as a group) which places it at a medium risk according to the Ministry of Health.
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Most of the blame is being put on families and young people flouting the rules.
“The measures are in line with the situation in Tenerife, which is close to risk level 3,” said Ángel Víctor Torres, president of the Canary Islands.
Mr. Torres said the Canaries as a whole still had the best figures in Spain but this could change if the infection rate did not improve.
Tenerife is the only island in the group which is still on red traffic light status despite extra restrictions having been in force for six weeks.
Tenerife’s president Pedro Martín said he was in favour of the new measures and even stricter ones if necessary, saying Tenerife must not become the “red lantern” of the Canary Islands.
The Canary president has urged the people of Tenerife to comply with the agreed measures and to report any breaches.
According to the latest figures, 80 percent of recent cases are on Tenerife.
Although all the other islands are on green, there are still extensive coronavirus measures in force and the wearing of masks remains compulsory.
Borders haven’t been closed and the airports and ports remain open.
The Canary Islands remains on the UK travel corridor lists, however, some residents in England, Wales and parts of Scotland are currently banned from travelling internationally.
In England, this ban is anticipated to end on December 2.
British visitors are now subject to new entry requirements if they hope to visit The Canaries.
They will need to take a negative coronavirus test within 72 hours of travel.
Additional reporting by Rita Sobot.