On Friday 23rd April, the Canarian Government published its latest Resolution that outlines updated measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on the islands and states key factors as we hope to transition to a “new normal” once the State of Alarm ends. This article covers the main points of that Resolution and hopefully very clearly…

The Resolution was published on Friday afternoon in Boletín Oficial de Canarias número 83, but a press release announced some of the changes ahead of time that caused some furor that has been expressed in the media, especially in relation to obligations the hospitality sector now has to comply with but we’ll get into that a bit later. The basis of the plenary session held by the Government on the 22nd April is Royal Decree-Law 21/2020, 9th June that allows Autonomous Regions to maintain and establish their own protocols. Let’s review first the General Conditions:


  1. All persons age 6 and over are obligated to wear masks. The recommendation is for us to wear reusable sanitary masks, however, exhalation valve masks are not permitted except for professions that may require them.
  2. Masks must be worn on public streets, open-air spaces and in any enclosed public area or open to the public. In all scenarios, the 1,5 metre safety distance must be maintained.
  3. In the workplace, it is up to each company’s health and safetey technician to evaluate internal protocols to ensure the safetey of all employees and clients.
  4. In schools and centres of education including universities
  5. In sport’s centres and installations
  6. On public transport
  7. In hospitals, clinics, health centres and similar
  8. The correct use of masks must be observed, i.e., they must completely cover the nose and mouth at all times and they must fit properly across the nose and chin to prevent respiratory secretions from escaping
  9. The owners of the establishments and spaces where people can gather must guarantee these rules are followed

Exceptions to the above

  1. Persons who present with respiratory afflictions that may be worsened by the use of masks and persons who are unable to remove their masks themselves due to disability or dependence
  2. Force majeure, unavoidable circumstances
  3. Individual open-air sport activities as long as a 2 metre safety distance between other people can be guaranteed at all times
  4. In open-air sports installations except when the island is at Alert Level 4. This applies only when physical activity is being practiced with a permanent 2 metre distance between each person. During professional training and competitions
  5. In hospitality establishments, i.e., bars, restaurants and similar and only in the moment when food and drink is being consumed
  6. In the great outdoors outside of populated areas if a 2 metre safety distance can be maintained between anybody else who may be out there as well
  7. On beaches and at pools but only when bathing or practicing water sports and professional activities in the water. This only applies though if people remain in the same spot and guarantee a 2 metre security distance between persons who do not cohabitate
  8. When smoking, eating or drinking but only if the person remains in the same spot, i.e., no smoking and walking down the street at the same time and ensuring the safety distance from others


  1. Alert Level I: Between 12am (midnight) and 6am
  2. Alert Level II: Between 11pm and 6am
  3. Alert Level III: Between 11pm and 6am
  4. Alert Level IV: Between 10pm and 6am

Curfew does not affect the following activities

  1. Purchase of medication and sanitary products at chemists
  2. Going to hospitals, clinics and health centres
  3. Going to veterinary clinics for emergent treatment
  4. Fulfillment of work (as an employee), professional or legal commitments
  5. Returning to the primary residence after any of the above activities
  6. To tend to the elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities or the particularly vunerable
  7. Force majeure, unavoidable circumstances
  8. Filling up at petrol stations when required to carry out any of the above situations
  9. To tend to the care of domestic or farm animals


Establishments such as restaurants, bars, cafes, terraces and ‘chiringuitos’ must guarantee the 2 metre safety distance at all times bettween chairs set at different tables or groups of tables and people sat at the bar

Each table or group of tables must be set to accommodate the number of people that may occupy them and where possible, chairs should be positioned in a zig-zag pattern to avoid patrons being sat face to face and allows for maximum distance between them. The spaces assigned for bar seating must be clearly marked

The following requirements regarding maximum occupancy and closing times mustbe observed as per the alert levels at any given moment:

  • Alert Level I: 75% of maximum occupancy inside. 10 persons per table or group of tables outside. 6 persons per table or group of tables inside. 4 at the bar. Complete closing is before 12am (midnight)
  • Alert Level II: 75% maximum occupany on open-air terraces and 50% inside. 6 persons per table or group of tables outside. 4 persons per table or group of tables inside. 2 at the bar. Buffets are not permitted inside. Complete closing is before 11pm. To comply with curfew regulations, pick-up at the establishment is permitted before 11pm
  • Alert Level III: 50% maximum occupany on open-air terraces. Inside service is prohibited as well as loitering except to use the bathroom or to pick-up orders. 4 persons per table or group of tables and nobody may sit at the bar. Buffet service is prohibited inside. Complete closing is before 11pm. To comply with curfew regulations, pick-up at the establishment is permitted before 11pm
  • Alert Level IV: The same as Alert Level III, except complete closing which must be before 6pm. To comply with curfew regulations, pick-up at the establishment is permitted before 10pm

Delivery service at all alert levels can be done until midnight. The use of the establishment’s interior and closing times do not affect those facilities within health centres, the workplace (employees only), hotels (for exclusive use of guests), education centres that may keep their regular hours, although maximum occupancy is reduced to 33%.

Other Requirements

  1. Traditional menus must not be used and establishments must instead opt for electronic devices the servers must use, blackboards, signs, QR and similar alternatives
  2. Elements such as crockery, glassware, silverware, tablecloths etc ust be stored in a closed cupboard or way from customers
  3. Servillete holders, vinegar and oil bottles, salt and pepper shakers etc must not be used
  4. Smoking on terraces and other dependent open-air spaces of the establishment is prohibited
  5. Correct interior ventilation must be a priority
  6. Customers may not occupy a table unles directed by a member of staff because the tables, chairs etc must be properly disinfected after each use. Customers must remain seated at their table and limit any movement around the establishment as much as possible
  7. Buffets must be monitored to ensure proper use of masks, hand sanitization and non-contamination of food products
  8. Pick-up and delivery services are permitted, observing safety distances and other preventative measures at all times
  9. Food pick-up services must be properly organized so that the customer orders by phone or similar system, the establishment will set the collect time to avoid unneccesary crowding. If the establishment has a drive through, the order can be taken from the vehicle as normal

Customer Log

So this is the star of this article… over the weekend, you may have been surprised if the establishment asked for your details, but this is in line with new regulations, although many establishments are unaware of this obligation because as mentioned at the beginning, this resolution was published on Friday afternoon and came into immediate effect!

From now on and until further notice, when customers are seated inside the establishment, their full names, D.N.I. or similar ID number, phone number, date and time of service must be logged. This measure is to track people who may have come into contact with someone who is later diagnosed with COVID-19; this way, the Health Department (Sanidad) can request the form from the establishment and call those who were there around the same time as the infected person. Establishments are required to keep these logs for one month after the log date for Health Inspectors to examine if necessary.

According to the Resolution, this only applies to at alert levels 1 and 2 because interior seating is not permitted at the higher levels and it would seem it also applies if a customer merely goes inside to use the bathroom facilities. There are queries of course about the open-air aspect because if the establishment’s exterior terrace is partially covered or has walls on either side, in theory, the customer’s details must also be taken. This observation is taken from previous decrees regarding the definition of “outside terrace” so if we apply the same principal, it could actually be considered an interior space. To be on the safe side, my recommendation would be to take customer details in this scenario as well.

A member of staff must take these details down on a form and the establishment must not allow customers access to the forms at all for data protection purposes. My affected clients received a template of this form on Saturday in order to record the obligatory information but you can create your own as long as it contains the data stipulated in the Resolution. I also advise the logs are kept in a folder (not see through) and kept out of sight for data protection reasons.

As you can imagine, this customer log has caused outrage within the hospitality sector, the most affected group since the pandemic began more than a year ago. Associations have called out the additional complications this supposes for an already struggling sector especially those that serve large numbers a day or provide fast-food services. They also mention the fact there is little information about how to apply this requirement and no official template was provided. The other inconvenience is to do with data protection laws; although all establishments should already be registered at the Spanish Data Protection Agency, they open themselves up to exorbitant fines if they do not process the logs correctly (see my above suggestions on this point). Take extra caution to comply with data protection regulations.

Semana Santa is going to be celebrated in the same fashion as everything this past year, with restrictions, restrictions and more restrictions. I imagine that the disregard of any type of safety protocols over Christmas and New Year’s that created another spike in COVID-19 is the reason behind the measures that have been put in place.

Travel between islands from midnight last night and until midnight of Friday 9th April to coincide with Easter has been restricted which does not include exceptions indicated in Royal Decree-Law 926/2020 of 25th October (medical, work related, return to one’s primary residence…). The only way to travel between islands for reasons that do not meet that criteria is to show proof of a negative COVID PRC test.

Other restrictions are to do with limited number of persons who can meet in public areas (indoors or open-air) to a maximum of four as long as they do not reside in the same house (Alert Levels 1, 2 and 3) and a maximum of two (Alert Level 4). Only persons who reside in the same house may gather in private residences.

Curfew has been set between 11pm and 6pm (Alert Level 1) and between 10pm and 6am (Alert Levels 2, 3 and 4). This does not affect essential activities.

Restrictions will also apply to those wishing to enter the Canary Islands during the Easter period.

There are of course specific measures for the hospitality sector (restaurants, bars, terraces, cafés and similar) besides the general measures in place for each alert level during this period.

  • Safety distance of at least 2 metres between chairs belonging to different groups of tables.
  • Try to ensure the maximum distance between occupants of the same table, preferably so they are sat face to face
  • Consumption of food and drink outside of the designated seating area assigned to each customer is prohibited and specifically alcoholic beverages
  • Smoking on terraces or other open-air areas belonging to the establishment is strictly prohibited. Smoking tabacco or other substances within a 5 metre perimeter of access points of the establishments is prohibited.
  • Customers must remain at their tables to reduce movement around the establishment as much as possible.
  • The use of masks is obligatory except in the moment in which food or drink is consumed, so basically between bites and sips you must slip the mask back on.
  • Activities that promote gatherings, incorrect use of masks or non-compliance with the safetey distance are prohibited (fiestas, dances, karaokes, competitions, concerts or ambient music that invites people to sing or dance…).
  • The owners of the establishments are responsible for ensuring all appropriate measures to prevent further contagion of COVID-19.

This list of restrictions definitely does not put one in the mood for celebrating anything, but I suppose that is kind of the point and it does not mean you can’t go out and still have fun. What I do know is that the blatant disregard of these rules just sets us back even further and if we don’t do our best to follow guidelines and restrictions, we are never going to break this cycle, and I can’t be the only one who wants to return to a pre-COVID existence some time in the very near future.

Due to recent changes in Fuerteventura brought about by increased COVID-19 restrictions, the Ayuntamiento de La Oliva will permit business owners in the hospitality sector who perhaps do not have an outdoor terrace to occupy part of the street so they can remain open.

As published in my previous article, Fuerteventura’s Alert Level increased to Three which means that indoor service is not permitted for the time being, however, this means that many establishments that do not have outside space have to make the difficult “choice” to close doors once again.

This Ayuntamiento will receive applications to use part of the street to set up a temporary terrace area to prevent further closures and financial loss to hard-working local business owners and their staff. Since this measure is in line with a Government Agreement on 16th December 2020 that states that “use of public domain will be exceptionally and provisionally granted during periods in which the islands are subject to Alert Level 3 and higher restrictions”, no other specifics besides either being in possession of the Opening Licences or providing proof it has been applied for have been indicated.

The Department of Commerce is responsible for processing these applications so if you are an affected party, it is well worth applying.

Who would have thought two years ago that we would live in a world where we would experience lockdowns, curfews and restrictions where we are prohibited from seeing our own family and friends? This is our new reality and we must get used to constant changes in what we are permitted to do at any given moment.

To be honest, this year, I have not really wanted to write as much because I’m COVID-out, but I have to suck it up and keep reading the daily law changes. So here is the latest I’m bringing to you after it was approved on Friday and comes into effect from tomorrow, Monday 22nd March 2021. What are the restrictions for Alert Level Three?:

  1. Travel: Restricted travel and movement of persons to and from the island except justified travel (work, emergencies…). Those who have can prove they have pre-booked in tourist establishments will be authorized entry as per Decree-Law 17/2020, 29th October.
  2. Public and Private Areas: Maximum gatherings of four people except those who reside in the same home.
  3. Curfew: We must make sure to be home between 10pm and 6am every day except for essential activities (article 5 of Royal Decree 926/2020, 25th October).
  4. Hospitals: Visits are prohibited except for patients who are minors, pregnant, terminal or in similar circumstances.
  5. Hospitality Sector: Maximum of four persons per table. The security distance between tables is the usual 2 metres. Occupancy on terraces is lowered to 50% and unfortunately service in the interior of establishments is not permitted. Nobody is allowed to be seated at the bar. Interior buffets are not permitted, however, they may take place outside. Restricted areas must be clearly marks and activities that do not allow for the safety distance between patrons are not allowed. All establishments must be closed before 10pm allowing time for staff to get home.
  6. Sport: All interior sports activities are prohibited, however, they are allowed outside as long as occupancy is decreased to 50% of the normal number of people. Groups are limited to a maximum of four including the monitor if the minimum security distance cannot be guaranteed.
  7. Transport: Obligatory use of masks and it is not permitted to eat, drink or smoke onboard. Singing, shouting, initiating conversations with other passengers and phone conversations are restricted as well (breathing is optional!!!!). We are encouraged not to travel at peak times except for essential activities.

Good luck everybody and stay safe

After the fiasco that was this week in La Oliva after our Mayor, Pilar González Segura issued an authorized increase from alert level II to level III of the municipality only to revoke it a day and a half later, there are more changes to the island’s status, only this time from the correct source.

Following on from the temporary measures decreed throughout the Canary Islands last week, yesterday, Fuerteventura has officially gone from Alert Level I to Level II due to increased cases that are no doubt a result from illegal mass gatherings and parties since Christmas and especially over New Year’s where standard security measures have not been properly observed.

A Plenary Session of the Canarian Government was held on Thursday 14th January 2021 to amend the alert levels of Lanzarote (increased to Level III), Fuerteventura (increased to Level II) and La Gomera (reduced to Level I) and came into effect yesterday, Friday 15th January until Thursday 28th January inclusive as can be seen on the released Announcement.

Restrictions for Alert Level II are:

  • Curfew: Freedom of movement is limited between 11pm and 6am every day
  • Limitations of groups of people in public and private areas: This is restricted to a maximum of FOUR persons except in the cases of co-habitants. If the group is a mixture of both co-habitants and non co-habitants, the maximum is still FOUR.
  • Specific measures for the Hotel and Restaurant Sector (terraces, bars and cafes): The maximum number of persons permitted per table is reduced from six to FOUR and the establishment must close to the public by 11pm. Activities that do not allow the required 2 metre safety distance are not permitted in terraces or other open-air spaces attached to the establishment, i.e., dancing, karaoke and similar
  • Sport Activities: Group or team sports practiced in indoor installations and sports centres that do not allow a permanent safety distance of 2 metres between persons is restricted to a maximum of FOUR persons per group including the instructor. In open-air areas, team sports that do not guarantee a permanent safety distance between participants at all times are not permitted. Group activities where it is not possible to maintain a permanent 2 metre security distance are restricted to a maximum of FOUR persons per group including the instructor (Personal Note: This last part for open-air activities seems contradictory because it is either not permitted or restricted so use discretion here)
  • Hospitals and Public Health Centres: Visitation is limited and must be supervised by health care specialists within the centres. Proper clinical face masks must be used otherwise entry will be refused.
  • Public Transport: In regular public road transport, the maximum capacity has been reduced to 50%. Police forces will be extra vigilant during peak times/ rush hour to prevent crowds from gathering at bus stops etc., and request only essential travel at these times. The frequency of bus routes will be increased and as before, food and drink may not be consumed on board and masks must be used correctly (not under the nose or chin)

These measures will be reviewed again around 28th January to see whether they have been successful or not and if the number of cases decrease, Fuerteventura may return to Alert Level I.

Personally, I am not one for checking the daily statistics of the Canary Islands as I find it too depressing to be so immersed in everything COVID-19, but since we are on the subject, the latest report of the last 24 hours shows the following:

There have been 368 new cases which takes the total number of accumulated cases in the Canary Islands to 30.946 of which there are 7.825 active cases (55 remain in Intensive Care; 300 are hospitalized and the remainder are quarantining at home). There have been four deaths (two males from Tenerife and two from Gran Canaria) aged between 49 and 82 and all with pre-existing medical conditions.

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