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Canaries to impose Christmas and New Year curfew to fight coronavirus 

The Canary Islands are to get tighter coronavirus restrictions for the festive season, including a new night-time curfew and a limit on the number of people who can socialise.

The Canary government says it has to get to grips with the spread of coronavirus, even though the statistics are still lower than the rest of Spain. There is particular concern in Tenerife where even stricter rules could be enforced within the next few days unless the trend of new infections decreases. Most of the new cases are being reported on the main holiday island.Throughout the whole of the Canaries, which include Lanzarote and Gran Canaria, there will be a new curfew of 1am to 6am from December 23rd to January 10th. The islands had previously escaped the nationwide curfew imposed by the Spanish government and at the moment, they are still the only place in Spain where Brits can travel to without having to go into quarantine on their return.

On the nights of December 24th and 25th and on December 31st and  January 1st, the curfew hours start at 1.30am and last until 6am. There will be exceptions, such as to travel to a chemist, to go to work or look after a vulnerable person.Tenerife is the only Canary island still under the red traffic light system which indicates a high alert and this is expected to continue.Spokesman for the Executive, Julio Pérez warned: “The measures taken so far are not giving the desired results and we do not yet know the causes.” Tenerife is therefore facing stricter hours to limit night mobility.On all of the islands, the maximum number of people in social and family gatherings that take place in spaces for public and private use, closed or outdoors, will be limited to six people, except for those people who reside in the same address. However, up to ten people will be allowed to attend family meetings or with relatives to celebrate Christmas lunches and dinners on December 24th, 25th and 31st and January 1st and 6th.,  In all cases, children up to the age of six are excluded in the figures.The rules also state that the hotel and restaurant industry must close at midnight (or 11pm in Tenerife), with the maximum occupancy per table of six people and the distance between chairs of adjoining tables of at least two metres.Parties, festivals and other popular events with crowds which cannot be controlled, such as parades, are banned.

There is also a warning to Christmas shoppers to try and buy their presents and provisions as early as possible or at different hours of the day or evening to avoid big crowds.

Yesterday’s  figures for the Canaries show 214 new cases of coronavirus COVID-19. The total accumulated cases in the Canary Islands is 21,584 with 4,292 active, of which 39 are admitted to the ICU and 205 remain hospitalised. In the last 24 hours, there was one more death, a 74-year-old woman in Tenerife with previous pathologies. The accumulated incidence at seven days in the Canary Islands stands at 44.58 and at 14 days at 84.33.By islands, Gran Canaria now has 41 cases with a total of 9,526 accumulated cases and 1,085 epidemiologically active cases; Tenerife has 9,315 accumulated cases, 150 more than the previous day and 3,063 active. Lanzarote adds 13 new cases with 1,421 accumulated and 62 epidemiologically active; Fuerteventura has 921 accumulated cases with nine more cases than the previous day and 59 active. La Palma does not register new cases and has 216 accumulated and seven active cases; La Gomera adds a new case, standing at 116 accumulated and 15 active. For its part, El Hierro without new cases, maintains its accumulated at 69 and one active.To date, a total of 593,078 PCR tests have been carried out in the islands.Brits heading for the Canaries must carry proof of a negative coronavirus test, specifically a PCR, taken witin 72 hours of travel and show a negative rapid test result at their hotel or apartment reception before being admitted to their accommodation.

The Canary government is currently challenging Spain as it wants all holidaymakers to be accepted into the country with negative rapid tests which are substantially cheaper than PCRs.