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Canary Islands holidays: What are the latest travel rules and do you need a Covid test?

While mainland Spain remains firmly off the UK government’s safe list, the country has re-established travel corridors to the Canary Islands.

It means travellers from the UK can now venture to the holiday isles off the coast of west Africa without having to self-isolate on their return. And as they’ve also returned to the Foreign Office’s (FCDO) list of destinations exempt from its blanket advisory against non-essential international travel, any existing travel insurance will be valid when you visit.

With eight main islands to choose from – Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa – and balmy weather well into winter, there’s plenty of reasons to book a last-minute getaway now.

But what are the rules for entry? And do you need to take a Covid test before you go?

Here’s what you need to know.

Am I allowed to travel to the Canary Islands from the UK?

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For the time being, yes.

The Canary Islands are on the FCDO’s safe list, which means you can travel there without invalidating your travel insurance.

However, as of 5 November, new lockdown restrictions in the UK means you won’t be able to travel anywhere unless you have an “essential” reason for doing so. This will apply to those living in England until 2 December. 

The essential reasons are work and education, or “other legally permitted reasons” – although the government has yet to clarify what the latter constitutes.

Wales, which just ended its “fire-break” lockdown, has an indefinite “non-essential travel” ban in place. The Welsh government said: “Travel out of Wales is only allowed under limited circumstances, such as for work or education.”

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