COVID-19: New Regulations and Fuerteventura Moves Up to Phase 3

As we have now become accustomed, every Thursday, the Canarian Government releases the latest status update of all

As we have now become accustomed, every Thursday, the Canarian Government releases the latest status update of all islands and what regulations each citizen must follow according to the Alert Level or Phase of their island.

Last Thursday was no exception, however, this time, a new Decree outlining definitions and exact regulations for each alert level. I am referring to Decree-Law 11/2021, 2nd September, an 88 page document that you can check for yourself by clicking on the link, that establishes judicial regulations re the health alert as well as measures to control and manage the COVID-19 pandemic in the Canary Islands.

The Phases are determined by a risk evaluation based on various epidemiological indicators, the ability of the local health service to attend to the number of active cases, capacity of the ICU etc and any other parameters deemed necessary by the Authorities.

As we know, we operate under a “Traffic Light” system where Phase 1 (Green) is low risk, Phase 2 (Yellow) is medium risk, Phase 3 (Red) is high risk and Phase 4 (Brown) is very high risk. Any changes to alert levels must remain in place for 14 days after the last weekly evaluation, however, in the event of significant changes during that period, separate measures may be activated by the authorities either to increase or decrease limitations.

For now, I am only going to outline measures for Phase 3 since Fuerteventura is directly affected from midnight of Monday 6th December 2021 (Sunday night to Monday) 


  • CAPACITY: The maximum capacity in establishments is as follows –
    • Hospitality and Restaurant Sector: Specific establishments and similar ones that provide food and drink services as complementary services to the business’ primary activity: 75% exterior and 40% interior
    • Cultural Activities (theatre, cinema, auditoriums, cultural centres, libraries, concert arenas, museums and similar): 55% exterior and interior
    • Other Activities and Spaces: 50% exterior and 33% interior
  • GATHERINGS: In both exterior and interior areas as well as in public and private spaces, the maximum number of persons permitted to meet together is limited to 6, unless they ALL reside under the same roof. If the group is mixed, i.e., some reside together and others don’t, the maximum is still 6
  • CLOSING TIMES: For those establishments that prior to the pandemic did not have a fixed closing time or could close later, the maximum hour permitted is 1am
  • MASS GATHERINGS: These types of events with more than 1000 in attendance are not permitted regardless of an inside or outside venue
  • HOSPITALITY AND RESTAURANT SECTORS: The persons responsible for these types of establishments must collect information on their employees, patrons etc so that in the event of an outbreak, it can be traced and those present can be advised. This is the same register we are familiar with that must include full names, DNI/NIE, phone number, date and time of service and must be kept for at least one month after the event for Public Health Inspectors to examine if necessary
  • NIGHTLIFE: Discos, clubs, cocktail bars, karaokes are allowed to continue but only in establishments that have municipal authorization (Opening Licences with the express right to carry out these activities). Dancing is prohibited. The persons responsible for these types of establishments must collect information on their employees, patrons etc so that in the event of an outbreak, it can be traced and those present can be advised as stated above
  • CHILD CAMPS (Summer Camp set up) whether outdoor or indoor have a maximum capacity of 33% over normal and a maximum of 20 participants including the Instructor
  • PUBLIC TRANSPORT has a reduced capacity of 50% over normal
  • INDOOR SPAS, POOLS AND SAUNAS must remain closed unless its use is for therapeutic reasons, in which case the maximum capacity is 33%
  • KIDDY PARKS, REST AREAS AND SIMILAR in establishments, shopping centres and similar must remain closed unless the proper disinfection can be guaranteed after each use
  • MARKETS: Only those markets that are carried out sporadically, on public streets and outdoors are permitted
  • PARKS AND BEACHES: These areas and similar places in public areas where “botellones” (gatherings where people drink alcoholic beverages in public) usually take place must remain closed
  • CHOIRS, BANDS, ORQUESTRAS AND SIMILAR: This type of activity is prohibited in an indoor setting unless continued use of masks and the 2 metre social distancing regulation can be upheld at all times


  • Each person who makes up a bubble or stable social relations must avoid social gatherings outside of said bubble as much as possible and try to stick to their own group
  • The constant use of masks in an indoor setting and outdoors when social distancing measures cannot be applied
  • To keep a record of those persons with whom you come into close contact with and to download the Radar-Covid app to assist with tracking people who may have been in contact with an infected person


  • For those establishments open to the public, a complete disinfection of the installations must take place at least once a day, paying close attention to common areas and surfaces of most contact (door handles, tables, bannisters, railings, floors, phones, hangers, counters, chairs and similar elements) with approved products, i.e., bleach solutions (1:50). If equipment or tools are shared by more than one user, client, employee… these must be disinfected after each use
  • Cleanliness of bathrooms, changing rooms, locker rooms and similar areas is paramount
  • Pedal actioned bins must be used and they must be cleaned frequently
  • Payment by card is encouraged over cash and coins and credit card machines must be cleaned after each use
  • I won’t detail each item in the decree but commonsense says to clean, clean, clean surfaces, elements and equipment as much as possible to prevent contamination
  • There must be clear signs reminding customers to maintain the security distance between each other and where possible there should be different entrance and exit points that are clearly marked
  • The maximum capacity in bathrooms, locker rooms and changing rooms is ONE person in areas under 4m2 unless they require assistance, in which case they may be accompanied. For areas larger than 4m2, the maximum capacity is 50% over normal maintaining the security distance between users


  • These establishments must guarantee that the 2m security distance between chairs of different tables and/or groups of tables as well as groups of customers at the bar is maintained at all times
  • Each table or group of tables should be placed in accordance to the number of persons to occupy them and whre possible placed in a zig-zag formationn to prevent further distancing between persons. The bar must be clearly marked so that each customer knows exactly where they should remain
  • Menus must be avoided and instead electronic boards, blackboards (chalkboards if you want to be all PC), signs, QR and similar devices must be used
  • Auxiliary table elements such as crockery, glassware, cutlery, tablecloths, bread baskets, mugs etc must be stored in closed cupboard away from areas used by customers. Decorative elements must be removed from tables
  • Napkin holders, tooth pick holders, vinegar, olive oil bottles, salt and pepper shakers etc must be removed and single use packaging must be used instead
  • Smoking on terraces or other exterior areas linked to the establishment is prohibited
  • Correct ventilation in interior areas must be guaranteed
  • Customers must wait to be seated by staff to ensure the table, chairs and other elements have been properly disinfected
  • Buffets and self-service establishments must create hygenic measures and be extra vigilant of use of masks, hand gel etc
  • Delivery service in all alert levels is permitted until midnight
  • Use of masks must be permanent except in the moment food and beverages are being consumed

I hope this summary is useful and any comments are welcome. Fuerteventura is currently the only island at Phase 3; all other islands including Gran Canaria and Tenerife where there are CITIES and large towns with higher populations are at Phase 1 which is embarrassing. We must do better people!

About Sabrina L. Williams

Although I was born in the UK, I moved to the Canary Islands, Spain at a young age and I haven't looked back. The Canaries is a fantastic place to live, I mean you can do all types of outdoor activities practically all year round because of the great weather. Horses are my poison but the islands are also a superb spot for water sports so they do attract a lot of attention from people around the world. Anyway, enough about that. Back in 2011, I made one of the biggest, scariest yet best decisions I'd ever made and set-up my own business in the middle of a recession. I love what I do as no two days are the same, plus Spanish law keeps me on my toes as it is constantly changing (often without warning!) so there is always something new to learn. As I've branched out in the world of Administrative Consultancy, I decided to create a blog to discuss topics of interest to others in my industry and my clients, share tips and experiences, to see what new ideas people have for improving their businesses and the like so I hope you'll find the time to join me on this venture...

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