13th Oct 2021 @ 8:21 am

The Canaries and Lanzarote continue to improve their Covid figures, and have suffered a far lower percentage of cases than Spain as a whole since the pandemic began last year. 

The total number of active cases on Lanzarote is now at one of the lowest levels it has been since last summer, and official Canarian Government sources report that the hospital is now empty of Covid patients.

The Canary Islands are now classed as low risk in all but one of the main coronavirus indicators, while Lanzarote – still at medium risk – has also posted rapidly improving figures over the last few days. 

The one indicator in which the Canaries and Lanzarote appear to be lagging is traceability – the percentage of active cases which have been successfully linked to a recorded outbreak or case. In both cases, this is around 60%, meaning that about 40% of cases have not been traced.

While no reason has been given for this, one likely explanation is tourism.  The Canarian tracing teams do not have the resources to trace imported cases to their country of origin, and a  few weeks ago the head of testing on Lanzarote stated that a third of new cases were among tourists.

The lack of testing requirements for double-vaccinated visitors to the island – who can still contract the virus, although their symptoms are likely to be milder – means that it is likely that some tourists have arrived with the virus, and are only likely to discover they are positive after pre-flight tests on their return.

Nevertheless, tourists have never been a significant source of Covid outbreaks on Lanzarote, and the high levels of vaccination among residents and visitors means that this is even less likely nowadays.

To date, 6, 953 cases of Covid have been detected on Lanzarote since the start of the pandemic. This means that 4.5% of the population, or about one in 20 people, have experienced the disease. An even lower  percentage of 4.3% applies to the whole of the Canaries

The figure is not precise – some cases have been registered in visitors to the islands, and it is believed that many cases went undetected in the earliest days of the pandemic, when testing was not widely available. But they still suggest that Lanzarote and the Canaries have performed far better than Spain as a whole, where over 10% of the population have now had a case of Covid 19.

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