A weekly review of life as an ex-pat in Las Palmas Gran Canaria, the Canary Islands.
I have missed a few weeks’ updates on life in Las Palmas. I moved into a new apartment and have been doing a lot of not so exciting stuff getting the place together.
In the past few weeks, many people I know have been visiting the city, so I have been doing a bit of socializing also.
So it’s been a case of not having any interesting to say about the apartment and having stuff I could not print from the socializing part.
COVID IN THE CANARIES.
So, where are we now with Covid in the Canaries? As usual covid restriction levels were reviewed last Thursday. I have to admit the past two reviews have confused me.
Gran Canaria dropped from Level 4 to Level 3.
Tenerife, Fuerteventura, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro remain at Level 3.
Lanzarote stays at Level 2.
The confusing part for me is that restrictions were reduced for all levels 3 and under. For the most part, there is no real difference between Level 3 and Level 1.
The key parts that matter for tourists.
For Level 3 and under, capacity for hospitality/Entertainment is now at 100%.
Bars/Clubs can open until 4 am if their licence allows.
What is the difference between Level 3 and Level 1? For the tourist, not a lot.
Dancing is still not allowed ( i have seen people dancing in bars/clubs)
You still need to wear a mask in shops and transport. The Spanish President has hinted this will change soon (ish)
Visitors from the UK (and other non-EU counties) will now be allowed to enter Spain with a covid recovery cert if they have not been vaccinated. The recovery cert must not be more than 6 months before arrival.
Covid this week by numbers.
10.200 weekly new covid cases 9% fewer than the previous week.
7-day covid rate 421 which is 10% lower than the previous week.
292 covid in hospital is 1% less than the previous week.
33 covid in ICUs which is 23% fewer than the previous week.
I became a resident of the Canary Islands during the week.
If you are an EU citizen, it is not so difficult. So if you are from the EU and are not working here, what do you need?
Own a property or be able to show an address you are renting.
You need to have private healthcare paid for at least a year from applying for residency.
Have a minimum of 9,000 Euro in a Spanish bank.
I had some help with the process. For a reasonable fee, a Polish lady did the process in about three hours. This included visiting the bank and the police station to apply for residency.
The person who helped me was a qualified solicitor, and I was very impressed.
I have not been impressed with Sabadell bank since I opened an account. I feel the person with who I opened the account did not give me the correct information and was only interested in how much commission they could get.
The solicitor cut straight through the bank bullshit during our visit. It was worth paying the fee just for that alone. I must admit I enjoyed seeing the person I opened the account with jumping through hoops.
One significant benefit of getting a residency is having a 75% discount on flights within Spain.
It’s time to go island hopping again.
Its carnival (kind of)
Las Palmas Carnival is in full flow now, but it is not an average year. There are no street parades or street events. All Carnival performances are happening on a large stage in Parque Santa Catalina.
The shows have been sold out, but there is less of a buzz around the city than in normal years.
This week the Murgas competition was taking place. Murgas involves groups singing for up to 30 minutes about social issues. I have to admit I find it hard to listen to.
It is however very popular on the Canary Islands. Maybe now I am a resident, I will get to like it, or as I get older, my hearing will not be as good.
Not perfect, but not bad.
The weather has not been the best in Las Palmas over the past few weeks. From my experience, the city always seems to get one month where temperatures drop, and some rainfalls.
February/March usually are (but not always) when this happens.
The climate in Gran Canaria can be different at times. The north can be wetter and colder than the south. The best way I can explain it is down south is sunny 90% of the time and up north 70%.
That said, I much prefer living in Las Palmas than down south in the resorts. It is an interesting city. It is very Canarian and less touristy. There is always something happening here. 70% sunny is ok by me.
Until next week Hasta Luego.