The Canary Islands has become the first Spanish autonomous community in which tourists will have Covid-19 travel assistance coverage.

The agreement with insurance provider AXA Spain guarantees cover for all related medical expenses, health repatriation and extension of stays due to quarantine-related regulations.

However, it will not cover cases of Covid-19 known prior to travel.

It will cover all visitors who did not know they had the virus and do not have personal insurance to cover the costs.

The protection of tourists through the new insurance policy takes effect this week and will be valid for 12 months.

The Canary Islands tourism ministry moved to set up the travel assistance policy just weeks after Spain and its islands were removed from the UK government’s ‘safe travel’ list requiring returning travellers to quarantine for 14 days.        

Regional tourism minister  Yaiza Castilla said: “With the introduction of this policy, the Canary Islands further extend their commitment to reinforce and increase the safety and peace of mind of tourists.”

The move came as Portugal – also off the UK’s list of safe travel destinations – introduced dedicated Covid-19 insurance cover for foreign tourists.