Last update: March 13, 2020, 18:27 (GMT)
NEW OFFICIAL STATEMENT EXPECTED FOR MONDAY, MARCH 16th
Gran Canaria has only twelve COVID-19 cases, and Bear Carnival has received a minimal amount of cancellation requests. However, many visitors cannot reach the island because of travel restrictions all over the World and, most importantly, our country has just declared the state of emergency. This is a game changer, as this legal instrument is normally used to restrict the movement of people within a country. Even when Yumbo Centre is currently open and there are ways for Bear Carnival 2020 to happen, we must be prepared for any scenario, from downsizing / splitting major parties, to a complete cancellation of the bear week.
Spanish Government is releasing new directives this weekend. Accordingly, we will release an official statement on this webpage and our Facebook channels next Monday, March 16. If you bought a ticket and your event gets affected, you will be told by e-mail too, including updated refund procedures.
Please be a little patient till the legal situation is clarified by the authorities. Thank you for your good wishes and heartwarming messages. They are really appreciated.
Some massive events (more than 1.000 simultaneous attendants) are being cancelled across Europe, but Bear Carnival events don’t qualify for this, as our bigger event (Wet & Hairy pool party) welcomes less than 500 visitors at the same time. It could be, however, downsized.
There is no virus outbreak in Gran Canaria, but precautionary measures against large crowds. Actually, there has been only six COVID-19 cases in Gran Canaria so far: a group of Italian and Dutch tourists. There were also several cases in Tenerife, another Canary Island, which triggered a lockdown of the hotel they were staying in. The quarantine already finished. Please let us clarify that the Canary Islands receive 12 million visitors per year, who are hosted in more than one thousand hotels and apartment complexes. We should also mention that the Spanish public health system ranks within the Top 10 in the World, according to independent sources.
BUT WHAT IF…?
Ok. In the nearly impossible scenario of an official alert in Gran Canaria, asking people to avoid crowds of few hundred persons during our bear week (that is, a situation of force majeure because of an out-of-control virus outbreak), affected Bear Carnival events would be of course downsized (which is likely), postponed or even cancelled. In the later, worst case scenario, tickets would be refunded, of course. But, we repeat, there are no signs at all that this could happen.
CAN I GET A REFUND FOR THIS?
Our refund policy states we can only refund tickets in case we are forced to shut down an event, something which is nearly impossible due to the size of our parties (as explained above). However, given the cancellation of every flight from Italy, USA and other countries due to COVID-19, we are ready to help beyond our refund policy. Please visit our recently updated terms of service to check if your order could qualify for a full or partial refund. If it doesn’t, we can still give you an alternative: reselling your ticket at our newly launched free resale service.
ANY ADVICE DURING THE BEAR WEEK?
Yes: the same advice that would apply without COVID-19. Just wash your hands frequently, as you must do in any crowded place. It’s better not to touch your mouth, nose or eyes unnecessarily. This easy practice drastically reduces the possibilities of any kind of infection. These have been the only recommendations from official health authorities to us so far. To ease this, we will be installing waterless hand sanitizing stations or similar alternatives at key points as the Info-Kiosk (open from 22h), and those events with limited access to handwash sinks (namely the boat trips).
Spanish Ministry of Health
Page on COVID-19 (auto-translation provided below)
Status: no increased health risk in Gran Canaria. Caution recommended in Madrid and certain cities around Basque Country.
Canarian Department of Health
Status: no outbreak, but a precautionary order to restrict very large events with more than 1.000 attendants has been issued (auto-translation provided below). This has no effect on Bear Carnival, as our events are much smaller.