Spain Tightens Entry Rules Due to Fears of New COVID-19 Omicron Variant

The Spanish authorities have announced that the country has decided to follow suit from the other Member States and tighten its entry restrictions for arrivals from seven southern African countries.

According to the latest update that was published yesterday, on November 29, by Spain’s Ministry of Health, travellers from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe will be subject to stringent entry rules as these areas are currently affected by the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Such a decision came not long after the European Union’s Commission Ursula von der Leyen advised that the Member States stop travel to and from the affected areas. She said that all air travel to these territories should be suspended until there is a clear understanding of the danger posed by the new variant.

In order to prevent the further spread of the new variant, the authorities have announced that everyone who returns to Spain after staying in one of the seven above-mentioned countries will be required to present a negative test result taken within 72 hours before arrival.

The same has disclosed that rapid antigen tests are also recognised for entry. However, the test must not be older than 48 hours, reports.

Except for Spain, other EU/Schengen Area countries have also imposed a travel ban and entry restrictions against arrivals from the southern African countries that have been affected by the Omicron variant.

>> EU Countries Tighten Travel Restrictions As Omicron Variant Is Detected in Several Member States

Moreover, Spain has also made changes to its COVID-19 risk list. On last week’s update of the Coronavirus-affected countries list, only five regions of Finland and several regions of Italy were part of it. Nonetheless, since the epidemiological situation has worsened in these areas, now the whole territory of Finland and Italy is part of Spain’s risk list.

Based on the figures from the World Health Organization (WHO), only during the last seven days, Italy has identified 82,130 new COVID-19 infection cases. During the same period, Finland registered 7,197 new cases.

All travellers from these two countries must provide proof of vaccination against the virus with one of the vaccines that Spain recognises for travel. Certificates that prove recovery from the virus are also recognised.

On the other hand, those who don’t hold any of the two documents are required to present a negative COVID-9 test result in order to be permitted entry.

The same rules apply to another 27 EU/Schengen Area countries that will continue to be part of Spain’s risk until December 5.

These countries are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

Apart from the changes mentioned above, the Spanish authorities have announced that British travellers who don’t hold a COVID-10 vaccination certificate will no longer be allowed entry to the country. From December 1, Spain will not recognise negative COVID-19 tests for entry.

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