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Spain to require visitors from high-risk countries to present negative PCR tests

Latest update to this report: Spain changes Covid-19 test requirements for travellers

Also read: Coronavirus in Spain figures (5 Jan)

Spain has announced that it will begin requiring travellers from countries severely affected by Coronavirus (Covid-19) to show a negative result from a PCR test upon their arrival via airports or ports. The measures will not be applied at land borders with France and Portugal.

In order to be allowed into Spain, visitors will have to show they have tested negative for Covid-19 within 72 hours prior to arrival, if asked to do so. The new measure will come into effect from 23 November. Spain’s Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya has said that failure to show a negative PCR test, if required to do so, could result in a fine of up to €6,000.

For visitors arriving from EU countries or from those within the Schengen area, the criteria for a country of high risk will be determined by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). The ECDC publishes weekly maps with the current risk status of each country using a traffic light system of green, orange or red, as determined by the 14-day incidence and positivity rates of Covid-19. At the moment [11 Nov], only Norway, Finland and parts of Greece are not ‘red zone’ (high risk) countries.

The following criteria determine whether a country is ‘green, orange or red’:

  • Green if the 14-day notification rate is lower than 25 cases per 100,000 and the test positivity rate below 4%
  • Orange if the 14-day notification rate is lower than 50 cases per 100,000 but the test positivity rate is 4% or higher or, if the 14-day notification rate is between 25 and 150 cases per 100,000 and the test positivity rate is below 4%
  • Red if the 14-day notification rate is 50 cases per 100,000 or higher and the test positivity rate is 4% or higher, or if the 14-day notification rate is higher than 150 cases per 100,000
  • Grey if there is insufficient information or if the testing rate is lower than 300 cases per 100,000.

For all other countries, the reference to evaluate risk will be 150 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days, according to criteria of the World Health Organization (WHO).

From 23 November, passengers filling out a control form before entering Spain will find an extra question asking if they have a negative PCR test result from the previous 72 hours. Authorities may then request to see the result of the test, if required to have been done for entry purposes, depending on where the visitor has arrived from. It must be an original document, in Spanish or in English. It can be presented in paper or digitally

Existing controls such as temperature checks, other paperwork and visual observations will continue as before, and which have been carried out since June.

The Spanish Health Ministry is to advise tour operators, airlines, maritime companies and companies dedicated to international transport that they must inform their customers of the need to have this PCR test to enter Spain.

ALSO READ: Details of curfews & restrictions for all regions of Spain during ‘State of Alarm’

Click here for all previous reports on: Coronavirus in Spain

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Tuppney 11th November 2020 at 10:19 pm

Will this include residents of Spain who have been on holiday to another destination?

Edwina May Charles 13th November 2020 at 12:25 pm

Does the negative PCR test apply to children? If so, at what age?

Salvador Perez 18th November 2020 at 4:25 pm

Sadly, this apply to children according to spanish new law. It is the only country in Europe forcing children to take a test before arrival, and the only one I have found in all the world. I will have to test a 3 month old baby.

Glen watt 16th November 2020 at 8:51 pm

I am travelling from Canada to Alicante, is Canada deemed as one of the high risk cou tries requiring the 72 hr previous testing? And my flight has a transfer in London gatwick where we do not leave the airport, does this have any requirements?

Laura Jurado 25th November 2020 at 12:07 am

I live in spain and am hoping to travel to England in 2 weeks. whilst there I will only be in quarentine then returning straight back to Spain do we still need a pcr returning to our 0wn country?

SALLY MULDER 26th November 2020 at 12:42 pm

Does this also apply to Spanish residents who return to Spain after Xmas?

Christina Hare 30th November 2020 at 5:21 pm

Is a PCR test required if travel is overland from the UK via Euro tunnel traveling in one’s own vehicle


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