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 travelling, 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.
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