The Spanish authorities have announced that the country has decided to follow the example of other member states and tighten its entry restrictions on arrivals from seven countries in South Africa.
According to the latest update published yesterday, on November 29, by the Spanish Ministry of Health, travelers from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe will be subject to strict entry rules as these areas are currently affected by the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.
The decision came shortly after the European Union Commission Ursula von der Leyen advised member states to stop travel to and from affected areas. She said all flights to these areas should be suspended until there is a clear understanding of the risk posed by the new alternative.
In order to prevent the further spread of the new variant, the authorities announced that everyone who returns to Spain after staying in one of the seven countries listed above will be required to submit a negative test result taken within 72 hours prior to arrival.
The same has revealed that rapid antigen tests are also recognized for entry. However, the test should not exceed 48 hours, TheSchengen.com reports.
With the exception of Spain, other EU/Schengen area countries have also imposed travel bans and entry restrictions on arrivals from South African countries affected by the Omicron variant.
>> EU countries tighten travel restrictions as Omicron variant detected in several member states
Moreover, Spain has also made changes to its COVID-19 risk list. In an update last week of the list of countries affected by the coronavirus, only five regions of Finland and several regions of Italy were part of it. However, since the epidemiological situation has worsened in these regions, now the entire territory of Finland and Italy are part of the risk list in Spain.
Based on World Health Organization (WHO) figures, in the past seven days alone, Italy has identified 82,130 new cases of COVID-19. During the same period, Finland recorded 7,197 new cases.
All travelers from these two countries must provide proof of vaccination against the virus with one of the vaccines recognized by Spain for travel. Certificates proving recovery from the virus are also recognized.
On the other hand, those who do not hold either document are required to submit a negative COVID-9 test result in order to be admitted.
The same rules apply to the other 27 EU/Schengen area countries which will continue to be part of the Spain risk until December 5th.
These countries are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Netherlands, Poland Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Apart from the aforementioned changes, Spanish authorities have announced that British travelers without a COVID-10 vaccination certificate will not be allowed to enter the country. From December 1, Spain will not recognize negative COVID-19 tests for entry.