Saturday, June 15, 2024

Spain Prolongs Travel Restrictions for Third Countries With COVID-19 Mutations

Since April 5, 2021, the Spanish Government has extended the existing restrictions for regions where COVID-19 mutations have widely spread. The order will be effective until April 19, 2021. Nevertheless, the restrictions may be extended if the COVID-19 and its mutations cannot be contained in these countries.

Previously, Spain extended the measures for Brazil and South Africa until April 4. In contrast, the Spanish Government spokesperson Maria Jesus Montero announced that the entry ban against United Kingdom citizens would be lifted.

The decision to further extend the measures was taken upon the EU Council’s recommendation, modifying the original recommendation regarding the temporary travel ban to the EU. The new proposal defines that all persons entering Spain from a country where the new COVID-19 variants are widely spread, such as Brazil and South Africa, must self-isolate and follow the imposed rules.

The aviation industry personnel that is needed to carry out transport activities is exempted from the measures.

In a press release, the Minister of Health Carolina Darias San Sebastián announced that the new measures determine that all persons flying from any airport located in Brazil, South Africa, Union of Comoros, Botswana, Kenya, Ghana, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, Peru, Zimbabwe, and Colombia to any airport in Spain, with or without making any stops in other countries, must self-isolate for ten days.

However, travellers can be free of any self-isolation measures if they undergo a Coronavirus test on the seventh day and submit a negative result, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

The Spanish Government explained that no one is allowed to leave their accommodation during the self-isolation period to meet a third-party person or travel without any essential reason.

They are only allowed to carry out essential activities such as buying food and medications, provide help to healthcare centres, or leave the self-isolation place due to an unexpected event or emergency.

The Government’s concern about the Brazilian and South African variants of the COVID-19 still remains because of the high transferability and infection rate and its fast spread in other countries, which would consequently lower the efficacy of the vaccine.

“Currently, there is growing evidence that mutations in this variant can help the virus evade immune system responses triggered by previous SARS-CoV-2 infections or by vaccines,” the Spanish Government’s press release reads.

The South African authorities announced that the variant, which was detected back in December 2020, replaced the other variants due to its higher transmission rate. Therefore, occasional cases have been identified in many countries around the world.

Recently Spain extended the border controls with Portugal until April 17 as well as restricted non-essential travel restrictions from countries outside of the EU and Schengen Zone until April 30 to contain the further spread of the Coronavirus.

Simultaneously, the Spanish authorities announced that they had abolished the ban for all passengers flying from the United Kingdom after taking into account the COVID-19 situation prevailing in its territory.

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