Spain’s Ministry of Health Inter-territorial Council met this Wednesday with Health Minister Salvador Illa, and have reported this lunchtime that they are going to require all international travellers, from risk countries, to certify a negative PCR test result obtained within 72 hours prior to arrival in the country, and this accreditation may be requested from the passenger at any time. The newly announced measure will be published tomorrow in Spain’s Official State Gazette (BOE) and will come into force as of November 23.
Extra health controls are already being carried out on all international passengers at the points of entry to Spain, including temperature controls and visual monitoring.
The Health Control Form that all passengers must complete before entering the country will include a declaration asking if they have had a negative PCR test result, obtained within 72 hours prior to arrival to Spain. The document must be the original, written in Spanish or English and may be submitted in paper or electronic format. if the form has not been completed electronically, which generates a QR code through the main Spain Travel Health website www.spth.gob.es or the mobile app “Spain Travel Health-SpTH”, it can be submitted in paper format before boarding. In which case, it must be accompanied by the original document certifying the results of the diagnostic test.
RISK ZONES ARE THOSE ABOVE 150 INFECTIONS PER 100,000 POPULATION (RED)
Designated risk zones and countries that will be required to present PCR certificates, in the case of European Union and Schengen zone countries, will be those that are seeing more than 150 infections per 100,000 of population, set according to the criteria in EU Recommendation 2020/1475, of October 13, which established the traffic light system in a coordinated EU wide approach to restricting free movement to response to the Covid-19 pandemic. As for third countries, which will include the UK as of December 31, the reference will be based on that country’s accumulated incidence per 100,000 inhabitants over the previous 14 days, as well as International Health regulations, based on information provided by the European Center for Prevention and Disease Control (ECDC).
Travel agencies, tour operators and air or maritime transport companies, as well as any other agent that markets travel tickets, must inform passengers of the obligation to present a negative PCR test result in order to travel. The Health Ministry says that this new measure complies with EU Recommendation 2020/1475, which seeks to end the disparity in health control models implemented by the various countries of the European Union.
The carrying out PCR tests prior to travel has been one of the most often repeated demands from the Government of the Canary Islands, who have said since March that they consider such test results essential to guarantee confidence in the tourism sector for the archipelago, reinforcing health security for the destination.
Spain’s Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, who is visiting the islands today, has confirmed that she is negotiating with other European administrations to facilitate tests at origin and at destination as part of the tourist corridors, which the Canary Islands have been demanding for months.
Along with the president of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, the minister presented the new “Back to the Canary Islands, back to Spain” campaign, designed by the national tourism board, Turespaña, aiming to boost demand for trips to the islands this winter season.
“The tourist corridor protocol for the Canary Islands already incorporates an element to avoid quarantines and travel restrictions” said the President. “We are negotiating those tourist corridors with the main source markets. We hope very soon it will be the tool that offers security for a destination”.
Maroto said that any measure that reinforces security will generate trust, which is what is most needed to convince travellers to visit the archipelago.
President Torres has made clear that steps will continue to be taken to increase security and indicated that he hopes these steps would be “imminent”.
“We have a few key weeks ahead in which there will be, surely, responses to the requests that we have made to offer safe tourism and to be able to recover [visitor numbers] as soon as possible” he concluded.