CORONAVIRUS

Spain to extend restrictions on international travelers until June 15

The temporary measures, aimed at slowing the coronavirus outbreak, will not affect essential travel

Spanish police at the French border during the coronavirus lockdown.
Spanish police at the French border during the coronavirus lockdown.Adria Salido Zarco/NurPhoto/Getty Images / Getty

Spain’s Official State Gazette (BOE) on Friday published an order extending restrictions on non-essential travel for people coming into Spanish territory until June 15.

The move acknowledges a recommendation by the European Commission “to prolong the temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU until 15 June.” The restrictions on travel into the EU space went into effect on March 17, although Brussels asked member states to allow free internal movement for European citizens.

Exceptional travel conditions are part of the fight against the spread of the coronavirus, which has claimed over 27,000 lives in Spain, according to the official count.

The Spanish government recently announced a 14-day self-quarantine for international travelers, effective today and until the end of the state of alarm.

Besides the quarantine, non-essential travel will be heavily restricted

Besides the quarantine, non-essential travel to Spain will be heavily restricted. As a rule, Spanish authorities will only let in Spanish citizens, permanent residents of Spain, and regular residents of the Schengen area (30 countries that include the EU members, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Andorra) who are in transit to their place of residence.

Exceptions are also made for cross-border workers, healthcare professionals and caregivers on their way to work, diplomats and individuals who can prove an essential reason to travel, including for humanitarian reasons.

The order stipulates that authorities may also turn away EU citizens and their relatives for public health reasons if they are not “registered as residents of Spain, or headed directly to their place of residence in another member state, Schengen-associated state or Andorra.”

An exception is also made for “the spouse of a Spanish citizen, or partner in a similar relationship that is registered in a public registry, and for descendants and parents living with the citizen, as long as they are traveling with this citizen or on their way to reunite with him or her.”

The order goes into effect on Saturday, May 16 and will remain in place until midnight on June 15. This pushes the travel restrictions beyond May 24, the date when the current state of alarm is due to end in Spain, although Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, of the Socialist Party (PSOE), will ask Congress for permission to extend it to June 29.

After two months under one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns, Spaniards have gradually recovered some mobility through a deescalation plan that is currently underway.

English version by Susana Urra.

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