Spain on Tuesday announced that it is lifting a ban on air and sea arrivals from the United Kingdom that had been in place since December in a bid to contain the spread of a new coronavirus variant first detected in Britain.
Restrictions on flights from Brazil and South Africa, introduced for similar reasons, will remain in place until mid-April after the current period expires on March 30. Restrictions on UK travel will not be renewed on that date.
Passengers traveling to Spain from the UK will have to show a negative PCR test taken 72 hours before travel.
Spain is a safe country that is strictly following the recommendations of the World Health Organization and the expertsGovernment spokesperson María Jesús Montero
The announcement was made by government spokesperson María Jesús Montero after the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
“Spain is a safe country that is strictly following the recommendations of the World Health Organization and the experts,” said Montero, the Europa Press news agency reported.
The change in policy has been adopted as the British government announced fines of £5,000 (around €6,000) for travelers who go abroad for vacationing purposes, starting on Monday. The UK currently bans foreign travel except for health, work and other essential reasons, although the ban is up for review in April.
Germany has also expanded its restrictions due to a spike in infections, and is asking Germans to stay at home between April 1 and 5. At the news conference, Spanish government spokesperson Montero ruled out the possibility of Spain introducing a similarly strict confinement over Easter.
Spanish authorities have come under criticism from their dual approach to the upcoming Easter break. On one hand, all Spanish regions will be under a perimetral lockdown during the Easter holidays, meaning that nobody can enter or leave their region of residence without a justified reason. But the central government has placed no similar rules on visitors from Europe.
The European Commission on Monday called on Spain for “coherence” with regard to its domestic and international coronavirus travel restrictions within the 27-country bloc.