Spain extends international travel ban until June 15th

Spain has extended its ban on non-essential travel to the country until June 15th in an order published in the Official State Gazette (BOE) on Friday.

Spain extends international travel ban until June 15th
Photo: AFP

The extension was announced the same day as Spain started to impose quarantine measures on new arrivals.

It means that as a rule only those who are Spanish citizens or who have legal residency in Spain are allowed to enter the territory either by land, sea or air.

However exception is also made for cross-border workers such as long distance lorry drivers, healthcare professionals and caregivers on their way to work, diplomats and individuals who can prove an exceptional reason to travel.

Within the BOE 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 extension follows a recommendation by the EU Commission “to prolong the temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU until June 15th.”

Residents of EU member states or those within the Schengen zone are also allowed to cross the land borders of Spain if they are doing so to return to their primary place of residence, for example to drive from Portugal to their home in France by crossing Spain.

All new arrivals (apart from those in transit) will be required to spend 14 days self-isolating under new quarantine rules brought in by the Spanishh government on Friday May 15th.

France responded with a reciprocal arrangement that means those arriving in France from Spain will also have to undergo quarantine.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez is expected to ask Spain’s parliament to approve another extension to the State of Emergency which was declared on March 14 and see it prolonged until June 29th.

Spain is currently in the process of loosening restrictions on the strict lockdown and is rolling out a four phase de-escalation plan know as the “Plan for the transition to a new normal”.


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US to end Covid testing requirement for travellers from Europe

Authorities in the USA have announced the end of the Covid-testing requirement for arrivals from Europe, meaning that fully vaccinated people will soon be able to travel between Europe and the US without needing pre-travel tests.

US to end Covid testing requirement for travellers from Europe

Most of Europe had dropped the testing requirement for fully-vaccinated arrivals in the spring, but the US has maintained the requirement to show proof of a negative test for all arrivals.

However on Friday, the Biden administration announced that it would not renew the testing requirement.

The new rule is expected to come into effect at 12.01 Sunday EDT, until then passengers will still need to show a negative Covid test before they can board a plane to the US.

The US currently bars unvaccinated travellers from entry – although this does not apply to US citizens, US residents or those travelling for essential reasons – there was no announcement on lifting this restriction. 

The CDC said that testing requirements could be reinstated if new variants of Covid emerge, and added that it continues to recommend pre-travel testing. 

Covid travel rules vary between individual countries in Europe, but most countries now only require pre-departure tests for unvaccinated travellers. Check the rules of the country you are travelling to for full details. 

To be counted as ‘fully vaccinated’ travellers must have received both doses of an EMA-approved vaccine – Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca (or a single dose of Janssen).

If their vaccination was more than nine months ago, they need a booster shot in order to be considered fully vaccinated – people who have had a booster do not need a second, even if their booster shot was more than nine months ago.