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COVID-19

New Covid strain: Spain delays UK flight ban and calls for ‘coordinated EU response’

Spain’s government decided on Sunday not to follow other European countries including France, Netherlands, Italy and Belgium and ban flights from the UK.

New Covid strain: Spain delays UK flight ban and calls for ‘coordinated EU response’
Photo: AFP

UPDATE: Spain has now suspended flights – latest news HERE

 

Instead the Government of Pedro Sánchez asked the President of the European Commission, Úrsula von der Leyen, and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, to give “a coordinated community response” to prevent flights from the United Kingdom.

Any decision must be taken “to protect the rights of community residents through coordination, avoiding unilateralism”, the government said in a press statement stating that they hoped that there will be a “rapid response from the European institutions”.

A decision is expected to be taken at a meeting at the highest EU level planned for Monday evening.

But a ban does not seem far off and Spain may reassess and take the decision to do so if a EU-wide was not forthcoming,

“If there were not (a rapid response), Spain would act in defence of the interests and rights of Spanish residents.”

In the meantime Spain emphasised that PCR tests are required for those travelling from the UK – as well as other countries deemed high risk – for entry into Spain by air or sea.

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TRAVEL NEWS

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.

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