Spain extends travel ban on arrivals from UK, Brazil, South Africa

Spain has extended a ban on arrivals by air from Britain, Brazil and South Africa until at least March 2nd over the new virus variants detected in those nations.

Spain extends travel ban on arrivals from UK, Brazil, South Africa
Photo: AFP

Only legal residents or nationals of Spain and the neighbouring micro-state of Andorra are currently allowed in on flights from these countries.   

The restriction on arrivals from Britain was imposed at the end of December while the ban on arrivals from Brazil and South Africa came into effect on February 3rd.

Spain's cabinet agreed on Tuesday to extend these entry restrictions for another two weeks, Health Minister Carolina Darias told a news conference.    

This is the fourth time that Spain has extended its restrictions on arrivals from Britain.

READ MORE: Is it still possible to travel from Spain to the UK right now (and back again)?

Other European nations have also imposed curbs on arrivals from the three nations due to fears that new variants may spread more easily or contain mutations that allow the virus to evade the effects of vaccines.   

Spain on Friday confirmed the first case of the Brazilian variant while at least two cases of the South African variant and 479 cases of the British one have already been detected.

Officials predict the British variant could become the dominant strain in Spain by March.

Spain has been hard-hit by the pandemic recording over 62,000 deaths from nearly three million cases so far.


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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.