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COVID-19

Spain-Portugal border closure extended until mid-March

Police checks at the border between Spain and Portugal will continue until at least March 16th, the Spanish government has confirmed, in a bid to control the spread of coronavirus with only those with justified cause allowed to cross.

Spain-Portugal border closure extended until mid-March
Photo: MIGUEL RIOPA / AFP

The measure published in the latest Spanish government bulletin BOE means people crossing the border between the two Iberian nations will only be able to cross through authorised border check spots and during the opening hours established.

According to the document, people authorised to cross the border include Spanish citizens and their spouses, parents or children, provided they are travelling to meet with one of these family members.

Residents in Spain who can prove their residency here, students studying in Spain, EU/Schengen area nationals that are returning to their home countries are also allowed to cross.

As can cross-border workers, many of whom have been openly critical about the difficulties the border closures have caused them and instigated the Spanish government to open two more border check posts in Vinhais close to Zamora and Pote da Barca in Galicia.

Finally, those who can prove force majeure reasons for crossing the border with the necessary documentation to accredit it, as well as foreign personnel accredited as members of diplomatic or humanitarian missions or consular offices, can also cross.
 

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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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