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US reclassifies Spain: What does it mean for American travellers?

US reclassifies Spain: What does it mean for American travellers?
Photo: ALEX WONG / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP
The US State Department has eased travel restrictions for Spain as well as for dozens of other countries with improving Covid infection rates and more advanced vaccination campaigns. What does this mean for Americans who want to come to Spain?

The US has moved Spain from being on its “do not travel” list (level 4) to “reconsider travel” (level 3). 

The decision by the US State Department and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention means that Spain is no longer in the highest risk classification for travel. 

However, according to the State Department’s advice for level 3 “reconsider travel”, “US nationals should avoid travel due to serious risks to safety and security”. 

But despite the dissuasive advice for level 3 countries, it is now possible for immunised US nationals to travel to Spain. 

“Make sure you are fully vaccinated before traveling to Spain. Unvaccinated travelers should avoid nonessential travel to Spain,” reads the CDC page for Spain. 

The announcement comes just days after Spain decided to open its borders to vaccinated travellers from outside the EU/Schengen Zone from June 7th, as long as they’ve been fully vaccinated 14 days before travel with approved vaccines and can show a vaccination certificate. 

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Other countries that are no longer classified as “do not travel” are France, Italy, Japan, Greece, Switzerland, Canada and Mexico. You can find out other countries’ classifications here

The CDC said it had also updated the criteria it uses to determine these risk levels “to better differentiate countries with severe outbreak situations from countries with sustained, but controlled, COVID-19 spread”.

The US State Department uses the CDC’s recommendations to set its own travel advice but also considers other factors such as Covid restrictions and terrorism in other countries.

All returning US citizens require a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding their plane back, the CDC added.


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