Spain lifts travel ban for Brazil and South Africa but requires quarantine from arrivals

Spain’s Health Ministry has lifted the ban on travellers from Brazil and South Africa, but they will still have to quarantine for ten days even if they are fully vaccinated. 

Spain lifts travel ban for Brazil and South Africa but requires quarantine from arrivals
Photo: Josep LAGO / AFP

From Tuesday August 3rd, Brazil and South Africa will be classified as “high risk” by Spanish authorities, meaning that travellers from the two nations will be able to visit Spain for the first time in six months, but they will have to quarantine for ten days.

The decision was published in Spain’s official state bulletin (BOE) on Saturday July 31st, in which it is stated that Brazil and South Africa’s epidemiological situation “continues to be unfavourable”. 

All travellers who set off from airports in either country must remain at their address or accommodation in Spain and limit their contact with others and movement to the strictly essential.

The Spanish government makes no quarantine exception for fully vaccinated travellers from countries on the quarantine list, who will also have to meet Spain’s other travel rules and restrictions for entry.

The ten-day quarantine can end earlier if the traveller gets a negative NAAT or similar test result on the seventh day after landing in Spain.

Arrivals from South Africa and Brazil will also have to meet Spain’s other entry requirements (vaccination/testing/recovery) and complete a health control form. 

READ MORE: What are the new rules for travel to Spain for all international travellers?

Spain first introduced the travel ban on February 2nd soon after new Covid variants were detected in both nations. 

For the past six months, only legal residents or nationals of Spain and the neighbouring microstate of Andorra have been allowed in after setting off on flights from Brazil and South Africa. 

On July 27th, the Spanish government also added Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia and Namibia to its quarantine list, which also includes India.

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Ryanair strike in Spain kicks off with hardly any cancelled flights

The first of the six days of strike action called by Ryanair’s cabin crew in Spain began on Friday with a much smaller impact than expected for travellers, as only a handful of flights from Belgium were cancelled.  

Ryanair strike in Spain kicks off with hardly any cancelled flights

Irish low-cost airline Ryanair on Friday decided to operate 100 percent of its scheduled flights to and from Spain, considering all of them protected by the minimum services decree approved by Spain’s Ministry of Transport.

The only flights which could not take off were those heading to Spain from Belgium, where the work stoppage led Europe’s biggest budget airline to cancel some of the 127 flights to and from Charleroi airport (near Brussels) that are scheduled from Friday to Sunday.

Spain’s Transport Ministry has argued there needs to be a balance between the “right to strike” and the “interest of travellers”.

However, it only ordered 73 to 82 percent of domestic flights to and from Spain’s mainland and its two archipelagos – the Canary and Balearic Islands – to be kept, and between 53 percent and 58 percent of its internal mainland flights to go ahead.

Unions said Ryanair went beyond what was required and forced staff to maintain 100 percent of flights, adding that they would take Ryanair to court as a result.

They also reported that the budget carrier summoned 80 percent more workers than on a normal day to carry out “imaginary” shifts.

“The company informed staff that all flights were subject to the minimum service, and threatened them with disciplinary action,” Ernesto Iglesias of local USO told reporters at Madrid airport.

The airline was not “respecting the law,” he added.

Security officers stand guard as Ryanair employees gather during a strike at Adolfo Suarez Madrid Barajas airport Madrid on June 24, 2022.  (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP)

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has been dismissive of the strikes. “We operate two and half thousand flights every day,” he said earlier this month in Belgium.

“Most of those flights will continue to operate even if there is a strike in Spain by some Mickey Mouse union or if the Belgian cabin crew unions want to go on strike over here,” he told journalists.

Ryanair cabin crew unions in Portugal and Belgium have also called a three-day strike starting on Friday, and in Italy and France on Saturday.

The strikes come as air travel has rebounded since Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted.

But many airlines, which laid off staff during the pandemic, are having trouble rehiring enough workers, forcing them to cancel flights. That includes easyJet, which has been particularly hard hit by employee shortages.