SHARE
COPY LINK

COVID-19 RULES

Covid-19: Spain scraps self-isolation for asymptomatic and mild cases

From Monday March 28th, people in Spain who test positive for Covid-19 but are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms will no longer be required to quarantine for seven days. 

Covid-19: Spain scraps self-isolation for asymptomatic and mild cases
It will also no longer be necessary for people with mild symptoms that could be related to Covid-19 to get tested to confirm their infection. (Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP)

Spain is bringing to a close its compulsory period of quarantine for those who test positive for the coronavirus but don’t have serious symptoms, the country’s Public Health Commission announced last Tuesday. 

The health body which advises Spain’s Health Ministry on which actions to take recommends that people with Covid-19 but who have mild or no symptoms still stay at home and rest, that if they go out they wear a mask indoors and outdoors, and that they keep social contact to a minimum for a week. 

Quarantines will remain mandatory for serious cases and those classified as part of the high-risk or vulnerable population, which includes those over 60 years of age, immunosuppressed people and pregnant women. 

A seven-day isolation period will also still be required from health staff who test positive for Covid-19.

In nursing homes and hospitals, quarantines will also continue to be mandatory regardless of people’s symptoms. The isolation period will last five days and can only end if 24 hours have passed without the person experiencing any symptoms.

These changes are part of Spanish health authorities’ strategy of focusing primarily on serious Covid cases, as evidenced recently when they decided to stop counting each and every new Covid-19 infection there is, and concentrate instead on monitoring high-risk groups and serious coronavirus cases. 

It will also no longer be necessary for people with mild symptoms that could be related to Covid-19 to get tested to confirm their infection; only those with serious symptoms and high-risk groups have to get tested now. 

READ MORE: Spain to stop counting Covid infections except for serious cases 

“The high levels of immunity reached among the Spanish population have determined a change in the epidemiology of the coronavirus, which explains this transition to a different strategy,” the Public Health Commission said. 

The health body hasn’t ruled out bringing back the seven-day isolation period for mild cases if the ICU and hospital bed occupancy by Covid patients reaches a high-risk level again. 

In early March, Spain also lifted the mandatory isolation of unvaccinated people who were close contacts of positive cases.

After several weeks of falling coronavirus cases preceded by a rampant sixth wave which left five million infections, Spain’s fortnightly infection rate has now plateaued at around 450 cases per 100,000 people.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

TRAVEL NEWS

TRAVEL: Spain extends ban on unvaccinated non-EU tourists

Britons, Americans and other non-EU/Schengen travellers who are neither vaccinated nor recently recovered from Covid-19 will not be able to visit Spain for tourism for at least another month, Spanish authorities have confirmed.

TRAVEL: Spain extends ban on unvaccinated non-EU tourists

The Spanish government has again extended temporary restrictions for non-essential travel (including tourism) from most third countries for another month, until June 15th 2022.

That means that non-EU/Schengen adults who reside outside of the EU and who haven’t been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or recovered from the illness in the past six months cannot go on holiday to Spain during the next month. 

Therefore, Spain continues to not accept negative Covid-19 tests from British, American, Canadian, Indian or other third-country nationals who are neither vaccinated nor recently recovered. 

There had been hopes that the shorter two-week extension to the ban on non-essential travel issued on April 30th, as well as talk of the “orderly and progressive reopening” of the country’s borders, would mean that unvaccinated third country nationals would be allowed into Spain in May.

But in the end, Saturday May 14th’s state bulletin confirmed that Spain will keep the same measures in place for another 31 days, stating that they “will eventually be modified to respond to a change of circumstances or to new recommendations in the context of the European Union”.

Spain’s ban on unvaccinated non-EU travellers is arguably the last major Covid-19 restriction in place in the country, and other EU countries such as Sweden, Poland, Denmark, Czech Republic and Ireland are allowing unvaccinated tourists in.

This latest announcement by the Spanish government marks the umpteenth extension to non-essential travel from outside of the EU/Schengen area over the past two years of the pandemic, the previous one was due to expire on May 15th. 

But perhaps this extension is the most surprising, as the Spanish health ministry has modified its rulebook to treat Covid-19 like the flu and the country wants to recover the tourism numbers it had pre-pandemic.

The ban affects unvaccinated British tourists in particular, as the UK is still the biggest tourism market for Spain, but Britons’ non-EU status means they have to follow the same Covid-19 travel rules as other third-country nationals.

Vaccinated or recovered third-country travellers

Those who were fully vaccinated against Covid-19 more than two weeks prior to travel to Spain will need to show a valid vaccination certificate with an EMA or WHO approved vaccine.

If their initial vaccination treatment was completed more than 9 months ago (270 days), they’ll need to show they’ve had a Covid-19 booster shot. 

As for non-EU/Schengen travellers who have recovered from Covid-19 in the past six months, they will need to show a recovery certificate to prove this

According to Spain’s Health Ministry, recovery certificates accepted as valid are those “issued at least 11 days after the first positive NAAT or RAT, and up to a maximum of 180 days after the date of sampling”, as well as being issued by the relevant authorities.

Exceptions

In early February, Spanish authorities also decided to start allowing unvaccinated non-EU/Schengen teenagers aged 12 to 17 to visit Spain for tourism if they provided a negative PCR.

Spain continues to have a small list of low-risk third countries whose travellers visiting Spain for non-essential reasons can enter without having to present proof of Covid-19 testing, recovery or vaccination. 

This is updated weekly and can be checked here by clicking on the PDF under “risk and high risk countries/areas”. 

READ ALSO: Can I travel to my second home in Spain if I’m not vaccinated?

If you’re not vaccinated or recovered, the exceptions for travel to Spain from third countries that fall under the non-essential travel restrictions are:

  • You are a resident in the EU or Schengen country.
  • You have a visa for a long duration stay in an EU or Schengen country.
  • You work in transport, such as airline staff or are in a maritime profession.
  • You work in diplomatic, consular, international organisations, military or civil protection or are a member of a humanitarian organisation.
  • You have a student visa for a country in the EU or Schengen zone.
  • You are a highly qualified worker or athlete whose work cannot be postponed or carried out remotely.
  • You are travelling for duly accredited imperative family reasons.
  • You are allowed entry due to force majeure or on humanitarian grounds.
  • And as mentioned earlier in the article, if you have a vaccination certificate that Spain’s Ministry of Health recognises, as well as for any accompanying minors (unless they’re under 12 years of age).

READ ALSO: When do I need to fill out Spain’s Covid health control form for travel?

SHOW COMMENTS