Spain announced late on Monday that it will ban British travellers from entering the country following the recent revelation that a new mutant strain of COVID was sweeping the UK.
However, in a statement, the Spanish government said that although it would be suspending access from those travelling from the UK, this would not include Spanish nationals and those who were legally resident in the country who would be exempt.
From Tuesday, December 22 until Tuesday, January 5, only Spanish citizens and those who are legally resident in Spain will be allowed access. The new measures will also apply to the Balearic and Canary Islands.
In addition, any passengers entering the country (excluding children under 6) will also have to produce a negative PRR, TNA or LAMP test will need to be taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival.
The UK government stressed via its official travel to Spain page that anyone who was resident and wished to travel into Spain should carry proof of residency documentation with them.
This can include the new TIE residency document, the old-style green A4 document and other documentation such as padron certificate, property deeds or rental agreement.
It follows the announcement by the UK government that the new mutant strain of COVID discovered in the South of England was thought to be around 70% more infectious.
However, there is no evidence to suggest that the new strain is any more dangerous to health or that it would be resistant to the current vaccine candidates.
The announcement prompted over 30 countries around the world to issue bans on UK flights including Germany, France, Italy, Portugal, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Spain initially delayed any ban saying that it would enforce the requirement for travellers to produce a negative PCR test on entering the country. Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez has also requested that the European Union give a “coordinated community response” to the issue, rather than seeing each of the EU member states acting unilaterally.
However, Spain said that it would take action on its own if the EU failed to find a coordinated response that could be adopted by all member states.
In a statement, Spain’s Minister of Health, Salvador Illa said that there were no current reports that the new strain was present in Spain, although this “does not mean it is not here”.
It also emerged that the new strain of the virus had been detected in Gibraltar, the British Overseas Territory at the southern tip of Spain. As a result, the Spanish government declared that it would be ramping up border controls in light of the development.
Any extended border checks could have a negative impact on around 30,000 people thought to cross the frontier every day including around 15,000 cross-border workers.
January 14, 2021