Spain: Expert discusses country re-opening to tourists
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Holidays to Spain might be on hold for Britons, but elsewhere in the European Union (EU) travel remains an option. In an attempt to tighten COVID-19 security, Spain has ramped up its testing at overland borders from France.
It comes after fury from those in Spain as the nation saw an influx of French tourists in recent months.
Meanwhile, in Spain travel between regions is banned.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has updated its travel advice page for Spain.
It states: “Land borders are open. From March 30, the Spanish government will enforce testing requirements on overland travellers from France into Spain by road or rail.
“The French government has implemented additional entry requirements for those travelling to and transiting through France.
“If you are planning to drive from Spain through France, check the latest FCDO travel advice for France ahead of your journey.”
Britons are only allowed to enter Spain for a specific set of reasons, at the time of writing.
“On December 22 2020, Spain introduced travel restrictions on passenger travel from the UK by air and sea, with the exception of Spanish or Andorran nationals and those legally resident in Spain or Andorra,” the FCDO states.
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“The Spanish government has confirmed that these measures will be in place until 6pm (GMT+1) on March 30 2021 (5pm / GMT in the Canary Islands).
“After 6pm (GMT+1) on March 30 2021 (5pm / GMT in the Canary Islands), while passenger travel from the UK to Spain will resume, entry to Spain will only be granted to those passengers who can demonstrate that their journey is essential.”
UK travellers journeying to Spain for essential reasons must complete a pre-travel declaration.
They will also be subject to testing requirements.
“Before travel to Spain, all passengers travelling by air or sea must complete and sign an online Health Control Form no more than 48 hours prior to travel declaring any known history of exposure to COVID-19 and giving contact details,” explains the FCDO.
“All passengers (excluding children under the age of 6 years old) travelling to Spanish airports and ports from ‘risk’ countries are required to present a negative PCR, TMA or a LAMP swab test taken within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival.
“Passengers arriving from the UK are currently subject to this requirement.”
The rules apply to passengers arriving on flights, as well as those via land or sea.
The FCDO further warns the rule also applies to “property owners in Spain”.
It adds: “A minimum fine of €3000 may be issued to anyone who arrives in Spanish airports or ports from ‘risk’ countries without adequate evidence of a negative PCR, TMA or LAMP test.”
Though Spanish residents are currently subject to regional travel restrictions, as determined by their local authorities, the nation saw an influx of tourists in some places over the winter months.
In February, the Spanish capital Madrid welcomed almost 35,000 tourists, according to the National Statistics Institute.
Víctor Rey, president of the association of neighbours of Las Letras’ district, slammed the behaviour of tourists: “We have been resisting for eight weekends. For them it is paradise, for us, it is a disgrace.”
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