Spain extends ban on arrivals from UK, Brazil, South Africa
Spain on Tuesday extended its ban on arrivals from Britain, Brazil and South Africa until March 16 to safeguard against the spread of new coronavirus strains from these countries.
Only legal residents or nationals of Spain and the neighbouring micro-state of Andorra are currently allowed in on flights from these countries.
The restriction on arrivals from Britain was imposed at the end of December to halt the spread of the highly contagious Covid-19 variant discovered there in November.
The ban on arrivals from Brazil and South Africa came into effect on February 3.
The only exception are passengers in transit who cannot leave the airport nor remain there longer than 24 hours.
It is the fifth time the ban on British arrivals has been extended.
Last week, Spain also imposed an obligatory 10-day quarantine period on those arriving from South Africa or Brazil — or seven days in the case of those able to show a negative test.
Other European nations have also imposed curbs on arrivals from the three nations due to fears that the new variants may spread more easily or contain mutations that allow the virus to evade the effects of vaccines.
So far, Spain has confirmed around 900 cases of the so-called British variant, health ministry figures show.
But the true figure could well be far higher. Health officials have previously warned the British variant could become the dominant strain in Spain by early March.
They have also confirmed six cases of the South African variant and one of the Brazilian strain.
Spain has been hard-hit by the pandemic, recording around 68,000 deaths from more than 3.1 million cases.