Spain has made it mandatory for passengers arriving from 12 countries to remain in quarantine for 10 days, due to fears linked to new variants of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The measure, announced on Saturday, affects travellers from Botswana, Brazil, Colombia, Comoro Islands, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Peru, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Spain said the move stemmed from “concern about the effects of the Brazilian and South African variants,” and “their spread to neighbouring countries,” particularly because of “their highly contagious nature, the risk of infection and a possible decrease in vaccine effectiveness.”
Travellers coming in from the countries concerned “with or without stopovers, must observe a 10-day quarantine on their arrival or during their stay in Spain if it is of less duration,” according to the Spanish official gazette.
The quarantine period could be reduced to seven days if the incoming traveller is able to produce a negative PCR test.
While under quarantine, travellers must remain at home or where they are staying. They are authorised to leave only to purchase food, medication and essential items, to receive medical care or in the event of force majeure, according to the official text.
The measure will remain in force until the 3rd of May.
Spain is one of the European countries worst affected by the pandemic, with close to 77,000 deaths and over 3.4 million infections all told.
Like other EU countries, it has banned passengers from South Africa and Brazil for some weeks now, with the exception of Spanish nationals and returning residents of Spain and Andorra.