Spain holidays: Britons arriving without covid-free certificate could face hefty £5K fine

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Spain’s coronavirus cases have spiralled in recent weeks with the country now recording almost 1.5 million cases at the time of writing. The worst-hit regions continues to be Madrid and Catalonia. Earlier this year, Spain was plunged into one of the most stringent lockdowns in Europe.

Now, the country is in a nation-wide State of Emergency which means curfews and restrictions on entering and exiting some regions are in place.

Spain is also on the quarantine list which means that Britons returning from the country to the UK will have to isolate for 14 days.

Britons will face further restrictions with Spain requiring all passengers to present a negative PCR (swab) test taken within no more than 72 hours before arrival to enter the country.

Currently, the UK is categorised as a “risk” country with passengers from the UK therefore having to present a negative covid test.

The new requirement applies to all passengers arriving in Spain by air or sea.

The entry requirements will come into force from November 23.

Tourists visiting the country from that date could face heavy fines or be turned away of they do not arrive with a covid-free certificate.

Under the new law, the fines could go up to €6,000.

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Spain’s new rules will impact 65 nations including the UK with the list being reviewed every 15 days.

In the case of European Union countries and Schengen associated countries, this list will be decided on EU advice.

For third countries, it will be based on coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the previous 14 days.

Spain’s Ministry of Health has also included territories that have a cumulative incidence of more than 150 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants over a 14-day period.

The new coronavirus-free certificate can be shown in paper or electronic form, in its original form and written in Spanish and/or English and is part of a detailed heath questionnaire everyone has to fill in before entering the country.

The document must contain the traveller’s name, passport number or the national identity document or letter (which must coincide with the one used in the Health Control Form), the date of the test, identification and contact details of the centre the test was performed at, the technique used and the negative result of the test.

The only test that is accepted is a PCR test with temperatures and visual health checks taking place at airports and ports.

The Spanish government has confirmed anyone arriving without a covid-free certificate will also be required to take a test in Spain or could be refused entry.

Britons received some welcome news today with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announcing that a new system that will slash the current quarantine period could be announced soon.

Mr Shapps was working on a plan to cut the current quarantine period from 14 days to seven days if passengers decide to pay for a test.

A government source said a new system will be put in place after England’s lockdown is lifted.

When asked if the quarantine period could be brought down from two weeks to just one, Mr Shapps told Sky News: “We have said we’re actively working on that (reducing both the quarantine and self-isolation periods) and I’ll be saying more about the international side of that very soon.”

Additional reporting by Rita Sobot

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