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To curb the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 omicron variant

The Health Ministry extends the number of southern African countries whose travellers must observe mandatory quarantine on arrival at Spanish airports to nine

Friday 10 December 2021

This Friday, the Official State Gazette (BOE) published an Order of the Ministry of Health extending the compulsory quarantine measure meaning people flying from any airport located in South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe to any airport in Spain, with or without intermediate stopovers, must be subjected to this mandatory quarantine.

The Order published today, which will take effect from 00:00 hours on 13 December 2021 until 23:59 hours on 26 December, also includes the extension of this measure to passengers on flights from Malawi and Zambia, bringing the total number of southern African countries concerned to nine.

As on previous occasions, this Order may also be extended if the circumstances giving rise to it continue to exist.

The measure is justified by the emergence of the new SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.529 (omicron) in several southern African countries, and the activation of the Integrated Political Crisis Response Facility (IPCR) of the Council of the European Union, which has concluded on the need for Member States to activate the emergency brake and urgently impose temporary restrictions on all travellers arriving in the EU from these countries.

The measures contained in this emergency brake include diagnostic testing and quarantine of all passengers arriving from these countries in line with the provisions of this Recommendation.

10 days quarantine

According to the Ministerial Order, travellers must remain in quarantine for 10 days after arrival, or for the duration of their stay in Spain if it is shorter than 10 days. This period may end earlier, if on the seventh day the person has a diagnostic test for active infection (PDIA) or PCR with a negative result.

During the quarantine period, the people referred to in the previous section must remain in their homes or accommodation, and must limit their movements, as well as access by third parties to their homes or accommodation, to those that are essential (purchase of food, pharmaceutical products and basic necessities; attendance at health centres, services and establishments; or for reasons of force majeure or necessity).

All measures of hygiene and prevention of transmission of the disease caused by COVID-19 must be observed both in their movements and in their contact with cohabitants and with those who provide them with goods or services essential to ensure their food, cleanliness and, where appropriate, health care.

Health authorities may contact quarantined people for follow-up. Likewise, the State Law Enforcement Forces and Agencies may carry out the appropriate checks on compliance with the quarantine conditions established in this order at any time. In the event of any suspicion of COVID-19 symptoms, quarantined people should contact the health services by telephone using the numbers provided by the Regional Governments, indicating that they are in quarantine under this Order.

Travel agents, tour operators and transport companies must inform travellers of these measures at the start of the sales process for tickets whose destination is Spain.

Exempt from the provisions of this Order are transit passengers who are residents, or are holders of long-stay visas, of EU and Schengen associated countries, Andorra, Monaco, the Vatican or San Marino, who are en route to that country. Aeronautical personnel required to carry out air transport activities are also exempted.

Non official translation