Spain requiring negative COVID-19 tests from travelers from high-risk areas

Spain requiring negative COVID-19 tests from travelers from high-risk areas
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Spain will require foreign nationals entering the country from “high-risk” nations to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test, the nation’s ministry of health announced Wednesday.

Any such travelers entering Spanish national borders must submit their negative test result beginning Nov. 23, officials said, according to The Associated Press. The result must be from no later than 72 hours ahead of departure.

Arrivals at Spanish airports are already required to undergo temperature checks. European Union member states are considered “high-risk” if they have a notification rate of 50 or more for 14-day cumulative cases and a positive test rate of at least 4 percent, according to the AP. Alternately, the EU considers a member state high-risk if its 14-day cumulative case notification rate surpasses 150 per 100,000 people.

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The parameters for a high-risk nation outside the EU’s Schengen travel area will be decided by Spanish officials on a case-by-case basis, according to the AP.

Spain was an early epicenter of the virus in Europe this spring and, like much of the continent, has seen a second wave of cases in recent weeks. In late October, it became the first western European nation to surpass 1 million cases of the virus. Around the same time, Spanish officials announced an overnight curfew, with the exact beginning and end times left up to regional authorities.

Like many countries in the grip of a second wave, officials have struggled to respond to without reimposing the sweeping closures they ordered in the spring. Health officials are focusing on spaces like nightclubs and indoor parties they believe to have been the source of many of the new outbreaks.

The U.K., in contrast, recently announced it would reestablish lockdown measures as cases surged in the country.

Spain has recorded a total of just under 1.4 million cases and 39,345 deaths as of Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.