Updated: Spain among countries tightening entry rules due to new Covid ‘variants of concern’

Story updated on November 30

Spain is tightening its entry requirements due to new Covid variants of concern while Switzerland, Morocco, Israel, Portugal and Japan are also imposing tougher entry rules.

Switzerland added the UK to its red list on Saturday night, meaning those arriving must quarantine for 10 days.

However, fears that vaccinated skiers using Geneva airport to travel onwards to French ski resorts face Swiss quarantine measures have been lifted.

The Foreign Office issued updated travel advice on Tuesday to say: “There is no quarantine requirement for travellers arriving in Switzerland from the UK who wish to travel onward to another country, as long as travel through Switzerland is less than 24 hours and does not involve a stopover.

“There is no quarantine requirement for those in transit airside at the airport.”

The Moroccan government announced the suspension of all flights to the country from 11:59pm on Monday. The north African country suspended flights from the UK, Germany and the Netherlands on October 20, while Israel and Japan have temporarily banned foreign travellers from entry.

Portugal announced a ‘state of calamity’ on the mainland from December 1 with arrivals required to show a negative Covid-19 test to enter the country.

Travellers from the UK to Spain must show a vaccination certificate from December 1.

The change means that all arrivals from the UK will have to show proof of being fully-vaccinated  – with both doses of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of a one-dose vaccine – at least 14 days prior to entry into Spain.

Children under 12 years old are exempt when travelling with an adult.

Passengers must also present a QR code which is obtained from filling in a Health Control Form (FCS in Spanish) available via Spain Travel Health (SpTH).

The new legislation is for UK travellers prior to their arrival to the whole of Spain, including the Balearic and Canary islands.

Travellers from the UK before December 1 are able to enter Spain with a vaccination certificate or a negative Covid-19 diagnostic test.

The Spanish Tourism Office said: “Spain reinforces its position as a safe holiday destination with one of the highest vaccinations rates worldwide –  almost 90% of the population age 12 and over – and one of the lowest Covid rates in Europe.

“Based on Spain’s ministry of health data from a seven-day period up until 26 November 2021, the accumulated incidence rate of Covid infection in Spain is 97.98 per 100,000 residents.”

The Maldives suspended travel to the country from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho and Eswatini by air and sea from Sunday (November 28).

Mauritius cancelled all inbound flights from South Africa also from Sunday and arrivals on a service from Johannesburg on Saturday was subject to additional health screening, with PCR tests mandated and all passengers having to isolate in a hotel room for seven days. One outbound flight from Mauritius to South Africa departed on Sunday, and restrictions have also been placed on flights from Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Namibia and Eswatini.

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