Which travelers will have to pass the PCR to enter Spain? These are the health criteria

Publication: Wednesday November 11, 2020 19:53

Spain will require travelers from countries at risk to have a negative PCR within 72 hours of their arrival in our country. But which areas will be considered at risk?

The designation criteria, as detailed by the Ministry of Health in a note published on Wednesday, differ depending on whether the country from which they come is part of the European Union or the Schengen area or not.

Thus, in the case of EU countries and Schengen partners, the EU recommendation on a coordinated approach to restrict free movement in response to the COVID-19 pandemic is taken as a benchmark.

This includes a “traffic light” with different levels of risk based on a series of “key criteria”: the cumulative incidence of coronavirus cases over the past 14 days per 100,000 population; the positivity rate of the tests carried out the previous week and the number of tests carried out per 100,000 inhabitants.

Based on this data, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) publishes a map with a four-color code:

– Green: if the cumulative incidence (AI) over the last 14 days is less than 25 and the test positivity rate is less than 4%

– Orange: if the AI ​​is less than 50 but the positivity is equal to or greater than 4%; or if the incidence is between 25 and 150 but the rate of positive tests is less than 4%

– Red: if the AI ​​is equal to or greater than 50 and the positivity is 4% or more or if the cumulative incidence is greater than 150 per 100,000 inhabitants

– Gray: if the information available is insufficient or if 300 tests or less are carried out per 100,000 inhabitants

For green spaces, according to the European recommendation, member states should not restrict free movement, while they can impose quarantines or tests for travelers from regions that are not green.

The Spanish government, in this case, decided to impose PCR testing for those areas in red and gray, as laSexta has learned. Health Minister Salvador Illa confirmed at a press conference that it will be mandatory for those coming from countries “colored in red” on the ECDC risk maps.

According to this criterion, and taking as a reference the last map supporting the aforementioned Council recommendation, dated November 5, only those coming from Greenland and the Faroe Islands (in green), as well as those coming from Greenland and the Faroe Islands (in green), would be exempted from submitting to the RAP. Travel from Norway, Finland, the Azores and parts of Greece – regions in orange. However, it should be remembered that the measure will not take effect until November 23, so this data could vary.

Criteria for third countries

As for third countries, the baseline will be the cumulative incidence per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days, according to the Ministry of Health, “supplemented by the capacities implemented as provided for in the International Health Regulations”, and based on the information provided by ECDC.

As Salvador Illa announced on Wednesday, travelers from these third countries should submit to the RAP if they exceed a cumulative incidence threshold of 150 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

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