Spain modifies Covid-19 test requirements for travellers

The Spanish Health Ministry has changed requirements for compulsory testing for arrivals by sea and air and from 10 December Spain accepts a negative TMA test as well as a PCR, news wires reported.

The modification came after a flurry of complaints by travellers and those within tourism and airline industry who insisted the compulsory negative PCR test was making travel difficult.

Since 23 November Spain has required travellers from more than 65 countries deemed “high risk” to present a negative PCR test before travel that was taken within 72 hours prior to arrival. The tests had to be presented in English or Spanish with the travellers full name and identification number in order to be allowed to board and those arriving without it faced a fine of €6,000.

But people complained that not only were the tests very expensive but that it was difficult to find a service that guaranteed the results in time especially over a weekend or bank holidays.

On Wednesday, Spain’s government announced modifications to the entry requirements and said alongside a PCR test, they would also accept a negative TMA ((Transcription- Mediated Amplification), a more rapid form of testing using a blood sample from a finger prick rather than a nasal swab. These TMA tests are cheaper and the results come back faster than standard PCR testing.

These tests will now only be required by those over the age of 6 and can also be presented in French or German as well as either Spanish or English.

However the government stopped short of allowing antigen tests arguing that they were still not reliable enough.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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