Spain unlikely to ask Brits to take a coronavirus test either before travelling OR when they arrive
British tourists heading for Spain are “highly unlikely” to be forced to take a coronavirus test, either before they leave the UK or on arrival at their holiday airport.
The Spanish government says it would be
impossible to implement the regulation which is being proposed by the Canary
Islands, Madrid and Andalusia which covers the Costa del Sol prior to the
opening of EU borders on June 21st.
Director of the Centre for the Coordination of
Health Alerts and Emergencies, Dr. Fernando Simón today
warned the popular holiday destinations not to
suggest ideas “which might be easy to say but is very difficult to
He also hinted that it could be regarded as
“interference” and said: “Mobility in the Schengen area from
June 21st will be as it was before.”
Dr. Simon made no reference to the comment
made earlier by Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya who told the BBC
that Spain might a two-week quarantine on arrivals from the UK next week.
The Canaries, which includes Tenerife, Gran
Canaria and Lanzarote, want holidaymakers to take COVID-19 tests before they
leave their own country or, if not, at least on arrival in Spain. This view is
shared by Andalusia, covering Marbella and Malaga, and Madrid.
The Spanish government says the scheme would
be hugely expensive, not viable and, in any event, would need the permission of
the EU which it would be unlikely to give as the entire European Union area
would have to do the same.
Dr. Simon said it wouldn’t be the
“panacea” to detect cases and would be difficult to perform on
a large number of tourists due to the time it takes and the cost involved
He said doing tests at source could imply
“interference” in some situations. In addition, it had not been
proven that this type of test can control all outbreaks and cases could slip
through the net ie a person could test negative but then start showing symptoms
a few days later and become positive.
“In a country like ours that usually
receives many tourists, performing diagnostic tests such as PCR upon arrival at
airports is not feasible,” he said. “There is already evidence of
places where PCR tests are done at the entrance and they have not prevented
outbreaks in those same groups. “
He said the regions should be careful when
making these types of proposals, evaluating them in their proper measure and
above all, discussing it they are really feasible or not and whether they would
have a real impact.
Spanish airports are currently installing
thermal image cameras to detect high temperatures when passengers arrive. They
will also be asked to fill in detailed health questionnaires and leave contact
numbers whilst on holiday. If they developed coronavirus symptoms, they would
be put into isolation.
The Balearic Islands are currently receiving
10,900 German visitors and journalists to “test drive”
coronavirus protection procedures in Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca. They started
to arrive on Monday and did not have to take coronavirus tests either in
Germany or on their arrival.