Madrid, Nov 11 (efe-epa).- The Spanish government on Wednesday said that passengers arriving from countries deemed to have a high-risk Covid-19 situation will have to carry proof of a negative PCR test result from no longer than 72 hours before travel.
The new measures will be introduced on 23 November and will complement the existing temperature and visual checks being carried out in the arrivals halls of Spanish airports.
The health ministry, which is to base its risk index on the color-coded risk map provided by the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, is to formalize the new travel pre-requisite in the official state gazette Wednesday.
The requirements for travelers arriving from outside the European Union will be evaluated based on the 14-day cumulative Covid-19 incidence rate in the country of departure.
Currently, only Finland, Norway and some areas of Greece are not considered to be at the highest risk, according to the ECDC map.
Spain has been one of the continent’s worst-hit nations by the pandemic, registering over 1.4 million infections and close to 40,000 deaths since the pandemic began, according to the health ministry.
It has a 14-day cumulative rate of 524.6 cases per 100,000 people, lower than Italy (655), France (908), Belgium (1,458) and the Czech Republic (1,390).
The country’s tourist industry, which accounts for around 12.5% of its annual GDP, has been decimated by Covid-19.
Spain’s treasury minister, María Jesús Montero, on Wednesday announced that VAT on face masks would be dropped from 21% to 4%.