Spain extends travel ban on UK arrivals until February 2nd
The Spanish authorities have confirmed that the country is extending its travel ban on arrivals from the United Kingdom for another two weeks. These restrictions were due to expire on January 19th, but have now been extended until February 2nd.
Spain began restricting arrivals from the UK both by sea and air on December 22nd over fears of a mutant coronavirus strain, with only Spanish nationals and those legally resident in Spain and its territories, including the Canary Islands, allowed to enter the country. International transit through Spanish airports by passengers on flights departing from the UK was also prohibited.
This means that only passengers with a Spanish passport, green residencia card or certificate, or the new TIE card (or proof of application) with a negative Covid test will be allowed in to the country. UK owners of properties in Spain are still not allowed entry without the above documents.
The Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, said that the decision has been made at Tuesday's weekly cabinet meeting. Currently, the cumulative number of coronavirus cases in Spain has risen to 2,137,220 and the total number of deaths reached 52,683.
Despite the worrying rise in cases, Illa ruled out a further national lockdown, saying that "we do not contemplate any additional measures of home confinement," and that the country's 17 autonomous regions are "taking necessary measures that must be respected."
Illa said he hoped these measures, along with Spain's vaccination program, would help the country's hospitals and intensive care units avoid being overwhelmed.
As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in Spain with the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, and the first delivery of the Moderna vaccine arrived in Spain yesterday, ready for distribution to the different regions of the country.
Currently there are 236 candidate vaccines still being developed worldwide. 63 of them are in clinical trials in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization yesterday.