Tests for passengers from November 23rd - all you need to know

2020/11/12 10:00:57 Written by Canarian Weekly National

The resolution for testing all international passengers entering Spain, including the Canary Islands, has been published in the Boletin official (BOE) under reference BOE-A-2020-14049, ‘the General Directorate of Public Health, regarding the health controls to be carried out at the points of entry in Spain.’

This is the sixth addition to the Royal Decree Law 23/2020, of June 23, which approves measures for economic reactivation, and determines the necessary sanitary controls for passengers arriving in Spain by air or sea, and is updated due to the evolution of the coronavirus.

The measure affects passengers from 65 countries and risk areas, and 28 of them are in the EU, including Germany, France, Italy and Portugal, and a further 37 ‘third’ countries including the United Kingdom, are currently affected.

The resolution says that:
- This resolution will take effect as of November 23rd and until the Government declares the end of the health crisis situation caused by Covid-19, in accordance with the provisions of article 2.3 of Royal Decree-Law 21/2020 , of June 9, of urgent prevention, containment and coordination measures to face the health crisis caused by Covid-19.

- Entry by all international passengers is expanded to include the requirement of a diagnostic test for active infection for SARSCoV-2 with a negative result, made within seventy-two hours prior to arrival, to all passengers from countries/areas at risk.

- The Health Control Form that every passenger has to fill out before entering the country will include a question about whether the traveller has an Active Infection Diagnostic Test for SARSCoV-2 with a negative result.

The additional provisions to cover testing are as follows:
- Every passenger from a country or risk zone who intends to enter Spain, must have a Diagnostic Test for Active Infection (hereinafter PDIA) for SARS-CoV-2 with a negative result, carried out in the seventy-two hours prior to arrival in Spain.

- As part of the control that is carried out at the entry points, the passenger may be requested, at any time, to present the negative test result certificate of the PDIA (test). The supporting document must be the original, may be written in Spanish and/or English, and may be submitted in paper or electronic format.

- The PDIA (test) for SARS-CoV-2 supported is PCR (COVID-19 RT-PCR). Other diagnostic tests such as rapid antibody tests, rapid antigen detection tests or high performance serologies (ELISA, CLIA, ECLIA) will not be accepted.

- Travel agencies, tour operators and air or maritime transport companies, and any other agent that sells tickets separately or as part of a combined trip, must inform all passengers, at the beginning of the ticket sales process for Spain, that the traveller is obliged to present the Health Control Form upon arrival, which will include the declaration of having a PDIA for SARSCoV- 2 with a negative result carried out in the seventy-two hours prior to arrival in those from countries/areas at risk.

- Likewise, said royal decree law establishes that the airport and the airlines will collaborate with the Ministry of Health for the implementation of sanitary control measures.

- Airlines will check prior to boarding that passengers to Spain have the QR code. Passengers, who exceptionally have not completed the Health Control Form electronically, may present it in paper format before boarding, and it must always be accompanied by the document accrediting the completion of the PDIA, if they come from a country or zone classified as risky

- Passengers arriving in Spain who, coming from a country or risk area, do not adequately accredit the completion of a PDIA for SARS-CoV-2 with a result negative made in the seventy-two hours prior to arrival, must have one immediately in a local medical centre. If found to be positive, protocols will be activated by the local health authorities accordingly.

- The list of countries or risk zones, as well as the criteria used for their definition, will be reviewed every fifteen days and their update will be published on the website of the Ministry of Health.

- The updating of the revisions of the list of countries or zones will be effective seven days after its publication, with the aim of allowing transport companies, travel agencies and tour operators to adjust the information for passengers.

- For the designation of risk areas or countries that will be required to perform an Active Infection Diagnostic Test for SARS-CoV-2 with a negative result, in the case of European Union countries, the reference will be taken from the criteria in Recommendation (EU) 2020/1475. As far as third countries are concerned, the basic reference will be the cumulative incidence per one hundred thousand inhabitants over fourteen days, supplemented with the capacities as contemplated in the International Health Regulations, based on the information provided by the European Centre for the Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

- List of countries and areas that require a diagnostic test for active SARS-CoV-2 infection with a negative result from passengers coming from them as a requirement to enter Spain:

Countries of the European Union / European Economic Area:
Inclusion criteria: red or grey risk areas, based on the combined indicators according to Council Recommendation 2020/1475
Czech Republic.
Denmark (except the Faroe Islands and Greenland).
Greece (except Kitri, Ionia Nisia, Dytiki Ellada and Sterea Ellada regions).
Portugal (except the Azores Island).

Third countries:
Inclusion criteria: cumulative incidence greater than 150 per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days. (Source ECDC)
Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Cape Verde.
Costa Rica.
Gibraltar (UK).
North Macedonia.
French Polynesia.
Puerto Rico.
San Marino.
San Martin.
United Arab Emirates.
United Kingdom.
United States of America.