Travel ban: Epidemiologist says ‘closing borders does not work’
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Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, held a media briefing on December 19 as cases of the Omicron variant surge in Spain. He said the country is likely to face “shared measures” to combat the virus.
Sanchez said: “The virus is still with us and fighting it must be a priority. The figures in the last few hours, with a cumulative incidence rate of 511 positive tests for every 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days, pose a real risk to the health of our citizens.
“I’ve decided to call an emergency meeting for Wednesday December 22 to analyse the evolution of the pandemic and study measures with which to face it.”
The emergency meeting will be held with regional presidents across Spain to decide the best action to take.
Spain’s regions are able to implement some of their own restrictions currently, including Covid passports.
Sanchez said that the current rate of Covid cases in Spain was “not good” and said the rising numbers were “worrying”.
He vowed to ramp up the country’s booster campaign and said Omicron had been a “wake up call” for Spain.
He said: “The more people the better, either with first doses or with booster doses. Let us intensify our actions in the face of the spread of the virus.”
The Prime Minister said any new Covid restrictions in Spain would be announced on December 22 after the emergency meeting.
Since the beginning of December, unvaccinated British tourists have been banned from entering Spain.
The strict policy has ruined holidays for many British families with teenagers without a second dose unable to travel.
Testing costs have also added hundreds to the price of a family holiday in Spain as tests have to be paid for.
British tourists need to take a pre-departure test before returning to the UK and a PCR test on or before day two after arrival in the UK.
Benidorm hotel officials have said many of the resort’s hotels have been “forced” to close after Britons cancelled their holidays.
Some officials claimed that one British tour operator had cancelled as many as 60,000 holidays.
Tourists and residents in Benidorm currently have to show a Covid passport to enter hospitality venues with capacity for 50 people or more.
To qualify for a passport, they need to have proof of vaccination or a negative test result.
Restrictions vary across Spain and British tourists should check the rules in place in their destination before travel.
Everyone must use a face mask in enclosed public spaces in Spain and outdoors where a distance of 1.5 metres cannot be maintained.
Possible future restrictions could include an overnight curfew and limits on social gatherings.
Capacity restrictions for public beaches could also be introduced if Spain decides to strengthen measures against Covid.
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