Authorities in Spain have announced that travelers from outside the EU, UK, and Schengen Area will be permitted to enter the country from Tuesday, June 30, following the lifting of restrictions imposed to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Regular commercial air routes are to be resumed with countries that have brought their own outbreaks under control. The decision comes following an announcement permitting tourists from the EU, UK, and Schengen Area to enter Spain without the need for a 14-day quarantine period from Sunday, June 21. The only exception to the new regulations is Portugal, which will see its land border with Spain closed until Wednesday, July 1.
Spain ended its three-month-long state of emergency on Sunday, June 21. Travel restrictions within the country have been lifted and bars and restaurants are reopening throughout the country. However, social distancing measures are to remain in place indefinitely.
As of June 24, there have been 246,752 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Spain and 28,325 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the general risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.