As the summer travel season draws to a close, the Delta form of Covid-19’s grip on the United States and the rest of the globe continues to have consequences.
Spain is the latest country to increase border controls.
Spain is accepting visitors from the United States only if they are completely vaccinated, according to the health ministry, which notified news outlets on Tuesday. This is a departure from policy earlier this summer.
This week, the new regulation went into force.
It stipulates that travelers from the United States participating in so-called “non-essential travel,” such as tourism, must have “a vaccination certificate recognized as valid by the (Spanish) Ministry of Health.”
According to the health ministry, the move impacts US citizens and other third-country nationals who travel from the US to Spain for tourism.
EU Weights In
The shift occurred after the European Union withdrew the US off a list of around 20 non-EU nations exempt from the “nonessential travel” regulation last week.
The suggestion is non-binding. Spain, however, an EU member, approved the move, citing “public health considerations relating to Covid-19.”
“US travelers to Spain for non-essential activities (including tourism) will be asked to provide proof of vaccination,” the US Embassy in Madrid tweeted about the new regulation.
Other exemptions exist for US residents living in Spain, such as working diplomats and others. They can still enter the nation if they have a negative PCR or antigen test result or a certificate of recovery from Covid-19, according to the health ministry.
Tourists, on the other hand, must now be completely vaccinated.
Recent Actions In The EU
Spain isn’t the only European country that has lately tightened restrictions and processes for tourists from the US and other countries.
The Netherlands began demanding complete vaccinations for US visitors on September 4, and it currently maintains a quarantine.
Italy, which was one of the first European countries to open its borders early this year, has now implemented additional procedures that apply to all migrants, including those from the United States.
It began requiring all visitors, regardless of vaccination status, to have a negative response from a PCR or antigen Covid test conducted within 72 hours of arrival.
Sweden has also decided not to let any US visitors, even if they are properly vaccinated, to come.
CDU Rings Alarm Bells
During this Delta variant increase, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising visitors to avoid Spain and several of its European neighbors.
The CDC has an up-to-date list of Covid-19 travel warnings, ranging from Level 1 (“low”) to Level 4 (“high”) (“very high”).
According to CDC standards, destinations in the “Covid-19 Very High” Level 4 category had had more than 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 28 days. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that “These places should be avoided at all costs. If you really must visit these places, make sure you are properly vaccinated.”
Throughout August and September, Spain was in the Level 4 category. As of September 7, other prominent European locations at Level 4 include:
- United Kingdom