Spain’s Foreign Minister, Arantxa González Laya, has acknowledged that ‘there may be adjustments’ to the requirement to demonstrate a negative outcome of the PCR test in order to join Spain from a high-risk country – but the ‘adjustments’ may be small.
Speaking in Brussels on Monday, González Laya said that she was ‘aware of the multiple concerns she got from various industries and that her staff was ‘examining’ some of the problems. Complaints covered the language in which the test results would be displayed (Spanish or English) as well as the required age at which passengers must meet with the provision.Complaints have also been received from Spanish nationals who are planning to return home for Christmas, and from those who have been traveling for work for just 24 hours – and have to take the test in Spain to return to Spain hours later, even though the results take time to receive it.
In response to the questions as to whether antigen tests instead of PCR tests could also be accepted, González Laya simply said ‘when they are sufficiently reliable.’
With regard to last week’s recommendations from the European Commission that there should be no need for quarantine or PCR tests between European regions with a similar Coronavirus incidence rate, González Laya referred to what was approved by EU leaders at the October European Council. ‘At the last European Council [meeting], they decided to replace quarantine with PCR,’ she said. ‘And when it is estimated that they can be repealed, then we shall do so.’
Last week the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) also warned that asking for a negative test might be a risky policy. Airline companies also expressed concern over the rule, urging that an antigen test be required instead.
The Spanish Government has now released the latest report on the countries from which a negative PCR test is required to reach Spain by air or sea, and it now also includes the Christmas arrivals season.
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