Travellers to Spain will require negative PCR, TMA, or RT Lamp tests
From December 10th, 2020, TMA (Transcription-Mediated Amplification) and RT-LAMP (Reverse Transcriptase Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification), have been incorporated as accepted diagnostic tests in addition to PCR. Also, from this date, children under 6 years old are exempt from diagnostic testing for active SARS-CoV-2 infection, in order to enter Spain.
if you fly to Spain from other countries (including children of any age), it is mandatory to fill in the Health Control Form (FCS) associated with your trip, in order to present it at the Health Control of the airport of arrival in Spain.
Negative PCR TMA or RT Lamp test
December 9th.- Spain will allow international travelers from risk countries, in addition to a PCR, to also prove a negative diagnosis of active Covid infection with a Transcription-Mediated Amplification (TMA) test performed 72 hours before your arrival.
The new resolution, which will come into force tomorrow, also establishes that children under the age of six will not be required to prove a negative result in these diagnostic tests in order to enter Spain. These types of exceptions are implemented in many neighboring countries.
On the other hand, in order to facilitate the obtaining of the document certifying the negative result of the diagnostic test for active infection, it is considered convenient that, in addition to Spanish and English, it may also be written in French and German.
In the event that it cannot be obtained in these languages, the supporting document must be accompanied by a translation into Spanish made by an official body.
As up to now, the Health Control Form that passengers must complete before entering the country, will collect a question about whether they have a negative diagnostic test performed within 72 hours prior to arrival in Spain. At any time, the passenger may be asked to accredit the test result.
In addition, the sanitary controls that are already carried out on all international passengers at the entry points are maintained, such as temperature control and visual control.
The Official State Gazette will publish the resolution tomorrow, so that from that moment the modifications it contains will come into force.
PCR V TMA TEST
For users there will be little difference between one and the other. The sample is taken in a similar way, using a swab in the nose. And the idea of both techniques is the same: look for samples of the genetic material of the coronavirus, amplify it and measure it. The difference, for those who like the details, is that what PCR does is, in general terms, convert the viral RNA into DNA and count it from there, while the TMA skips that step and multiplies the RNA.
The difference in practice can be about two hours less in the process (in ideal conditions, a PCR can be had in four), and a few euros of savings (the PCR usually cost over 100 euros; the TMA, slightly less ). These two tests are chosen because they are the ones that are aimed at directly detecting the coronavirus, which is why it is used to diagnose an active infection, without the problem of antigen tests, which can indicate past infection
November 22nd Spain will require negative PCR test from travellers coming from countries classed as high-risk - This measure goes into effect on November 23rd and will affect residents from most EU member states
*You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.
Where to get a PCR TEST
Currently, Edinburgh, Gatwick, Manchester and East Midlands airports are offering PCR testing so it might be worth checking with your nearest airport to see if they do it.
The Sofitel Hotel in Terminal 5 at London Heathrow Airport also does them. Walk-in anytime. No appointment needed. (You do not need to be a guest) Tests sent out at 8pm and results back by 10am next morning. Open over holiday period Costs £99.
23rd November - The Ministry of Health has updated the list today of countries whose passengers need negative PCR to enter Spain by plane or boat and which will take effect from 00.00 hours on November 30th; until then, the list of States published days ago in the BOE remains in force.
Spain requires from this Monday negative PCR made within 72 hours prior to arrival to people from 65 irrigation countries, regardless of their nationality or place of residence, who want to enter the country by ports or airports. The modification of this list is made every 15 days depending on the epidemiological situation.
The updated list still comprises 65 countries but there are some that have come out and others that have entered when considered risky.
In the case of European countries they are coloured red or grey on the maps of the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) and with respect to the above list, the biggest novelty is that Ireland and Iceland are ranked 26.
The countries that remain at risk are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark (except the Faroe Islands and Greenland), Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, France, Greece (except the Notio Aigao region), Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway (except agder, Innlandet, More og Romsdal, Nordland, Rogaland, Troms og Finnmark, Trondelag and Vestfold og Telemark), Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden and Poland.
Third countries at risk have a cumulative incidence in the last fourteen days in more than 150 cases per 100,0000 inhabitants and there are also variations from the previous list, as, among others, Canada enters and adds up to 39.
In the updated list are: Albania, Andorra, Argentina Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belize, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Cape Verde, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, United Arab Emirates, United States, Russian Federation, Georgia and Gibraltar (United Kingdom).
Also: Guam, Iran, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Northern Macedonia, Morocco, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Palestine, Panama, French Polynesia, Puerto Rico, United Kingdom, San Marino, Saint Martin (Netherlands), Serbia and Ukraine.
The update of the revisions to 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 measures for passengers", says Health on the web.
11th November - The Health Ministry announced today that travellers to Spain (including children of ALL ages) will be required to take a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival for all travellers coming from countries in high coronavirus risk zones.
Spain’s Ministry of Health Inter-territorial Council met this Wednesday with Health Minister Salvador Illa, and have reported this lunchtime that they are going to require all international travellers, from high risk countries, to show a negative PCR test result obtained within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival and this accreditation may be requested from the passenger at any time.
Extra health controls are already being carried out on all international passengers at the points of entry to mainland Spain, including temperature controls and visual monitoring. Passengers who, after carrying out the temperature, visual or documentary checks, are determined to be suspected of having Covid-19 must undergo a diagnostic test at the airport upon arrival in Spain.
*This will not be required of people coming in through land borders, only those travellers coming by sea or air.*
In the case of European countries and those in the Schengen area, Spanish authorities will rely on the risk map offered by the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC).
Designated risk zones and countries that will be required PCR certificates, in the case of European Union and Schengen zone countries, will be set according to the criteria in EU Recommendation 2020/1475, of October 13, in a coordinated EU wide approach to restricting free movement in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. As for third countries, which will include the UK as of January 1st, the reference will be based on that country’s accumulated incidence per 100,000 inhabitants over the previous 14 days, as well as International Health regulations, based on information provided by the European Center for Prevention and Disease Control (ECDC).
For countries outside this area, the reference point will be the 14-day cumulative incidence for every 100,000 inhabitants
Starting on November 23rd, passengers filling out a control form before entering Spain will find an additional question asking whether they have a negative PCR test result from the previous 72 hours.
Authorities may request to see the result of the test, which must be an original document, written in either Spanish or English, and can be presented in paper or in an electronic format, according to the ministry. If the form has not been completed electronically, which generates a QR code through the main Spain Travel Health website www.spth.gob.es or the mobile app “Spain Travel Health-SpTH”, it can be submitted in paper format before boarding. In which case, it must be accompanied by the original document certifying the results of the diagnostic test.
Travel agencies, tour operators and air or maritime transport companies, as well as any other agent that markets travel tickets, must inform passengers of the obligation to present a negative PCR test result in order to travel. The Health Ministry says that this new measure complies with EU Recommendation 2020/1475, which seeks to end the disparity in health control models implemented by the various countries of the European Union.
In the Official Gazette announcement, the government also confirmed that for now only PCR tests will be accepted, not antigen tests or antibody tests such as ELISA, CLIA or ECLIA.
From 14 November, travellers to the Canary Islands will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test when checking-in to regulated tourist accommodation.
For now there are no plans for other regional governments to follow suit and ask tourists from other parts of Spain to produce a negative PCR test in order to stay at a hotel or holiday rental.
Source Official Press Release
What is a PCR Test?
Polymerase chain reaction tests, known as PCR, are the most common and most accurate tests for determining whether someone is currently infected with the coronavirus.
First, a health care worker takes a swab or sputum sample from the back of the patient's throat or nose, generally using a long thin nasopharyngeal swab. That swab is stored in a sterile tube or vial and is then sent to a lab. Trained lab technicians extract any genetic information from the specimen. The purified genetic material is then mixed with materials, including some derived from the coronavirus itself, that are known as reagents. The entire solution is then placed into a testing machine about the size of a toaster. If a patient's specimen contains coronavirus, then the virus's genetic material will be amplified, and the machine will return a positive result. And if the specimen has no coronavirus, there will be a negative result.
The PCR test is the most widespread and most accurate diagnostic test for determining whether someone is currently infected with coronavirus.
What happens if I arrive without a PCR Test?
Tourists and travellers arriving in Spain without a negative PCR may be punished with fines of up to 6,000 euros ,in addition to having to undergo a quick test to detect the coronavirus as a measure to ensure safe mobility, foreign minister Arancha González Laya said this Friday.
If a passenger does not present a negative PCR made within seventy-two hours prior to arrival in Spain he will be punished – with fines of up to 3,000€ if it is considered a minor infringement and up to EUR 600,000€ if considered very serious – They may also be refused entry if coming from a country in the non-Schengen zone, (This includes the UK) according to sources close to Foreign Health.
23rd November - Alicante Airport, PCR Tests
Alicante-Elche Airport and Foreign Health have today begun to monitor tourists arriving in the province, or any traveller from countries with a strong incidence of covid - at the moment all those who send tourists to the Costa Blanca who land with negative PCR test in covid, taken within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival. Travellers who bring it and are positive are subject to fines and must make one immediately, in addition to being quarantined. The entry into force of the Government's order to require the tests to check today affects passengers on the 13 aircraft that landed from Brussels, Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Gothenburg, Copenhagen, Cologne, London, Maastricht and Bremen.
The Generalitat has acquired 16,800 antigen tests that it has deployed at the airport to test passengers who cannot prove a negative PCR. If they test positive, they'll be isolated in a unit until they catch a return flight. If the symptoms are severe they will be transferred to the hospital. If the tourist lies in his responsible statement and after the test is positive in covid, They may be imposed a penalty criminalated as serious, the amount of which ranges from 6,000 to 600,000 euros.