Spain to introduce mandatory Covid test for British tourists

In a further blow to the travel industry, Spain will insist UK holidaymakers produce evidence of a negative Covid test later this month.

The PCR tests will have to be taken no more than 72 hours before departure and will be compulsory for all arrivals from high-risk countries, including the UK, from 23 November.

Every major European country except Norway, Finland and Greece is currently considered high-risk by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

The decision by Spain’s health ministry to insist on a negative Covid test for arrivals from countries with high rates of infection follows a recommendation by the European Union, which is seeking to end disparities between member nations.

The self-governing Canary Islands will require all UK holidaymakers staying in a hotel or other tourist accommodatoin to produce a negative Covid test from Saturday. However, this can be either a PCR or an antigen test. Children six and under are exempt.

To travel to Spain from 23 November, holidaymakers must have an original test certificate, written in England or Spanish, which can be on paper or in electronic form.

British holidaymakers will have to pay for private PCR tests, at a cost of about £150 a head. The government has said holidaymakers must not apply for free NHS tests.

The requirement for a Covid test to travel to Spain takes effect a little over a week before the lifting of the latest England lockdown and total ban on all non-essential travel.

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