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Spain to demand negative PCR test for travellers arriving from high-risk countries

Spain will demand a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours for all travellers arriving from countries with a high risk of contracting the coronavirus from November 23, the Spanish Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

One of Europe's main COVID-19 hotspots, Spain had increasingly become an exception in the region for its policy of - so far - not asking visitors to provide a PCR test on arrival.

Spain will use European Union criteria to define which countries are classified as high-risk, the ministry said.

"The basic reference will be the accumulated incidence per 100,000 inhabitants in the past 14 days," it said, without providing more details.

Under the EU system, the highest-risk countries are those with more than 150 cases diagnosed per 100,000 people in the past 14 days, or those with an incidence of more than 150 per 100,000 and with over 4% of all tests giving positive results.

It was not clear yesterday what impact if any the decision would have on people crossing into Spain from Gibraltar.

With just under 1.4 million coronavirus cases, Spain has the second highest tally in Western Europe. Its infection rate has declined to 525 cases per 100,000 people from highs of more than 800.

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