Spain’s COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Extended and Quarantine for Recent Arrivals Introduced

Coming into effect on the 15th May at midnight, Order INT/401/2020 extends the current restrictions on air and sea travel into Spain. Currently decreed until 24th May, but with the possibility of further extension, only the following people can cross the Schengen’s internal borders into Spain:

  • Spanish citizens
  • Residents in Spain, having to prove their habitual residence
  • Cross-border workers
  • Health professionals or those caring for the elderly who are going to carry out their work activity
  • Those who provide documentary proof of force majeure or situation of need

Certain accredited foreign personnel, such as diplomats, are exempt from these restrictions. In addition, trade and other economic activity that requires crossing these borders is still permitted.

This order is in line with Article 25 and 27 of the Schengen Borders Code, with a notice period of less than four weeks allowed as a result of the exceptional circumstances. It follows similar measures by 14 other Schengen member states.

On top of this, Order SND/403/2020 has decreed new quarantine measures that will be in place when people enter Spain. It requires that those arriving from abroad quarantine themselves for 14-days and do not leave the house other than for basic necessities – such as food and medicine – or exceptional situations of need. This order follows World Health Organisation guidance, the policy of several other EU member states and, in fact, Spain’s own policy for Spaniards returning from Italy before country wide lockdown.

As Spain starts its de escalation process, this seems meant to ensure that those who are more likely to be exposed limit the risk they may pose in public spaces. Further, all trips from those in quarantine must be made wearing a mask.

Cross-border workers, transporters and crews, as well as health professionals going to work, are exempt from these measures, provided that they have not been in contact with persons diagnosed with COVID-19.

As with Order INT/401/2020, this new order comes into effect on 15th May.

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