Travelers coming to Spain from “high-COVID-19 risk countries” without a PCR test, a common test conducted to determine coronavirus patients worldwide, may face up to a 6,000-euro ($7,090) fine, a high-level official told local media Friday.
Besides the monetary penalties, those travelers will be required to undergo a rapid COVID-19 test.
“These are serious fines, deterrent fines; it’s not about the money,” Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arancha Gonzalez Laya was quoted as saying in a statement to Spanish broadcaster, Antena3. The minister stressed that the negative PCR tests will be mandatory for all travelers from risk areas as of Nov. 23.
“At any time, the passenger may be requested to accredit the test result. The document must be the original, written in Spanish or English, and may be presented in paper or electronic format,” Gonzalez Laya said.
She stressed that some 4,800 travelers out of a total of 5.2 million who visited Spain since July tested positive for the coronavirus.
“While the numbers do not present a problem, for now, we need to ensure that they won’t create a problem in the future either. The measures are aimed at building trust and gradually opening up areas for safe free movement,” the minister said.
A total of 65 countries were listed among the high-risk areas, including the U.S., Germany, France, Belgium and Turkey.
The list is prepared by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control and updated every 15 days. Countries, where the number of cases per 100,000 people is over 150, is considered a “risky country.”