Following recent reports that certain areas of Spain have seen spikes in Coronavirus infections, some countries, including the UK, Ireland and Norway, have re-introduced quarantine measures for those travelling from Spain.
According to the BBC, 'Spain's rate of infection has jumped in recent days. While the outbreak remains under control in many parts of Spain, certain areas - in particular Catalonia in the north-east and the neighbouring region of Aragón - have seen a huge spike in infections.
Local authorities have issued stay-at-home orders for some four million residents in Catalonia, including in the regional capital Barcelona. On Monday, Catalonia's President Quim Torra said even stricter lockdown measures could be imposed if infection numbers did not improve in the next 10 days.'
How does this affect the yachting industry in Spain?
We spoke to our local agent in Spain, BWA yachting, who have provided the below travel update for crew wishing to travel to and from Spain. This report confirms the latest quarantine measures imposed by the UK for travellers returning from Spain:
From June 21st, EU & Schengen Zone citizens can enter and move freely around the Spanish territory (dependent on reciprocal agreements & the COVID-19 situation in the country of origin).
In response to the EU guidelines regarding the reopening of borders, the Spanish Government has published an official bulletin announcing the following:
Spanish Borders has been reopened to nationals from the following non-EU countries: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and China (subject to confirmation of reciprocity). Montenegro and Serbia are not part of this list of exempt countries anymore.
This list of authorized countries will be reviewed every 2 weeks and is subject to change.
Please note: Whilst entry into Spain has been granted to general travellers from the above countries, seafarers and yacht crew are considered essential workers and will be granted entry no matter their country of origin. It's important that seafarers contact a local Spanish yacht agent who can confirm the paperwork required to enter the country.
In addition to the countries listed above, travel restrictions will NOT apply to the following:
- Citizens of the Member States of the European Union and the European Economic Area.
- Holders of residence permits or long-stay visas of the European Union, Schengen Associated States, Andorra, Monaco, The Vatican (Holy See) or San Marino.
- Cross-border workers & Health care professionals travelling for professional reasons
- Personnel working in the transport of goods, maritime transport services, fishing activity, commercial airline crew. These travellers must have the immediate continuation of the trip assured.
- Diplomatic, consular, international, military, civil protection and members of humanitarian organizations, in the exercise of their functions.
- Students who study in the EU Member States or associated Schengen States and who have the corresponding permit or visa.
- Highly qualified workers whose work is necessary and cannot be postponed or performed remotely.
- These circumstances must be justified documentary.
- People travelling for verifiable, urgent family reasons.
- Those with documented reasons or travelling due to force majeure, a situation of need or humanitarian grounds
Land borders with Andorra and the people check-point in Gibraltar will be open, however, exit and entry via the cities of Ceuta and Melilla will remain temporarily closed.
All ports and shipyards in the country are open to yachts travelling in and out. Yachts can be welcomed only with confirmed bookings, either if you come from outside Spain or inside Spain. Once in Spain, there is no legal compulsory quarantine if you have no declared cases of Coronavirus on board. The pre-arrival protocol is stricter then before and the authorities require additional documents such as the maritime health declaration and the ship sanitation certificate if you are a commercial vessel. There is no problem obtaining a transit Visa, to be stamped in or out, but additional administration has been put in place.
UK travellers coming from Spain will have to quarantine upon their return to the UK. However, we are expecting a possible “clear air bridge“ from UK citizens returning from the Canaries and Balearics (local authorities currently negotiating with the UK Government).
Please note: Seafarers and yacht crew are considered essential workers and fall under the exemption to self-isolate. Please read the full details on the UK Government website.
Please note: there might be slightly different regulations and protocols depending on your vessel's unique situation. For personalised guidance, we advise contacting a local yacht agent.