Spain is imposing restrictions on flights from Brazil and South Africa over the recently discovered strains of the novel coronavirus, Maria Jesus Montero, the finance minister and government spokesperson, said on Tuesday.
The restrictions will enter force on Wednesday and last for 14 days, but could be extended depending on the situation.
“The council of ministers has strengthened the restrictions on the entry into Spain from Brazil and South Africa. Our goal is to protect the health of the population, our citizens’ safety, stem the disease’s development and boost our health system. We are doing in accordance with the EU recommendations,” the minister said at a press conference.
According to Montero, only citizens and residents of Spain and Andorra will be allowed to enter the country from Brazil and South Africa, as well as transit passengers but only if the time for flight connection is less than 24 hours and they stay in the transit zone.
Last month, US President Joe Biden imposed a ban on South Africa in a bid to contain the spread of a new variant of Covid-19.
Biden also reimposed an entry ban on nearly all non US travellers who have been in Brazil, the United Kingdom, Ireland and 26 countries in Europe that allow travel across open borders.
“We are adding South Africa to the restricted list because of the concerning variant present that has already spread beyond South Africa,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, the CDC’s principal deputy director, said in an interview at the time.