Spain has added two new countries to its flight ban list: Malawi and Zimbabwe. This move comes after an already broad entry ban on travelers from multiple South African countries.
Here are the countries upon which Spain had already imposed flight bans:
- South Africa
Though the Nov. 30 ban on travelers from those countries was initially set to end in mid-December, it will now last until Dec. 29. After that, leaders will reassess the situation before deciding whether to extend the ban.
The ban is part of efforts to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant within Spain’s borders. Several traveler categories are exempt:
- Spanish citizens and residents
- Andorran citizens and residents
- Travelers on international trips to non-Schengen nations who have a layover of under 24 hours and stay in the airport transit zone for the entire layover before leaving Spain
- State flights
- Search and rescue flights
- Certain cargo flights
- Medical and emergency flights
- Humanitarian flights
Leaders believe that these policies reflect recommendations from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. They’ve also expressed that these measures will help meet the World Health Organization Emergency Committee’s objectives for lessening the virus’s spread.
Spain isn’t the only nation imposing strict entry bans on travelers from South African countries. All member states of the European Union are enforcing some type of ban.
However, it’s questionable whether these bans will slow the virus’s spread.
Previously, most Omicron cases in Europe were related to international travel. Now, the majority come from spread within Schengen Zone nations.
Omicron cases are popping up worldwide, and the variant is spreading quickly. Denmark is showing a particularly high transmission rate.
Spain is seeing a drastic increase in COVID-19 cases. Nonetheless, death rates are still low.