The World Health Organization (WHO) has called on countries not to ban flights from southern Africa. But fear prevails among European governments over the expansion of the Covid-19 Omicron variant and the rise in the incidence of Covid-19 throughout the continent.
In Spain, 4 cases of the Omicron variant have been detected so far, adding those already diagnosed (2) and those under investigation.
Due to the appearance of the Omicron variant, the Spanish government agreed on Tuesday to suspend flights between 7 southern African countries and Spanish airports.
After the meeting of the Council of Ministers, government spokeswoman Isabel Rodriguez explained the new travel bans, which will be in force from 00:00 on December 2 until 24:00 on December 15.
During this period, flights may only be made from airports in Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe to airports in Spain in the case of aircraft that carry exclusively Spanish or Andorran nationals; residents in Spain or Andorra; passengers in international transit to a non-Schengen country with a stopover of less than 24 hours without leaving the transit area of a Spanish airport.
Minister Rodriguez emphasized that, although the ban was approved on Tuesday, since Monday 29 November the requirements of a vaccination certificate and negative PCR test are already in force, as well as the mandatory quarantine for all passengers from risk countries and the need to perform an antigen test upon arrival at Spanish airports.
The government spokeswoman said that Spain is acting quickly to detect possible cases of the new variant. "Spain is a safe country that continues to lead the vaccination indicators and is the country with the least incidence in our environment," said Rodriguez.
The minister has also made a call to maintain responsibility, prevention and vaccination to address the next Christmas as normally as possible.