The Government of Spain has done a ‘U Turn’ on it’s decision not to suspend flights into and out of the United Kingdom along with Portugal and will now suspend incoming flights from Tuesday, although it will allow the entry of Spanish citizens and residents of Spain. It will also strengthen border controls in Gibraltar.

This was agreed upon after the meeting of the European Union, which analysed the effects of the new strain of coronavirus detected in the United Kingdom, and has asked that all non-essential travel be avoided.

Spain had decided to wait for the European Union to decide how to react jointly to this new strain, before making a unilateral decision on the entry of people from the United Kingdom, despite the fact that 15 European countries had already adopted the measures.

“We are a government that represents a very European society and we really need to make sure that the issues that affect us throughout Europe are prudent and balanced, and that the whole of Europe reacts equally to any circumstance of a country that decided to leave the EU” according to Deputy Prime Minister, Carmen Calvo.

Strengthen controls in Gibraltar

In its statement, the government said that it was necessary to wait for Brussels to determine their coordinated measures and explained that Spain’s decision was adopted in a concerted manner with Portugal and will also involve a tightening of controls at the Gibraltar border crossing.

It also reports that the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, has a conversation with his counterpart, the Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, while the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, spoke with his colleague, the Portuguese Minister of Health, Marta Temido.

In addition, the Government said that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arancha González Laya, will immediately inform the British government and the European Commission of the decision.

A government spokesman said that in order to enter Spain it is mandatory that all passengers from countries or areas at risk undergo a Diagnostic Test for Active Infection, PDIA, for SARS-Cov-2 in the seventy-two hours prior to their arrival and this must show a negative result.

Despite many countries trying to distance themselves from the United Kingdom, now having imposed travel bans to tackle the crisis it is thought possible that the new strain of coronavirus is also spreading in Gibraltar, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Italy and France.