NEW restrictions came into force today (Wednesday) in Spain restricting air passengers from Brazil and South Africa to nationals and legal residents.
Passengers stopping in Spain while on their way to a destination in another country will be allowed to enter for up to 24 hours but will not be permitted to leave the airport.
Spanish government spokeswoman Maria Jesus Montero said the new rules would remain in force for two weeks but did not rule out an extension, depending on the evolution of the pandemic.
She said it was in a bid by Spain to control its borders and prevent the spread of mutant variants of the Covid-19 virus which have alarmed scientists as they appear more contagious and deadlier.
Since December, Madrid banned arrivals by air or sea from the UK because of the discovery of the so-called ‘British variant’ of the coronavirus, responsible for a surge in infections in Britain.
Variants in Covid-19 have since been identified in Brazil and South Africa and experts fear they too could affect the progress of the battle against the disease – Spain has recorded nearly 60,000 deaths from 2.8 million cases of Covid, including 350 from the strain first detected in Kent.