Spain bans non-vaccinated Britons as Israel shuts borders to all visitors

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Only fully vaccinated British tourists will be admitted to Spain from Wednesday as countries around the world tighten border restrictions amid concerns over the new Omicron coronavirus variant.

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Until now, Britons could enter Spain by showing a negative PCR test result up to 72 hours before arrival, but from 1 December they would also need proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

The variant, which has also been detected in Belgium, Botswana, Hong Kong, Italy, Germany and the UK, has sparked global concern and a wave of travel restrictions, although epidemiologists say it is not possible to prevent Omicron from being transmitted globally. It may be too late for such restrictions.


With respect to those in Britain and Northern Ireland, “the appearance of new variants … forces an increase in restrictions,” a Spanish government bulletin stated.

A spokesman for Spain’s Industry, Trade and Tourism said the move would not affect the estimated 300,000 Britons living in Spain.

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It came as Switzerland imposed a 10-day quarantine on travelers arriving from Britain, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Egypt and Malawi.

Meanwhile, Israel has said it will ban all foreigners from entering the country for 14 days, making it the first country to completely close its borders in response to Omicron.

“Our working hypothesis is that the variant is already there in almost every country,” Interior Minister Aylette Schek told N12’s “Meet the Press,” “and that the vaccine is effective, although we do not yet know to what extent.” “

Bennett said Israelis entering the country, including those who were vaccinated, would need to be quarantined. The ban will be effective from midnight on Sunday and Monday. Travel restrictions were imposed on Friday on foreigners arriving from most African states.

Bennett said the Shin Bet counter-terrorism agency’s phone-tracking technology would be used to trace the carriers of the new version to prevent its transmission to others.


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