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Germany puts all Spain except Canaries on quarantine list

Germany on Friday added all of Spain, excluding the Canary Islands, to its list of high-risk coronavirus areas, the health ministry said, in a major blow to top tourist destinations like Mallorca.

The decision means travellers returning from mainland Spain or the Balearic Islands must submit to a free mandatory Covid-19 test and face a period of quarantine.

“A very dynamic outbreak is evident in Spain. The number of cases is continuing to rise,” a health ministry spokeswoman told AFP.

European countries have watched with mounting concern as Spain has witnessed a spike in cases in recent weeks.

Spain’s tourist industry had hoped to recover some of its summer season after the coronavirus pandemic devastated the first half of 2020. More than 11 million Germans visited Spain last year.

The German government has a policy of warning against travel to areas with more than 50 new virus cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period. In Spain, with a population of 47 million, that number stands at more than 56, the health ministry said.

Germany’s list of at-risk locations in Spain already included the capital Madrid and regions such as Catalonia — including the tourist sites of Barcelona and the Costa Brava — and the Basque Country.

Germany on Saturday introduced compulsory coronavirus tests for people returning from high-risk areas.

Anyone who can’t produce a negative test result that is less than 48 hours old, must take a free test upon arrival and go into at-home quarantine until the result comes back negative.

The UK was the first major European country to place Spain on a quarantine list at the end of July, with France advising against travel to Catalonia soon after.