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The Spanish Official State Gazette has published the Royal Decree 463/2020, approved on March 14  by the extraordinary Council of Ministers, declaring the state of alarm in Spain for the management of the health crisis situation caused by COVID -19, establishing restrictions on the movement of citizens and economic activity, with measurements that affect transportation and customs transit.


Last Friday, May 15, an Order of the Spanish Home Office (Order INT / 409/2020, of May 14) was published that extends the criteria for the application of a temporary restriction of non-essential travel from third countries to the European Union and Schengen partner countries, for reasons of public order and public health, due to the health crisis caused by COVID-19. Said temporary restriction on non-essential travel had already been established, and subsequently extended, by the Order of the Spanish Home Office INT/270/2020, of March 21.


The aforementioned Order of Friday, May 15 establishes that anyone who does not belong to one of the following categories will be subject to denial of entry into Spain, for reasons of public order or public health:


  • Registered as residents in Spain or who go directly to their place of residence in another Member State, Schengen Associated State or Andorra.
  • The spouse of a Spanish citizen or partner with whom he/she maintains an analogous union registered in a public registry, and those ancestors and descendants who live in his/her charge, whenever they travel with or to meet with him/her.
  • Holders of a long-term visa issued by a Member State or Schengen Associated State who head to this state.
  • Cross-border workers.
  • Health or elderly care professionals who head to or return from carrying out their work activity.
  • Staff dedicated to the transport of goods in the exercise of their work activity, including crew of the ships, in order to ensure the provision of maritime transport services and fishing activity; and the flight staff necessary to carry out commercial air transport activities. It will be an indispensable condition that the immediate continuation of the trip is ensured.
  • Diplomatic, consular, international organizations and military staff, members of humanitarian organizations, in the exercise of their duties.
  • People traveling for imperative family reasons duly accredited.
  • Persons who proof reasons of force majeure or situation of need, or whose entry is allowed for humanitarian reasons


The aforementioned temporary restriction on non-essential travel came into effect on March 23 and, by virtue of the aforementioned extensions, continues until June 15. However, a further extension is possible depending on the circumstances.


The aforementioned Ministerial Order arises from the March 17 agreement of the members of the European Council to apply a temporary restriction of non-essential travel from third countries to the European Union and associated Schengen countries. Subsequently, the European Commission has twice recommended the extension of said restriction, recommending in its latest Communication, of May 8, the extension until June 15.


Likewise, it should be borne in mind that, in the Balearic Islands, in accordance with the Order of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda TMA/247/2020, of March 17, commercial flights or private flights are prohibited, from any airport located on the Peninsula and the airports of the Balearic Islands. Similarly, the landing at the Balearic Islands airports of executive aviation flights (private flights), air taxi or similar operations are prohibited, regardless of their origin.


These prohibitions entered into force on March 18 and 19, respectively, and will be in force until the end of the alarm state or until circumstances exist that justify a new Order.


People who are authorized to enter Spanish territory, by virtue of the exceptions indicated above, must remain in quarantine for 14 days after arrival, pursuant to Order of the Ministry of Health 403/2020, of May 11 , on the quarantine conditions to which people from other countries must undergo upon arrival in Spain, during the health crisis caused by COVID-19.


During this 14-day period, people must remain at their home or accommodation, and must limit their movement to the following activities:


  1. Acquisition of food, pharmaceuticals and basic products.
  2. Assistance to health centres.
  3. Due to force majeure or a situation of need.


Cross-border workers, truck drivers and crews, as well as health professionals who are travelling to carry out their work, will not have to keep the aforementioned quarantine, as long as they have not been in contact with people diagnosed with COVID-19.


This measure came into effect on Friday, May 15, and will remain effective throughout the alarm state.


Leyre Steegmann Urcelay

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