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PCR tests required for incoming travellers from 'high-risk countries': A convenient alternative to quarantine
12 November 2020 @ 18:00

TRAVELLERS to Spain from countries with a recent high incidence of Covid-19 will be required to show a negative PCR test result at the airport – a new move to keep the nation safe from outside contagion without having to place restrictions on visitors.

Although the UK is still one of the countries that requires anyone arriving from Spain, including British residents who have been on holiday there, to quarantine for 14 days – even with a negative PCR – Spain has opted to go down the testing route instead.

Having to quarantine effectively prevents tourism altogether, since it is extra time that a traveller has to take off work as annual leave, unless he or she already works from home, and is also extremely inconvenient as it stops them from carrying out essential errands, like grocery shopping.

But a PCR test showing a visitor or returner does not have the virus is a better guarantee – even after a completely symptom-free quarantine period, the traveller may still be Covid-positive, but asymptomatic and able to pass it onto others, yet if they are known not to have the virus at all, they cannot infect anyone else.

Already, some countries, such as Malta, are requesting travellers from Spain and various other nations take a PCR test no more than 72 hours before arrival, and have the results to hand either in digital or paper format.

Spain has also set the 72-hour criteria, to allow time for results to filter through – any less and the traveller may end up having to cancel a flight if a delay in their reception crops up.

Although it is quite feasible for a person to be tested and then catch the virus before the results arrive, it is recommended that anyone planning to travel makes arrangements to stay as isolated as possible between testing and flying, if they can.

A PCR test takes under a minute, and results are typically sent by email within 24 to 36 hours.

The process is unpleasant, as the swab has to be inserted some considerable distance up the person's nasal passage, but is only in place for 20 seconds, meaning the sensation stops just before it starts to become unbearable – and, in any case, is very worthwhile, since 20 seconds of pain is far less traumatic than the virus itself and far less inconvenient than being unable to travel.

Read more at thinkSPAIN.com

 



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3 Comments


Switchqueen said:
14 November 2020 @ 09:16

This is an interesting development for those of us in the UK who have not been able to visit our ‘second homes’ in Spain this year. May I just comment that the PCR test is uncomfortable, but not painful, and that the swab only goes around 2cm into your nasal passage. I have been tested twice so far and would have no concerns about repeated testing. ‘Just before it becomes unbearable’ is quite an emotive phrase and could put some people off. Thanks for keeping us informed about these developments.


Ten66 said:
14 November 2020 @ 09:40

It has stopped me going to Scotland just before Christmas this year.
I would have to take a home test and by the time it is delivered to the testing lab and the, ready in 48hr results are delivered I would only have a short time to get to my flight.
Any delays could mean I cannot take the flight. I could of course fail the test!!, Mess up taking the samples, the flight could be delayed.
After all that "glass half full" stuff I decided I did not want to risk being away from home and family at Christmas.

I think it has its merits and once a few, braver, folk have done this and shared their experiences I expect make the trip, next year now.
Here's hoping the heating and water systems in the flat carry on working this winter, the reason for the trip was for maintanance and, general bill and meter reading.


If my Scottish location was in a bigger city with local testing locations I would have gone.
Where I was I had to use a home test and that added, for me, too much risk.
Here's to 2021; may it be even just a little better.


renadunne said:
14 November 2020 @ 12:50

Is no one talking about the cost of this? I'd like to go to Ireland this Christmas. Ireland requires a PCR test 72 hours before arrival, that costs €140. Then 5 days after arrival, I have to take another test which I believe costs in the region of €180 in Ireland. Then I have to wait up to 2 days for the result. If I want that 2nd test to be effective for flying back to Spain, I would have to leave Ireland on the 3rd day after the 2nd test. Otherwise, I need to get another test. Total cost would be in the region of €500. All I hear is how these new regulations will open up the skies again, but who can afford this?


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