02 Dec
spain travel omicron

The Spanish health authority implements the system for managing health checks on entry into Spain to control the omicron variant

The Spanish Ministry of Health has implemented the ‘Spain Travel Health’ (SpTH) system features for managing health controls on entry into Spain, incorporating the control measures approved by the Government against the omicron variant of COVID-19.

As explained by the Secretary General for Digital Health, Information and Innovation of the Ministry of Health, Juan Fernando Muñoz, the SpTH has incorporated the measures applicable to travellers from the 7 countries declared to be at high risk (South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe).

This allows the Spanish health authority to trace travellers on flights coming from or having been to these countries in the last 10-15 days, and for whom a specific control protocol has been set up for COVID-19 and the omicron variant, consisting of a request for vaccination and an active infection detection test (PDIA), antigen testing on arrival in Spain and a compulsory 10-day quarantine.

The system, Muñoz explained, allows for referral to the health authorities of the regional government or city of destination of these travellers or, where appropriate, to the European Union country to which they are heading.

About SpTH Spain Travel Health

The use of the ‘Spain Travel Health’ (SpTH) system for managing health checks on entry into Spain is compulsory for everybody arriving in Spain from abroad and has so far enabled nearly 34 million people to be checked at entry points into Spain since it was launched in July 2020.

This weekend, with the entry into force of the new health control measures contained in the Resolution of the Directorate General for Public Health and published in the Official State Gazette, some 275,000 people have been checked: Some 140,000 of these were travellers arriving in Spain on Saturday 27 November and 135,000 were arrivals on Sunday 28 November.

Among other functions, the SpTH manages clinical assessment, diagnostic testing and epidemiological surveillance, and facilitates the monitoring of quarantines and close contacts.

As Juan Fernando Muñoz pointed out, the Ministry of Health not only detects the risk and, depending on the risk, sets out the actions to be taken but, thanks to the SPTH, also detects the people who must go through the special circuit established at any given time.

SPTH has integrated the health assessment of people detected as suspected of carrying the virus which, since its implementation, has enabled 244,423 suspected cases to be seen by the health services of the Foreign Health Service.

It also integrates the management of the tests carried out at the airport itself on suspected cases and those detected by the system as being at risk, which has led to 318,532 tests being carried out, of which a total of 1,085 have been positive.

Since July 2021, it has also facilitated fast-track access for travellers in possession of a European Union Digital Covid Certificate (EU-CCD), speeding up entry for travellers arriving in Spain. So far 5 million people have benefited from this fast and automated access.

By: Estela Martín

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