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Ministry of Health, Ministry for Foreign Affairs

COVID-19: Spain removed from the list of countries identified as risk zones

The Ministry of Health has decided to remove mainland Spain from the Chief Epidemiologist´s list of countries identifying the countries defined as risk zones due to high notification rates of new COVID-19 infections. This is done in light of the assessment of the Ministry that the definition does not comply with the applicable regulation of the Minister of Health on quarantine, isolation and testing at the borders of Iceland because of COVID-19 even though data is lacking regarding the number of infections in one district of the country. Passengers from mainland Spain shall be subject to quarantine in private accommodation following the amendment and not in a quarantine facility.

Paragraph 1 of Article 5 of the regulation provides among other things: “In case countries are divided into more than one territory where the notification rate of new infections varies the country in question may be categorised based on the notification rate of new infections in the territory where it is highest.”

The conclusion drawn from the text of the provision is that it is permitted to base the categorisation of the entire country on a single territory that is dark red but not on a single territory that is grey as it not clear whether the notification rate of new infections is highest there. The Ministry therefore concludes that it is not permissible to include Spain on the list. The aim is that the next update of the list will take place on the 9th of April.

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