By Andrew Atkinson

Spain has been reminded by the European Union that travellers must include a PCR negative test to enter the country.

“It is your responsibility – but we ask for consistency for the good of the citizens of the European Union,” said chief spokesman of the European Commission, Éric Mamer.

The EU message comes after Spain relaxed COVID-19 travel restrictions on passengers from certain countries allowing them to enter the country without complying with the EU-wide PCR test measure.

The European Commission consensus within the EU is to require a negative PCR for tourists from outside the European Union travelling to a member state, including British travellers.

“They must request a negative PCR from all people from outside the EU who travel, whether for essential reasons or not,” said European Commission spokesperson for Home Affairs, Adalbert Jahnz, it being the recommendation endorsed by the 27 member states.

It may exempt ‘vaccinated’ tourists from this requirement only in specific cases: “The European Commission expects member states to apply this approach in a fully coordinated manner,” he said.

Spain defended its change of criteria that was introduced on May 24, in which tourists from several countries were not required to present any coronavirus test, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not, despite reminders from Brussels.

The EU does have a small list of countries outside the bloc with which it allows non-essential travel, subject to restrictions such as PCR or quarantines.

The UK are not on the list amid Spain requesting their inclusion.

Travel within the European Union 27 member states have agreed on guidelines that only travellers in ‘green’ areas are exempted from certain restrictions on their movements.

It is recommended that negative PCR tests should be requested – at the departure or arrival point of destination – for the orange and red areas, which is mandatory for those travelling from dark red areas.