As of June 21st, Spain has reopened its borders for the majority of European countries. On July 1st, it will be open to many more travelers. In articles, it usually says that travel will be open to travelers "from" country X or whose country of origin is country X.

What does this mean? Does it refer to a traveler's country of citizenship? Their place of residence? If it is the latter, does it depend on legal residency status, or a certain time period? For instance, if someone from Brazil cannot travel to Spain, but they have been in Japan for a week (a month? a year?), and people from Japan can enter, would they be able to travel to Spain?

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    Brazilians living in Japan for a year are absolutely no concern for the status of Brazil under Covid-19 emergency – usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ Jun 22 at 15:31

Normally origin means departure.

In practice, it means the government is 1) allowing airlines to operate flights from the listed countries, 2) allowing passenger ships to enter their harbours 2) reopen its land border with France and Portugal.

First, remember that Schengen travels, under normal rules, are domestic at all effect, so no border stop, no systematic inspection, no questioning. If you fly from Finland to Spain, your "origin" is Finland and it is very unlikely to get questions under normal rules.

That said... For the purpose of health controls and disease prevention, it may be also important your RECENT travel history. Once at the external Schengen border, where people are questioned, authorities may ask the traveler for travel history and in particular inspect passports.

In a few words... Your passport/residency is meaningless in the context of disease prevention

  • If you can fly Brazil to Span via a third country, your origin is the third country, unless you are questioned...
  • Once you enter the Schengen Area, police border officers can ask about your last visits, and you will be legally obligated to disclose you are coming from Brazil. Not sure if you can be really denied entry (certainly not if you are EU/EAA), but if you have been to Brazil in the last 14 days, it is likely that you will be subject to quarantine and/or screening.
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  • So, in theory, would this work? The UK still has its borders open, and Spain is open to travellers from the UK. So fly to the UK, isolate for 14 days, then fly to Spain. Would that work? – Obie 2.0 Jun 23 at 2:29
  • That would be the best idea, not simply "work" from the rules' point ov view. If you isolate yourself for 14 days, it is very unlikely that you will pose a threat to other people's health after that time. That's the point of quarantine/isolation – usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ Jun 23 at 10:12
  • Does this answer still apply? – Obie 2.0 2 days ago
  • In particular, AENA mentions "citizens" (not residents and not people coming from a particular country) on their website. – Obie 2.0 2 days ago

Such statements must be taken in context in which it was made.

In this case, covid-19, it is assumed that after 14 days with no symptoms an individual is not infected.

It can also be assumed that the covid-19 virus does not check the citizenship of an individual it is infecting.

Based on these two assumptions, an individual (independent of their citizenship) arriving from an area with a high infection/active rate will be treated differently than someone arriving from an area with a low infection/active rate.

As to what action would then be taken (refusal of entry or quarantine) may be based on citizenship, since citizens (or residents) are generally not refused entry.

A universal definition of what is to be considered high does not exist. For the Schengen Area, this is presently being discussed.

Denmark is introducing a model that is more flexible and easily understandable:

Denmark to further re-open borders and ease travel advice
Effective 27 June, the Danish Government will implement a new model for opening the borders and easing travel advice for countries in the EU and Schengen area, as well as the UK.
To be “open”, a country must have fewer than 20 infected persons per 100,000 inhabitants per week. Once a country is open, the threshold for changing the status to “quarantine country” will be 30 infected persons per 100,000 inhabitants. This policy is designed to prevent opening and closing because of minor fluctuations from week to week. Requirements will also be set for the countries’ testing regimes.

As of today (2020-06-22), 2 countries inside the EU+ area do not fullfill these conditions

  • Portugal with 24 (yesterday 23)
  • Sweden with 43 (yesterday 49)

Should the Schengen Area decide to adopt the same model, then there would be many countries that would also not fullfill these conditions:

  • French Guyana with 408 (yesterday 345)
  • Chile with 393 (yesterday 363)
  • Brazil with 102 (yesterday 97)
  • United States with 55 (yesterday 54)
  • Russia with 38 (yesterday 39)
  • Mexico with 26 (yesterday 25)

Infections per 100k, last 7 days as of 2020-06-21


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    Spain's current tourist travel rules require direct travel between the country of residence of the traveller and Spain. It is not possible to travel to Spain from a "low incidence" country if direct flights do not exist and people can not arbitrarly transit thorugh countries to get to Spain. This generic statement about high incidence and low incidence countries seems unrelated to the original question. – Jacob Horbulyk Jun 22 at 11:16
  • @JacobHorbulyk The core of the question is asking: Does it refer to a traveler's country of citizenship?. This answer gives the reason why, not only in Spain, it is not based on citizenship and the reason why. – Mark Johnson Jun 22 at 11:24
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    @MarkJohnson Your answer is purely speculative and does not answer the question of how Spain actually interprets their rule. – lambshaanxy Jun 22 at 12:11
  • @lambshaanxy Since the official Spanish site doesn't meantion citizenship, all answers that address soly the citizenship aspect will be speculative. The Spanish Ministry for Tourismus states: Acceptance of certain healthcare conditions in the place of origin, on the journey and at the destination, which is the aspect this answer addresses and will be true for most countries for the foreseeable future. – Mark Johnson Jun 22 at 13:04
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    @MarkJohnson this answer seems to start with a (true, but empty) statement that context is important, then where I would expect the context to be presented I instead find your own assumptions (they strike me as fairly reasonable assumptions, but 'fairly reasonable' isn't something that can be necessarily expected of anything relating to immigration law). Then you go off on a tangent about the model Denmark is introducing. The link in your latest comment appears to be vastly more relevant to the question than anything in your answer. – Chris H Jun 22 at 14:57

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