Passengers land at Malaga Airport armed with negative Covid test results

Elisabeth and Christoph, with their test results.
Elisabeth and Christoph, with their test results. / SALVADOR SALAS
  • The new requirement that came into force on Monday applies to travellers from high-risk countries entering Spain by sea or air

It's understandable that they're demanding a test. It's good, that way we're all safer." This was the opinion of the majority of passengers who got off the Ryanair flight from Brussels at Malaga Airport on Monday morning, the first required to comply with Spain's new Covid-19 test requirement for travellers from high-risk countries.

According to some of the passengers, there were barely 20 or 25 people on the flight, but they all had the piece of paper to prove their negative PCR test result.

"We saw that those who didn't have the document in Charleroi [Brussels] weren't allowed to board," said Elisabeth, who was travelling with her husband Christoph to their property in Antequera.

On Monday the Spanish government started demanding a negative Covid-19 test from all passengers arriving in Spain by sea or air from high-risk countries or regions - and whose final destination is a Spanish port or airport - independently of their nationality or country of residence.

Passengers must carry the document that confirms the negative test result, dated within 72 hours, when they travel. This, according to the regulation published earlier this month, must be an original copy, written in Spanish or English, in paper or electronic format and it must contain the traveller's name and surname, passport or ID card number, date of the test, identification and contact details of the medical centre where the test was carried out, the technique used and the negative result.

Travel agencies and airlines are informing passengers of the requirement several days ahead of their travel date. In the case of Elisabeth and Christoph, Ryanair sent them several emails and messages to remind them that they had to have a test, which, in their case, cost 67 euros each.

"The flight was only 16 euros, so in the end we haven't spent that much," said Dutch-born Elisabeth, who lives in Antwerp.

"We have a house in Antequera and we've just got married, so we're going to spend our honeymoon looking after the olive trees," she said with a smile.

"I know we can't leave the town until we go back, but we don't mind as we're going to be at home for all five days," she added.

The airport arrivals area in Malaga has changed significantly in the last few months. The hall is practically closed off and passengers go straight outside.

Passengers on the flight from Belgium.

Passengers on the flight from Belgium. / S. SALAS

The first to emerge on Monday were a Belgian couple [they preferred not to give their names] who were heading for Torremolinos.

"We were warned about the PCR," they explained, showing their certificates.

"It's logical, the way things are," they said in French, adding that they loved the Costa del Sol.

"We don't mind that the bars close at six o'clock. We'll eat earlier and then go for a walk - better that staying at home," they explained.

Neither of the two couples we spoke to will be able to leave the municipalities they are staying in, although they won't have to have another PCR test before they go back, or at least not to enter their country.

"But we will have to before we go back to work," added one of them.

Passengers land at Malaga Airport armed with negative Covid test results


To be able to deal with the new requirement, the Health Ministry has set up a point with several workers inside the airport.

They are responsible for asking to see the results of the tests. If a passenger cannot produce the required document (despite having stated before leaving that they had the result) they would be failing to comply with a health requirement and would have made a false statement before departure.

As well as having to take a test on arrival and pay for it, the passenger could face a fine.