Confusion reigned in Spain yesterday – first it was announced that all unvaccinated British tourists would finally be allowed into the country, provided they had a negative test.
Next minute, the tourist board had done a full 180, apologizing “unreservedly for the miscommunication earlier today which was due to a misunderstanding of the new entry requirements”.
So what are Spain’s current travel rules – and can Brits go on holiday there? Here’s everything you need to know.
What are the current rules for vaccinated travellers?
Fully vaccinated British travelers – defined as having had two jabs, with the second administered at least 14 days prior and no more than 270 days prior (in which case you need to have had a booster) – can visit Spain for any reason, provided they can show proof of vaccination via the NHS app or letter.
There is no need to test or quarantine, and vaccinated arrivals no longer need to complete Spain’s health control form.
What are the current rules for unvaccinated travellers?
Recover from Covid-19
Adults who have recovered from coronavirus within the last six months can enter Spain for any reason.
You can use the UK proof of Covid-19 recovery record or a recovery certificate issued by a relevant health authority or medical service.
At least 11 days must have passed since your first positive nucleic acid amplification test – NAAT (PCR or similar) or rapid antigen test. The recovery record or certificate will be valid for 180 days from the date of the positive test and must include the following information:
- your full name
- the date you first tested positive
- the type of test administered
- the name of the country issuing the recovery record or certificate
- documentary proof of the diagnostic test from which the Recovery Certificate is derived
Travelers using proof of recovery to enter Spain need not test or quarantine, but are still required to fill in Spain’s online Health Control Form.
Not recovered from Covid-19
British adults who are not fully vaccinated and cannot show a valid proof of recovery can only enter Spain for “essential” reasons – not for tourism.
What about children?
12 to 17-year-olds
Travelers from the UK aged 12 to 17 inclusive can enter Spain by presenting a negative PCR result from a test taken within the 72 hours before they arrive in Spain. Antigen tests are not accepted.
Alternatively, travelers aged 12 to 17 can enter Spain with a full vaccination certificate or a recovery certificate. The vaccination expiration date of 270 days does not apply to 12 to 17-year-olds (ie, if their second dose of the vaccine is more than 270 days old, they don’t require a booster shot to be recognized as fully vaccinated) .
Other than those who are fully vaccinated, travelers must fill in and sign an online Health Control Form no more than 48 hours before travel.
11 and under
Children under the age of 12 years old do not need to:
- show proof of being fully vaccinated on entry to Spain
- take diagnostic tests prior to arrival
- show proof of having recovered from prior Covid-19 infection in the last six months
However, they are still required to fill in the Health Control Form.
Will entry restrictions ease soon?
It looked like these rules were being relaxed after the Spanish tourist board erroneously announced that unvaccinated holidaymakers from the UK would be let in for non-essential reasons with immediate effect.
But this was swiftly back-peddaled: “The Spanish Tourist Office in the UK issued a statement earlier today which was incorrect. The statement said that as of today, 6 April, non-vaccinated UK passengers can now enter Spain with proof of a negative PCR or antigen test, or proof of diagnostic recovery and without the need to be double vaccinated. This was misinterpreted and is not correct.”
Pedro Medina, deputy director of the Spanish Tourist Office in the UK, said: “We apologize unreservedly for the miscommunication earlier today which was due to a misunderstanding of the new entry requirements.”
It looks like the current rules could be in place until the end of the month, after officials confirmed last week that the entry restrictions would be extended until 30 April.
Elsewhere, countries across Europe are relaxing entry rules, with some scrapping all restrictions, regardless of travellers’ vaccination status.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.