Spain has now removed its COVID-19 entry requirements for anyone arriving into the country from the EU or Schengen area.
Holidaymakers from the UK still need to show a negative test to enter the country, but the increasingly relaxed rules are “excellent news” for the tourism industry according to Spanish minister Reyes Maroto.
With its sunny beaches, rich architectural heritage and delicious food, there are plenty of reasons why the Mediterranean nation was the world’s second-most visited country pre-pandemic. And, of course, the long-running favourite of British holidaymakers.
Unlike a number of other European nations, Spain has not scrapped its travel restrictions entirely.
As the world adjusts to international travel in the continuing age of COVID-19, the Spanish tourism sector is expected to reach nearly 90 per cent of its 2019 size.
So if you’re one of the many tourists eager to book a 2022 trip to Spain, here’s what you need to know.
What are the latest entry requirements for Spain?
Tourists from within the EU or Schengen area no longer need to show any COVID-19 documents in order to enter the country.
Visitors from outside the EU however, still need to show proof of vaccination, recovery certificate or a negative test through the EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC) or another valid document.
If you don’t have the certificate (or another EU equivalent) you can fill in Spain’s Health Control Form with these details, receiving a QR code to get through the airports.
Either a PCR or rapid antigen test – taken within 72 or 48 hours before arrival, respectively – are accepted.
What counts as fully vaccinated in Spain?
In order to be considered fully vaccinated by the Spanish government, all travellers must have received their second jab at least 14 days prior to their trip.
You must be vaccinated with a complete course of a vaccine approved by the WHO or EMA.
And, in line with other EU countries, Spain has set an expiration date of 270 days on vaccine passports. This means booster jabs will be required if your second jab was more than nine months ago.
But there is no requirement for 14 days to have passed since getting any further booster jabs and entering Spain; and there is currently no expiration date for booster jabs.
What are Spain’s vaccine and COVID test rules for UK travellers?
UK citizens who have not had a coronavirus vaccine are now free to travel to Spain – provided they can prove they don’t have the virus.
As with EU travellers, one of the three following certificates is required:
- A negative test certificate – either a PCR within 72 hours of departure, or an antigen one within 24 hours
- A vaccination certificate
- Certificate of recovery at least 11 days after testing positive (valid for six months)
The Spanish authorities will accept the NHS COVID Pass as proof of vaccination, either digitally or printed out.
Tests are not required from double-jabbed Brits, but the UK Foreign Office notes that all travellers may be subject to additional checks at the point of entry.
Spain’s Border Health Controls page suggests that if an airport temperature check (for instance) has raised concern, tourists could be contacted and required to take a PCR test at any point up to 48 hours after arrival.
Unvaccinated Brits still need to fill out the Health Control Form, unless recently recovered.
What are the rules for children and teenagers?
Children under 12 years old do not need to show proof of vaccination or undergo any tests. This rule applies to the whole of Spain, including the Canary Islands and the Balearics.
Those aged between aged 12 to 17 no longer have to be fully vaccinated and can get into Spain with a negative PCR (or other NAAT) test result taken within 72 hours before arrival. Antigen tests are not accepted.
Alternatively, fully vaccinated British children aged 12 to 15 are able to prove their immunity with a NHS COVID Pass letter for international travel. Without this proof, travellers aged 12 and over must complete the Health Control Form within 48 hours before travelling to Spain.
Are masks required in Spain?
After 700 days, Spain finally dropped its indoor mask wearing rule on 20 April. By royal decree, masks are no longer mandatory in the vast majority of settings – from bars and cafes to museums and cinemas.
Public transport is one key exception, however, as face coverings are still required on airplanes, buses, trains, metros, taxis – as well as ferries if a 1.5 metre distance can’t be maintained indoors.
It follows the scrapping of Spain’s strict outdoor mask wearing rule earlier this year.
Domestic rules can vary from region to region however, so it’s important to check the exact requirements for where you’re headed. The Spanish Tourist Board’s Travel Safe website has more guidance on this, with a breakdown of rules for each of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions on its interactive map.