UPDATE: Which travellers must show negative Covid-19 test on arrival in Spain?

The Local Spain
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UPDATE: Which travellers must show negative Covid-19 test on arrival in Spain?
Photos: AFP

Spain has brought in new rules requiring travellers arriving in Spain by air or sea from countries deemed high risk to prove they have tested negative, here's a look at the rules and who they apply to.


UPDATE: The Spanish Health Ministry has changed requirements for compulsory testing for arrivals by sea and air and from December 10th will accept a negative TMA test as well as a PCR. READ MORE HERE

Spain has updated the countries from which travellers need to show a negative PCR test before arriving by air or sea.

The new list will be in force from December 14th to December 27th, and includes slight changes compared to the previous one, which is in operation until December 13th.

The main difference is the fact that travelling from a number of regions in Finland will from next Monday require a negative PCR, as well as the whole of Greece, Aruba and Jersey (UK).

Meanwhile, traveling from Nordjylland (Denmark), Guadalupe (France), Kuwait and Monaco will no longer require showing a negative PCR.

Details of the new rules were published in Spain’s Official State Gazette (BOE) and come into force on November 23rd.

On November 30th, the list of those countries from which travellers were required to show a PCR test to enter Spain was updated to remove Iceland and Ireland and add parts of Norway, Greece, and the Azores Islands that were previously exempt, to the list.

Outside of the EU and EEA, Aruba, Bahrain, Libya, Tunisia are no longer on the list, while Azerbaijan, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Curaçao and Iran have been added.

Spain doesn’t have a blanket testing requirement for all travellers but requires those flying in from high risk countries to provide a test before they will be allowed to fly.

The threshold that determines whether a country falls into the “high risk” category is based on EU guidelines and is so low that it effectively includes all the countries within the EU and many outside too.


The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), an agency of the European Union, operates a traffic light system and Spain will insist all of those flying in from countries classified as red zones will need to show a negative PCR test.

The ECDC currently classifies as high risk, those countries with anaccumulated incidence rate of more than 150 cases per 100,000 people over the past 14 days.

It also states that those with a rate of 50 cases per 100,000 combined with over 4 percent of all tests giving positive results, will also be categorised as high risk.


All the areas marked in red on the map above fall into Spain's high risk category and travellers flying from there will require PCR tests.


So far this affects most travellers from more than 65 countries which includes most of the EU, EEA plus Switzerland and the UK.

The only European exemptions are those who have travelled from Ireland and Iceland and certain regions of Greece, Finland and Norway although from the 14th December travellers from any part of Greece will be required to take the test and only those from the exempt regions of Finland and Norway will change.

Travellers from Greenland, the Faroe Islands and are also exempt.

Tests will also be required from the following list of countries:

Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Brazil, Canada, Cape Verde. Colombia. Costa Rica, Curaçao, United Arab Emirates, USA, Russia, Georgia, Gibraltar, Guam, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Macedonia, Morroco, Moldova, Mónaco, Montenegro, Palestine, Panamá, French Polynesia, Puerto Rico, San Marino, San Martín, Serbia and Ukraine.

For the full updated list on Spain's Foreign Office website CHECK HERE

This only applies to travellers whose destination is Spain and not those on transit through Spain in order to reach another country.

They will be required to provide a negative result on a diagnostic test of active infection (PCR) taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Spain.


The test results must be written in either Spanish or English and be presented either in electronic version or original paper format and must contain the following information:

Traveller's name, passport number or ID number (which must match the document used to travel and the health control form), date of the test, identification and contact details of the centre where test was carried out, the kind of test conducted and proof of a negative test result. MORE INFO HERE

The order also states that it is the responsibility of the airline or shipping company to ensure that the test meets the criteria before allowing check in but it does add that those arriving in Spain without the correct test and negative result will have to undergo one at a medical centre on arrival.

Those arriving by air or sea will also be subject to a basic medical check in the form of having their temperature taken and will be asked to fill in a health form

If the travellers temperature registers above 37.5C or there are other symptoms suggesting they could have Covid-19 then they will be subject to protocol established by the regional health authority in which they have arrived.

The new rules come into force on November 23rd across all of Spain but in the Canary Islands people arriving on the islands from anywhere including mainland Spain must also abide by the regional government rules and provide a negative test result on check-in.



Comments (1)

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Anonymous 2020/11/14 14:44
Most of us would agree with the principle of<br />pre-entry testing BUT the problem is logistics.<br />Testing agencies in UK state that test results<br />within 72-hours of departure cannot be guaranteed due to postal and lab times.<br /><br />What can the airlines do to assist travellers?<br />Will they deny boarding to the "undocumented"?<br />Is test and quarantine on arrival an alternative?<br /><br />How can Spanish authorities assist travellers to<br />navigate this logistical puzzle?<br /><br />I am booked to arrive on 15th December but fearful<br />that I may not be able to comply with the rules in<br />view of the overly tight timescale. I need to be<br />in Spain to undertake a legal duty but "elective" travellers may opt for a "staycation" which would<br />mitigate against revival of Spanish tourism and<br />the potential economic benefits of such revival.<br /><br />There must be a way to protect public health AND<br />provide a logistical route capable of compliance<br />easily by typical tourists.

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