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NEWSLETTER

What are the rules on travelling within Spain this Christmas?

Each of Spain’s 17 regional authorities have imposed their own restrictions on travel within their territories over the Christmas period which means that the rules are different depending on where you live and where you want to go.

What are the rules on travelling within Spain this Christmas?
Map produced by Ministry of Health

There are general rules across the regions that includes exemptions for travelling across regional borders for work or study purposes and you will always be allowed into a territory if returning to primary residence.

Some regions allow exceptions over Christmas for those who are going to visit family, others also include the term allegados, (which means close friends or loved ones) while Catalonia will also visits to second homes and hotels, others do not.

Here’s a breakdown of travel rules within each of Spain's autonomous communities.

Madrid

Spain’s capital is shutting its perimeters between December 23 and January 6 in line with Ministry of Health recommendations. However it will allow people to cross in and out of they are going to visit family or allegados (close friends).

 

Authorities have produced a justification form that travellers must fill in and show at any checkpoint or if stopped by police in order to enter or leave the Madrid Community. DOWNLOAD HERE

Catalonia

Authorities in Catalonia have restricted non-essential movement between comarcas (counties) at all times but exceptions are made not only for the usual work/study/care for vulnerable rules but also for those travelling to a second home or hotel or to return to the family home.

Those wishing to travel between comarcas must fill in a justification form and present it to police if stopped at a checkpoint. 

 

Valencia

The regional government in Valencia has brought in the strictest rules regarding movement within its territory and has closed off regional borders even to those wanting to visit family and close friends.

The only exception beyond those entering for justified work/study etc reasons are those returning to their primary residence.

 

Balearic Islands

Travellers are allowed to enter the Balearics only if they can present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival or they must have an appointment to do so on the island and quarantine while they wait for a negative result.

Andalusia

Restrictions on travelling between provinces in Andalusia has now been lifted but a perimeter closure of the entire region remains in force until at least December 28 when authorities will reassess.

This means you cannot visit Andalusia for tourism purposes but an exception is made under Spain’s Health Ministry guidelines that you can enter or leave if you are going to visit relatives or close friends.

 

 Canary Islands

 

The government of the Canary Islands have decided to ban non-essential travel to the island of Tenerife from Friday December 18th after a recent surge in infections.

Tourists however, both from mainland Spain and abroad, are exempt from the travel ban provided they have accommodation booked and can show a negative Covid-19 test that was taken within 72 hours prior to arrival.

There are no travel restrictions on other islands although all visitors must present a negative Covid-19 test at the airport and at their accomodation. READ MORE HERE

 

Aragon

A regional border closure is in place until January 12 plus travelling between the provinces is not allowed. An exception is made between the dates of December 23 and 26 and December 30 and January 2 when travelling is allowed for the purpose of meeting up with family only – Aragon has also chosen not to include the term allegados.

Castilla y Leon

The region will remain closed until at least January 10 with exceptions for travel to visit family (not close friends) between December 23rd and December 26th, December 30th and January 2nd and January 5th to January 6th.

Castilla-La Mancha

Regional borders will remain closed over the Christmas period but it will allow make an exception for visits to family and friends between December 23 and January 6 in accordance with Spain's Health Ministry guidelines.

Cantabria

The region has been closed since November 4 and will remain so over the Christmas period but it will allow make an exception for visits to family and close friends between December 23 and January 6 in accordance with Spain's Health Ministry guidelines.

Galicia

The region has no perimeter confinement around the territory but it will do so following national guidelines between December 23 and January 6 except for those visiting family (it did not include the term allegados).

Students are advised to get PCR tests before returning home to family units.

Extremadura

The region is one of the few in Spain which has not imposed a perimeter confinement around the region but it will close its regional borders following national guidelines between December 23 and January 6 except for those visiting family and close friends.

Murcia

The ban on travel in and out of Murcia will only be lifted between December 23rd to 26th and December 30th to January 2nd for those visiting family and close friends.

Basque Country

The ban on travel in and out of the Basque Country will only be lifted between December 23 to 26 and December 30 to January 2 for those visiting family and close friends. Those doing so will have to complete the justification form required by regional authorities HERE

Navarra

The ban on travel in and out of Navarra will only be lifted between December 23 to 26and December 30 to January 2 for those visiting family and close friends.

La Rioja

The ban on travel in and out of La Rioja will only be lifted between December 23 to 26and December 30 to January 2 for those visiting family and close friends.

 

Look at the interactive map produced by the Spanish Health Ministry for details on restrictions in individual regions.

READ ALSO:

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TRAVEL NEWS

TRAVEL: Spain extends ban on unvaccinated non-EU tourists

Britons, Americans and other non-EU/Schengen travellers who are neither vaccinated nor recently recovered from Covid-19 will not be able to visit Spain for tourism for at least another month, Spanish authorities have confirmed.

TRAVEL: Spain extends ban on unvaccinated non-EU tourists

The Spanish government has again extended temporary restrictions for non-essential travel (including tourism) from most third countries for another month, until June 15th 2022.

That means that non-EU/Schengen adults who reside outside of the EU and who haven’t been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or recovered from the illness in the past six months cannot go on holiday to Spain during the next month. 

Therefore, Spain continues to not accept negative Covid-19 tests from British, American, Canadian, Indian or other third-country nationals who are neither vaccinated nor recently recovered. 

There had been hopes that the shorter two-week extension to the ban on non-essential travel issued on April 30th, as well as talk of the “orderly and progressive reopening” of the country’s borders, would mean that unvaccinated third country nationals would be allowed into Spain in May.

But in the end, Saturday May 14th’s state bulletin confirmed that Spain will keep the same measures in place for another 31 days, stating that they “will eventually be modified to respond to a change of circumstances or to new recommendations in the context of the European Union”.

Spain’s ban on unvaccinated non-EU travellers is arguably the last major Covid-19 restriction in place in the country, and other EU countries such as Sweden, Poland, Denmark, Czech Republic and Ireland are allowing unvaccinated tourists in.

This latest announcement by the Spanish government marks the umpteenth extension to non-essential travel from outside of the EU/Schengen area over the past two years of the pandemic, the previous one was due to expire on May 15th. 

But perhaps this extension is the most surprising, as the Spanish health ministry has modified its rulebook to treat Covid-19 like the flu and the country wants to recover the tourism numbers it had pre-pandemic.

The ban affects unvaccinated British tourists in particular, as the UK is still the biggest tourism market for Spain, but Britons’ non-EU status means they have to follow the same Covid-19 travel rules as other third-country nationals.

Vaccinated or recovered third-country travellers

Those who were fully vaccinated against Covid-19 more than two weeks prior to travel to Spain will need to show a valid vaccination certificate with an EMA or WHO approved vaccine.

If their initial vaccination treatment was completed more than 9 months ago (270 days), they’ll need to show they’ve had a Covid-19 booster shot. 

As for non-EU/Schengen travellers who have recovered from Covid-19 in the past six months, they will need to show a recovery certificate to prove this

According to Spain’s Health Ministry, recovery certificates accepted as valid are those “issued at least 11 days after the first positive NAAT or RAT, and up to a maximum of 180 days after the date of sampling”, as well as being issued by the relevant authorities.

Exceptions

In early February, Spanish authorities also decided to start allowing unvaccinated non-EU/Schengen teenagers aged 12 to 17 to visit Spain for tourism if they provided a negative PCR.

Spain continues to have a small list of low-risk third countries whose travellers visiting Spain for non-essential reasons can enter without having to present proof of Covid-19 testing, recovery or vaccination. 

This is updated weekly and can be checked here by clicking on the PDF under “risk and high risk countries/areas”. 

READ ALSO: Can I travel to my second home in Spain if I’m not vaccinated?

If you’re not vaccinated or recovered, the exceptions for travel to Spain from third countries that fall under the non-essential travel restrictions are:

  • You are a resident in the EU or Schengen country.
  • You have a visa for a long duration stay in an EU or Schengen country.
  • You work in transport, such as airline staff or are in a maritime profession.
  • You work in diplomatic, consular, international organisations, military or civil protection or are a member of a humanitarian organisation.
  • You have a student visa for a country in the EU or Schengen zone.
  • You are a highly qualified worker or athlete whose work cannot be postponed or carried out remotely.
  • You are travelling for duly accredited imperative family reasons.
  • You are allowed entry due to force majeure or on humanitarian grounds.
  • And as mentioned earlier in the article, if you have a vaccination certificate that Spain’s Ministry of Health recognises, as well as for any accompanying minors (unless they’re under 12 years of age).

READ ALSO: When do I need to fill out Spain’s Covid health control form for travel?

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