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UPDATE: Which Covid vaccines does Spain accept for international tourists to visit?

Spain started welcoming vaccinated travellers from non-EU/Schengen countries on June 7th 2021, and the number of vaccines Spanish authorities accept for entry has increased since then. Here’s what you need to know.

which vaccines does spain accept for entry
Will Russia's Sputnik vaccination be accepted for entry into Spain from outside the EU? Photo: FAJRIN RAHARJO / AFP

The Spanish government on Saturday June 5th published a state bulletin confirming that it would modify the entry rules for vaccinated non-EU/Schengen citizens from June 7th.

The state bulletin explained that June 7th was indeed the start date for vaccinated travellers from outside of the EU/Schengen zone to travel to Spain, as long as they have completed their Covid-19 vaccine treatment (ie had their final dose) 14 days before travel here and can provide proof that they have been vaccinated.

EU/EEA travellers who have been fully vaccinated 14 days before travel can also use their vaccine certificates to visit Spain without having to take a PCR or antigen test, a verification process which has been made easier by the EU’s Digital Covid Certificate

Which vaccines does Spain accept for entry?

According to a state bulletin published on Saturday June 5th, Spain will accept vaccines that have been “authorised by the European Medicines Agency or those that have completed the process of emergency use by the World Health Organisation”.

As things stand, there are four EMA-approved vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. 

According to the World Health Organisation website, the vaccines listed for emergency use are currently the Chinese-developed Sinopharm and Sinovac inoculations and the more recently added Covishield. 

Covishield is the version of the AstraZeneca vaccine produced under licence by the Serum Institute in India. It is made to the same specifications as Vaxzevria, the version produced in Europe, but is not currently approved by the European Medicines Agency.

The inclusion of these three vaccines opens up travel to Spain for vaccinated people in Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, where Sinopharm, Sinovac and Covishield have been more widely used. 

The notable absence from the list continues to be that of Russia-developed Sputnik V vaccine, which has so far received emergency use approval in countries such as Turkey and India but not by an international health body. 

According to the Moscow Times, the WHO and the EMA were both finishing their reviews of the vaccine for approval in late May but Reuters has suggested a decision could still be two months away. 

As things stand, a total of seven vaccines will allow international travellers from outside the EU and Schengen Area to visit Spain from June 7th: Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sinopharm, Sinovac and Covishield.

What proof should I show that I’ve been vaccinated?

According to the Spanish government’s bulletin, it should be a vaccination certificate “issued by the competent authorities” of the country where you’ve been vaccinated.

It has to have been issued at least 14 days before your date of travel.

You have to have received the full vaccine treatment, which with the exception of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, means having had two doses of your vaccine.

The vaccination certificate has to include the following information:

  1. Name and surname of the vaccinated person.
  2. Date of vaccination, indicating the date of the last dose administered.
  3. Type of vaccine administered.
  4. Number of doses administered/complete vaccination treatment.
  5. Issuing country.
  6. Identification of the issuing body that provided the vaccination certificate.

The certificate has to be in either Spanish, English, French or German or if not it should be accompanied by an official translation into Spanish by an official body. 

Spain is set to launch it’s ‘Covid passport’ on June 7th, but it is unclear yet whether this will be available to travellers from outside of the EU/Schengen Area. 

What Spain’s latest state bulletin does state is that vaccinated travellers from third countries should “provide information and documentation of their epidemiological situation”, in this case a vaccination certificate.

It can be presented either in its original paper or digital version. 

You will also have to fill in a health control form before travelling to Spain which you can find here, along with lots more official government information on travel to Spain.

As of July 19th, third country nationals from Brunei, Canada, South Korea, China, United States, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Montenegro, Albania , Qatar, Moldova, North Macedonia, Rwanda, Serbia, Singapore, Switzerland and Thailand. can currently travel to Spain for non-essential reasons such as holidays without having to show a vaccination certificate. Check the latest list here.  

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Spain rules out EU’s advice on compulsory Covid-19 vaccination 

Spain’s Health Ministry said Thursday there will be no mandatory vaccination in the country following the European Commission’s advice to Member States to “think about it” and Germany’s announcement that it will make vaccines compulsory in February.

Spain rules out EU's advice on compulsory Covid-19 vaccination 
A Spanish man being vaccinated poses with a custom-made T-shirt showing Spain's chief epidimiologist Fernando Simón striking a 'Dirty Harry/Clint Eastwood' pose over the words "What part of keep a two-metre distance don't you understand?' Photo: José Jordan

Spain’s Health Minister Carolina Darias on Thursday told journalists Covid-19 vaccines will continue to be voluntary in Spain given the “very high awareness of the population” with regard to the benefits of vaccination.

This follows the words of European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday, urging Member States to “think about mandatory vaccination” as more cases of the Omicron variant are detected across Europe. 

READ ALSO: Is Spain proving facts rather than force can convince the unvaccinated?

“I can understand that countries with low vaccine coverage are contemplating this and that Von der Leyen is considering opening up a debate, but in our country the situation is absolutely different,” Darias said at the press conference following her meeting with Spain’s Interterritorial Health Council.

According to the national health minister,  this was also “the general belief” of regional health leaders of each of Spain’s 17 autonomous communities she had just been in discussion with over Christmas Covid measures. 

READ MORE: Spain rules out new restrictions against Omicron variant

Almost 80 percent of Spain’s total population is fully vaccinated against Covid-19, a figure which is around 10 percent higher if looking at those who are eligible for the vaccine (over 12s). 

It has the highest vaccination rate among Europe’s most populous countries.

Germany announced tough new restrictions on Thursday in a bid to contain its fourth wave of Covid-19 aimed largely at the country’s unvaccinated people, with outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel speaking in favour of compulsory vaccinations, which the German parliament is due to vote on soon.

Austria has also already said it will make Covid-19 vaccines compulsory next February, Belgium is also considering it and Greece on Tuesday said it will make vaccination obligatory for those over 60.

But for Spain, strict Covid-19 vaccination rules have never been on the table, having said from the start that getting the Covid-19 jabs was voluntary. 

There’s also a huge legal implication to imposing such a rule which Spanish courts are unlikely to look on favourably. 

Stricter Covid restrictions and the country’s two states of alarm, the first resulting in a full national lockdown from March to May 2020, have both been deemed unconstitutional by Spain’s Constitutional Court. 

READ ALSO: Could Spain lock down its unvaccinated or make Covid vaccines compulsory?

The Covid-19 health pass to access indoor public spaces was also until recently consistently rejected by regional high courts for breaching fundamental rights, although judges have changed their stance favouring this Covid certificate over old Covid-19 restrictions that affect the whole population.

MAP: Which regions in Spain now require a Covid health pass for daily affairs?

“In Spain what we have to do is to continue vaccinating as we have done until now” Darias added. 

“Spaniards understand that vaccines are not only a right, they are an obligation because we protect others with them”.

What Spanish health authorities are still considering is whether to vaccinate their 5 to 11 year olds after the go-ahead from the European Medicines Agency, with regions such as Madrid claiming they will start vaccinating their young children in December despite there being no official confirmation from Spain’s Vaccine Committee yet.

READ MORE: Will Spain soon vaccinate its children under 12?

Spain’s infection rate continues to rise day by day, jumping 17 points up to 234 cases per 100,000 people on Thursday. There are now also five confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in the country, one through community transmission.

Hospital bed occupancy with Covid patients has also risen slightly nationwide to 3.3 percent, as has ICU Covid occupancy which now stands at 8.4 percent, but the Spanish government insists these figures are “almost three times lower” than during previous waves of the coronavirus pandemic.