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Can I use my foreign vaccination certificate to access Spain’s health passport?

Spain eased restrictions for EU and non-EU travellers in early June, but will people from other countries other than Spain be able to use their vaccination certificates to download the Spanish Digital Covid Certificate for quick and easy travel?

spain digital covid certificate
Can international travellers, regardless of their country of origin, access Spain's Digital Covid Certificate? Photo: Philip Fong/AFP

The main changes include allowing in vaccinated travellers from outside the EU/EEA, as well as the acceptance of EU-approved rapid antigen tests (cheaper than PCRs), vaccination and recovery certificates from EU/EEA travellers.

This is good news all around, but do any of these travellers from Europe and further afield have access to Spain’s Digital Covid Certificate to make travel easier?

Is there a way they can upload their vaccination, test or recovery certificate to Spain’s version of the digital health passport?

If you’re travelling from the EU/EEA 

In its latest two state bulletins addressing the new eased restrictions, Spain made no mention of whether EU/EEA travellers can access Spain’s Digital Covid Passports.

It was meant to be active across Spain on June 7th to coincide with Spain’s official restart of tourism, but as the regions handle their own coronavirus health strategy, it has been a staggered launch with only a handful or regions making this health passport available so far. 

What is clear is that these ‘made in Spain’ Digital Covid Certificates will form part of the EU-wide digital platform that will be active across member states on July 1st. 

Seven countries – Bulgaria, Denmark, Greece, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland and Croatia – launched their own digital health pass version on June 1st and more could follow before the end of June. 

There is nothing to indicate that Spanish authorities are expecting European travellers to download the Spanish Digital Covid Certificate before travelling to Spain. 

The Spanish Digital Covid Certificates are meant for residents in Spain who want to travel elsewhere in the EU more easily. 

However, EU/EEA travellers issued with their country’s digital certificates can use this document with its corresponding QR Code to travel to Spain. 

According to El País, on June 7th only “around 30 to 40 people” presented this digital or paper document to enter Spain. 

The EU-wide health pass system is still very much in its early stages and as things stand EU travellers who don’t have access to the Digital Covid Certificate have alternative ways of proving their health status. 

According to the Spanish government, to enter Spain from another EU/EEA country on the risk list (updated list here), travellers should be able to show a digital or paper version proving that they’ve either been fully vaccinated more than 14 days prior to travel, a recovery certificate showing they’ve recovered from Covid-19 in the past six months or proof that they’ve tested negative in a PCR test (max 72 hours) or antigen test (max 48 hours).

You also shouldn’t forget to fill in Spain’s health control form here or on the Spain Travel Health app, it’s very important for travel to Spain and serves the same purpose as the Digital Covid Certificates.  

READ MORE: How do I prove I have recovered from Covid in Spain?

So to sum up, EU/EEA travellers looking to come to Spain should for now either get their country’s own Digital Covid Certificate or focus on providing an official document showing that they’re fully vaccinated, recently recovered or tested negative for Covid.

There is more information on the requirements on Spain’s official travel and health control page.


The Digital Covid Certificates – which have so far been dubbed Covid passports as Spanish authorities have not fully confirmed what they will be called – are not a requirement for travel around the EU.

But the travel documents contain a QR code specific to you that airport staff can easily scan and check that you meet the travel safety requirements. There’s also no need to show the paperwork for coronavirus tests or similar documents if you have a Digital Covid Certificate. You just scan it and you’re done. 

Overall, it’s a system which will reportedly save time and effort while travelling in EU/Schengen Zone countries in the coming months, maybe longer. 

From the EU’s perspective, it’s a way of avoiding quarantine and other restrictions for travellers in its member states. 

spain covid health pass

European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders gives a press conference on the EU digital Covid-19 Certificate. Photo:STEPHANIE LECOCQ / POOL / AFP

Third country travellers from outside the EU

Neither Spain nor the EU have yet confirmed whether their Digital Covid Certificates can be accessed by non-EU/EEA travellers.

Currently, the focus appears to be on ensuring that the QR code-led platform works between member states, before it is extended to travellers from third countries.

Brussels has also previously said that fully-vaccinated people from third countries should be able to visit Europe without having to quarantine as long as they’ve received an EMA-approved vaccine. 

As reported earlier, Spain has already decided to allow vaccinated non EU/EEA travellers to come from June 7th, as long as 14 days have passed since they completed their vaccination and they can prove it through the right documentation. 

Recovery certificates and or PCR/antigen tests cannot be used by non-EU/EEA travellers who have not been vaccinated; non-essential travel to Spain remains banned for them unless they’re from Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, Macao, China, the United Kingdom or Japan.

So for travellers who can come to Spain from outside the EU/EEA because they’ve been vaccinated, the focus should be on providing the correct documentation to Spanish authorities.

It’s worth noting as well that they must have received EMA or WHO-approved vaccines to be allowed entry into Spain. 

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. 

If your country has started issuing travel health passes similar to Spain and the EU’s Digital Covid Certificate – which crucially contains a QR code – you may be able to scan your Covid health details faster when arriving in Spain. 

But the most important factor is to have a vaccination certificate which fulfils the above requirements and has been “issued by the competent authorities” of the country where you were vaccinated. 

In conclusion, you will not need a Spanish Digital Covid Certificate to enter Spain, you will need an official vaccination certificate and, last but not least, you should check what other visa or entry requirements you need to enter Spain as a non-EU/EEA citizen.

You also shouldn’t forget to fill in Spain’s health control form here or on the Spain Travel Health app.

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US to end Covid testing requirement for travellers from Europe

Authorities in the USA have announced the end of the Covid-testing requirement for arrivals from Europe, meaning that fully vaccinated people will soon be able to travel between Europe and the US without needing pre-travel tests.

US to end Covid testing requirement for travellers from Europe

Most of Europe had dropped the testing requirement for fully-vaccinated arrivals in the spring, but the US has maintained the requirement to show proof of a negative test for all arrivals.

However on Friday, the Biden administration announced that it would not renew the testing requirement.

The new rule is expected to come into effect at 12.01 Sunday EDT, until then passengers will still need to show a negative Covid test before they can board a plane to the US.

The US currently bars unvaccinated travellers from entry – although this does not apply to US citizens, US residents or those travelling for essential reasons – there was no announcement on lifting this restriction. 

The CDC said that testing requirements could be reinstated if new variants of Covid emerge, and added that it continues to recommend pre-travel testing. 

Covid travel rules vary between individual countries in Europe, but most countries now only require pre-departure tests for unvaccinated travellers. Check the rules of the country you are travelling to for full details. 

To be counted as ‘fully vaccinated’ travellers must have received both doses of an EMA-approved vaccine – Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca (or a single dose of Janssen).

If their vaccination was more than nine months ago, they need a booster shot in order to be considered fully vaccinated – people who have had a booster do not need a second, even if their booster shot was more than nine months ago.