EXPLAINED: What are the new rules for travel to Spain for all international travellers?

EXPLAINED: What are the new rules for travel to Spain for all international travellers?
What are the requirements to enter Spain? Photo: JAIME REINA / AFP
There are several new changes to Spain's entry rules, Digital Covid Certificates are now in effect and several new destinations have been added to the list of high-risk EU countries. Here's everything you need to know.

Spain has now started to accept the EU’s Digital Covid Certificates and several EU/EEA countries have also been reclassified as high risk. 

All international travellers have to fill in a health control form on the Spain Travel Health website or app before flying to Spain.

Those entering from an EU or EEA country

Spain started accepting the EU’s Digital Covid Certificates from July 1st, which will is making it a lot easier to prove entry requirements into member state countries. 

Passengers with a Digital Covid Certificate, as well as all travellers coming from countries not considered at risk, will be able to get a ‘FAST CONTROL QR code’ after completing the health control form before their departure. 

The ‘FAST CONTROL QR code’ gives access to faster health checks, as passengers will not have to show the certificate either at boarding or at the health check on arrival.

The Digital Covid Certificates prove that a person has been vaccinated against Covid-19, has recovered from Covid-19 or has a negative test. 

READ ALSO: EU Covid certificate: What are the different entry rules in place around Europe? 

Spain reclassified several EU/EEA countries as high risk, which came into effect on July 19th. Those EU countries currently on the high-risk list currently include Belgium, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden. There are exceptions for those from certain regions within those countries. See the full list here

Travellers entering from the EU or EEA countries classified as high risk will need to show one of three things to be able to enter Spain. These include:

  • A Certificate of vaccination

Your vaccine certificate must be issued by the authorities in your country of origin, 14 days or more after the date of administration of the last dose of the vaccine. The certificate should include at least the following information:

  1. Name and surname of the vaccinated person
  2. Date of vaccination, stating the date of the last dose administered
  3. Type of vaccine administered
  4. Number of doses administered/complete schedule
  5. Issuing country
  6. Identification of the institution issuing the vaccination certificate
  • A negative Covid-19 test

Travellers can show proof of a negative PCR or PCR-like test, but now they can also show negative antigen test too. This means that now travellers don’t have to pay so much for the PCR test and can opt for the cheaper antigen one instead. This must be carried out within 48 hours before travel in the case of PCRs and antigen tests.

Where tests are required, the cut-off age for children is now 12.

READ ALSO: What you should know before getting an antigen test for travel to and from Spain

  • Certificate of recovery from Covid-19

Even if you haven’t been vaccinated yet, you can still show that you have recovered from Covid-19. The Spanish authorities state: “The certificate must be issued by the competent authority or a medical service at least 11 days after the first NAATtype diagnostic test (PCR, TMA, LAMP or similar) with a positive result”. The validity of the certificate expires 180 days from the date of your negative test. The certificate should include the following information:

1.Name and surname of the holder
2. Date of sampling of the first positive diagnostic test for SARS-CoV-2
3. Type of NAAT test performed
4. Issuing country

READ ALSO: Reader question: How do I prove I have recovered from Covid in Spain?

All of these certificates must either be in English, Spanish, French or German.

Travellers from outside the EU/EEA

From June 7th, vaccinated travellers from outside of the EU/EEA have been able to enter Spain. There are however, slightly different rules depending on which countries you’re travelling from. 

Spanish authorities have said, “If you are travelling from a country or territory included in the list of countries with low incidence, excluded from the risk zone, you will be able to travel without the need for a diagnostic test or a certificate of vaccination or immunity”.

Currently, these are Albania, Saudi Arabia, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, China (as well as Hong Kong and Macau), Israel, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Moldova, Qatar, Rwanda, Serbia, Singapore, Switzerland, Thailand and the United States of America. 

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about the new Spain-UK travel rules

If you’re not travelling from one of those countries, at the moment you will only be allowed to enter Spain if you’ve been vaccinated. In order to prove that you have had the vaccine, you must show a vaccine certificate.

  • Vaccine certificate

Your vaccine certificate must be issued by the authorities of your country of origin 14 days or more after the date of administration of the last dose of the vaccine. The certificate should include at least the following information:

  1. Name and surname of the holder
  2. Date of vaccination, stating the date of the last dose administered
  3. Type of vaccine administered
  4. Number of doses administered/complete schedule
  5. Issuing country
  6. Identification of the institution issuing the vaccination certificate

Travellers from the UK

As of July 2nd, arrivals to Spain from the United Kingdom have had to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test or proof that they have been fully vaccinated. 

Previously, travellers from the UK were allowed to enter Spain without the need for a negative test or a vaccination certificate, however on June 29th Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, announced that this would change, given the rising infection rates in the UK and dominant Delta variant.

Those who have been fully vaccinated will need to show a vaccination certificate (either electronically or in print) dated at least 14 days from the last vaccination dose. 

Alternatively, a negative COVID-19 test result can be shown (NAAT type, e.g TMA, PCR, LAMP & NEAR) issued within 48 hours of arrival into Spain. Antigen tests will not be accepted.

Children under 12 years old are exempt from the requirement to present a negative PCR or vaccination certificate when travelling with an adult.

Can I enter if I’ve been inoculated with any Covid-19 vaccine?

Spain currently only accepts vaccine proof from those who have been inoculated with those Covid-19 vaccines authorised by the European Medicines Agency or those that have completed the World Health Organisation’s emergency use process. 

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

Do I need to show any other documentation in regards to Covid-19?

Yes, the Spanish authorities state: “Regardless of your country of origin, all passengers arriving in Spain by air or sea, including those in transit and children under 6 years of age, must complete a health control form before their departure”.

You can find the health control form here or the Spain Travel Health app. When you fill in the form, a QR code will be generated, which you must show before boarding your transportation and upon arrival at the border checks in Spain. Find out more about the health control form here

Are there any other health checks?

Yes, upon arrival in Spain, you may still have to undergo temperature checks, as well as other physical checks if you if appear unwell. 

Are there any countries that travellers are still banned from?

Yes, travellers from Brazil, India and South Africa are still banned until at least August 3rd, for fear of variants, even if they have been vaccinated, can show a negative test or recovery certificate. The only exception is if travellers from these countries are residents of Spain or Andorra. According to the Brazilian Consulate in Spain “Passengers in international transit to a non-Schengen country * with a stopover of less than 24 hours without leaving the transit area of ​​the Spanish airport” are also allowed. 

Is there any quarantine period?

Most travellers are not required to quarantine upon arrival in Spain, meaning that they can begin their holiday or visit as soon as they arrive.

However, travellers arriving from India must quarantine for 10 days upon arrival.

The Spanish government also recently announced that from July 27th travellers arriving in the country from Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia and Namibia will have to quarantine for ten days.

READ ALSO: What are the restrictions in each region in Spain from June 2021?


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