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Reader question: Do I need a Covid test to travel to another region in Spain this summer?

Reader question: Do I need a Covid test to travel to another region in Spain this summer?
Photo: GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP
Changing travel restrictions and vaccine appointments mean many people in Spain are unsure about flying abroad this summer, preferring instead to spend their holidays in the Spanish territory. But do national holidaymakers need to get a Covid-19 test to travel to another region in Spain?

Fifteen months since the start of the pandemic, international travel has gradually reopened but there are still plenty of restrictions that are particularly dissuasive for those who don’t have to travel for essential reasons such as holidaymakers, especially in light of rising Delta cases in Spain and elsewhere. 

Residents of Spain can fly overseas to a number of countries if they’ve been vaccinated or if they present a negative Covid test result, in some cases without many restrictions at all. 

READ ALSO: Which countries can I travel to from Spain this summer without restrictions?

However, countries’ travel rules can often change at a moment’s notice, and the fact that the vaccination rollout for much of Spain’s adult population has coincided with the summer holidays, means many are unsure about travelling abroad until they’ve been vaccinated.

READ ALSO: Do Spain’s regions offer Covid vaccines to national or international tourists?

So it’s no surprise that a recent survey by Spain’s Tourism Ministry found that 80 percent of Spaniards will spend their summer holidays in España.

After all, travel throughout Spain is now allowed and there’s no need to take a PCR or antigen test when travelling between regions, right?  

Do I need a Covid test to travel to another region in Spain this summer?

In a nutshell: if you’re travelling between two places in mainland Spain you don’t need a Covid test, but if you’re travelling to either the Canary Islands or the Balearics Islands from mainland Spain, you might.

Therefore, whether you’re driving from Galicia to Murcia, flying from Valencia to Seville or catching a train between Madrid and Barcelona, you won’t need to show a negative PCR or antigen test at any control point ie. airport, port etc. It’s still worth double checking entry requirements in the region which you are travelling to as these can change fairly quickly depending on the local epidemiological situation. 

That’s fairly straightforward but if you want to travel to either of Spain’s archipelagos, the rules are different. We have listed them here for you. 

Balearic Islands

Whether you will be required to provide proof of a negative PCR, TMA, LAMP or antigen test on arrival in Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza or Formentera depends on what Spanish region you’re travelling from. 

Until July 14th, Balearic health authorities require a Covid test from travellers departing from all of Spain’s autonomous communities and cities except Ceuta.

That’s due to the fact that currently their fortnightly infection rate is above 60 cases per 100,000 people, but you can check the latest updates here. PCRs must be carried out within 72 hours before travel to the islands and antigen tests within 48 hours.

Cala San Vicente, Ibiza. Photo: Michael Tomlinson/Unsplash

The Covid testing rule also applies to people on board ferries, sailboats and other vessels arriving from coastal regions on the above list. 

However, people from these high risk regions who have been fully vaccinated against Covid in the past eight months or received at least one dose more than 15 days before travel (and no longer than four months ago) do not need to provide a negative Covid test.

If they can prove they’ve recovered from Covid-19 in the past six months, they also don’t need a PCR test.

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

As of July 8th 2021, the Balearics’ 14-day infection rate is 217 infection per 100,000 people, whereas ten days before it was 48 per 100,000 inhabitants.

Whatever your circumstances, don’t forget to fill in the Balearics’ health control form before heading to the islands. 

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Canary Islands 

Canary health authorities do not distinguish between Spanish regions with higher or lower infection rates and require a PCR, LAMP, NAAT, TMA or antigen test taken within the 72 hours prior to travel from all holidaymakers from Spain’s other 16 autonomous communities and two autonomous cities, whether they’re arriving by sea or air.

You have to send the results of your tests to the following address [email protected] or get the lab to do it, but you don’t have to fill in a separate health control form. 

That’s unless, in the same way as the Balearic Islands, you’ve been fully vaccinated, received at least one dose of the vaccine more than 15 days before travel, or have recovered from Covid-19 in the past six months. If national travellers can show official documentation to prove this, they’re exempt from having to take a Covid test before arriving in the Atlantic archipelago.

The eastern Canary island of Lanzarote. Photo: Daniil Sliusar/Unsplash

Children under the age of six are excluded from these requirements. 

The Canary government covers the cost of Covid tests for returning residents of the Canary Islands and makes an exception for travellers doing a stopover on the islands or people who left the islands for fewer than 72 hours.

There are currently no limitations on travel between the eight Canary Islands – Tenerife, Gran Canaria, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and La Graciosa. 

The archipelago’s fortnightly infection rate has increased up to 167 cases per 100,000 people as of July 8th.

It’s worth noting that much of the islands’ tourism accommodation also requires proof of vaccination, recovery or negative Covid tests from guests. These travel rules are in place in the Canary Islands until July 31st.  More info here.

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