When will it be possible to travel to the US from Spain in 2021?

When will it be possible to travel to the US from Spain in 2021?
Photo: Brandon Bell/AFP
Although Spain is currently open to American visitors, the United States’ entry rules for arrivals from Spain are far stricter. Here’s what you need to know about the latest travel restrictions between both countries and when it’s likely to be easier to fly.

What are the current rules for travel from Spain to the US?

As things stand, American authorities are only allowing arrivals from Spain who are US citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) in the US. 

That means that other people based in Spain cannot currently travel to the United States for holidays, business or to visit friends and family. This includes nationals who require a visa for the US and those who don’t. 

This has been the case since January 2021 when Presidential Proclamation 10143   suspended entry to the United States for foreign nationals who have been present in the 26 countries that comprise the Schengen zone, including Spain, up to 14 days prior to their arrival at the United States port of entry. 

Some immediate family members of US citizens, and other individuals specifically identified here may also be able to travel to the US.

“For this reason, you will not be able to apply for a visa or travel to the United States from Spain until routine visa services are restored and Presidential Proclamation 10143 ends,” the US Embassy in Madrid writes. 

For those who can travel to the US from Spain, “all travellers (age 2 and older) will be required to present a negative viral COVID-19 test taken within 3 days prior to departure on their U.S.-bound flight itinerary”, the embassy adds. 

READ ALSO: Where can tourists and visitors in Spain get a PCR test and how much does it cost?

When is the US likely to ease travel restrictions for arrivals from Spain?

According to the latest reports in the American and British press, international airlines are pushing back the date of the official relaunch of their US routes until November 2021.

There were hopes that the Biden administration would lift the travel ban on flights from the EU, the UK and other countries in September, but there has been no official announcement or report suggesting this will be the case.

Given the rate at which the Delta variant is spreading across the US, with Covid hospitaliations above 100,000 during the final week of August, November seems a more likely restart date. 

“The main problem now appears to be two-fold: inertia (once draconian rules are imposed, they can be slow to remove), combined with an unwillingness in Washington DC to complicate the difficult domestic situation at a time when the Delta variant is running wild across America, especially in the key tourism state of Florida,” the Independent’s widely quoted travel correspondent Simon Calder said.

What about the rules and restrictions for travel from the US to Spain?

On Friday September 3rd Spanish health authorities removed the United States from the list of third countries whose travellers do not have to meet Spain’s Covid travel restrictions.

This comes just days after the EU recommended Member States introduce tighter restrictions for travellers from the US and a handful of other third countries with worsening Covid figures.

To find out what these new requirements mean for vaccinated and unvaccinated American travellers who want to visit Spain, click here.

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