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Reader question: Can unvaccinated second-home owners travel to Spain?

Reader question: Can unvaccinated second-home owners travel to Spain?
Can unvaccinated people visit second home in Spain? Photo: Marvin Meyer / Unsplash
It's been a difficult 18 months for people who own second homes in Spain, with opportunities to check on them greatly reduced by health and travel restrictions, so what are the current rules?

Question: We own a property in Spain and we’re not vaccinated – can we visit?

Although many health restrictions have been lifted across Spain, there are still travel bans from certain countries in place. Whether you can enter Spain or not depends on two things – where you are travelling from and if you are fully vaccinated.

From within the EU

If you are travelling to Spain from within the EU, you can show your Digital Covid Certificate to be able to enter the country. The Digital Covid Certificate shows one of three things – if you’ve been fully vaccinated, if you have a negative Covid-19 test or if you’ve fully recovered from Covid-19.

This means that those who haven’t been vaccinated against Covid-19 can still enter the country by presenting their Digital Covid Certificate, showing one of the other two things.

If you do not have your Digital Covid Certificate, however, the Spanish government will still allow you to enter if you can show either a diagnostic or recovery certificate.

Diagnostic certificate – You must show a negative COVID-19 test result. NAAT (PCR, LAMP, TMA or equivalent) test types are accepted in Spain. The NAAT test must be taken within 72 hours prior to your arrival in Spain, or if showing an antigen test, it must have been taken within 48 hours prior to your arrival.

Recovery certificate – People who have recovered from the virus may show a certificate of a positive result of COVID-19. The date of recovery on the certificate must be at least 11 days and a maximum of 180 days from the date on which the COVID-19 test was performed. 

Please be aware that even if you’re travelling from within the EU, you must still fill out a health control form

You can use your Digital Covid Certificate if travelling from within the EU. Photo: Pau BARRENA / AFP

From third countries

Travel to Spain from most third countries is currently not possible unless you meet one of the points on the list exceptional criteria – being vaccinated is one of them. Spain currently only accepts vaccines that have been approved by the European Medicines Agency. 

Therefore, if you’re unvaccinated and want to travel to your second home from a third country, you will have to meet one of the following criteria or be travelling from a country on Spain’s list of epidemiologically safe third countries. Please note that visiting your second home is not one of the exceptions on the list. 

Be aware though, if even you meet one of these exceptions, you will still have to fill out a health control form (found here) and may be subject to health checks at the border. 

  • Being a resident of a European Union country, Schengen country or Andorra, Monaco, The Vatican or San Marino.
  • Holders of a long-stay visa issued by a Member State or Schengen Associated State.
  • Health professionals, including health researchers, and elderly care professionals who are heading to or returning from their work activity.
  • Transportation personnel, seafarers and aeronautical personnel.
  • Diplomatic, consular, international organisations, military, civil protection and members of humanitarian organisations.
  • Students who carry out their studies in a Member States or Schengen Associated States and who have the corresponding permit or visa for long-term stay, providing entry occurs during the academic year or the 15 days prior.
  • Highly qualified workers whose work is necessary and cannot be postponed or carried out remotely, including participants in high-level sports events that take place in Spain.
  • Duly accredited people travelling for imperative family reasons. People who document reasons of force majeure or situation of need, or whose entry is allowed for humanitarian reasons.

You may also enter if you’re travelling from one of the countries on Spain’s list of epidemiologically safe third countries, even if you are unvaccinated, and will not have to show a negative Covid-19 test at the border.

Currently, these countries are Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Jordan, New Zealand, Qatar, Moldova, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Ukraine, Uruguay and China, as well as Hong Kong and Macau.

This list changes frequently however, so make sure to check the list here before you travel. 

READ ALSO: Spain removes US from restriction-free travel list

From the UK

According to the Spanish government website, travellers from the UK (with the exception of those under 12) may present one of two things in order to enter Spain – a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination.

Everyone, even children under 12, also need to fill out a health control form found here

This means that if you’re not vaccinated and you’re a second homeowner travelling from the UK, you can still enter Spain by showing a negative Covid-19 test.

The documentation must certify that you have undertaken a COVID-19 nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT – e.g. PCR, TMA, LAMP or NEAR) within 72 hours prior to arrival in Spain and tested negative.

Antigen tests are not accepted if you are travelling from the UK to Spain for tourism purposes, which includes going to visit your second home.

Certificates of recovery, showing that you have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 6 months prior to travel, are not currently accepted for arrivals from the UK.

Spanish citizens and permanent residents are also allowed to enter without being fully vaccinated (proof of residency may be needed at the border).

Readers have reported varying levels of checks at the border, but checks do happen and you can be denied entry and sent back to the UK if you do not have the correct paperwork.

READ ALSO – REMINDER: What are the rules for travel between Spain and the UK in September 2021?

Once in Spain

When you have arrived in Spain, unvaccinated visitors will rarely have to show vaccination proof to be able to enter establishments or travel on local transport, like in neighbouring Italy or France.

You may however still find some restrictions in places such as the closure of nightlife venues and capacity limits in bars and restaurants. Find a list of the current restrictions for each region in Spain here

READ ALSO: How is Spain using Covid health passes compared to elsewhere in Europe?


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