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UPDATE: What are the new Covid travel rules between Spain and the UK in February?

Tourists arrive in Palma de Mallorca
Travel rules between Spain and UK in February 2022 will be different. Photo: JAIME REINA / AFP
The UK has recently relaxed its Covid entry rules for travellers from Spain, but on the other hand Spanish authorities have introduced tighter legislation regarding booster shots for UK arrivals starting on February 1st.
What are the new rules for entry to Spain from the UK?

Vaccinated

On January 26th 2022, the UK government updated its travel advice for vaccinated UK travellers planning to go to Spain, with information on proof of vaccination and the new 270-day validity period.

“If you completed your vaccination more than 270 days prior to travel to Spain, you must be able to show proof of having received a booster jab,” the UK Embassy in Spain wrote.

Spain’s Travel Safe website confirms this booster shot requirement for international travellers vaccinated against Covid-19 more than nine months ago, following recommendations by the EU for the vaccination rules to be changed across the bloc from February 1st 2022.

The additional dose needs to be visible on UK arrivals’ vaccination passes or certificates.

The booster shot rule is applicable to UK tourists but not Spanish nationals, EU citizens and their non-EU family members or British residents in Spain. Instead, if more than 270 days have passed since their initial Covid-19 vaccination, they must show proof of a negative PCR taken within the last 72 hours, a negative antigen test taken 48 hours before travel to Spain or a medical certificate proving recovery from Covid-19 in the last six months. 

For UK tourists heading to Spain who received their initial Covid-19 vaccination within the last 270 days, proof of a booster shot isn’t required.

“At least 14 days must have passed since being fully vaccinated (with both doses of a 2-dose vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine) before arrival in Spain,” the UK Embassy in Spain explained. 

“Your date(s) of vaccination must be specified and your final dose must have been administered within 270 days prior to travel to Spain.”

Aside from the two-shot Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines and single shot Johnson & Johnson (or any other EMA or WHO-approved vaccine), Spain considers people who have recovered from Covid-19 and then had one Covid-19 vaccine to be fully immunised. 

Spain accepts the NHS Covid pass, which you can read more about here

All international arrivals by air or sea in Spain, regardless of where they’re from, have to fill in a health control form on the Spain Travel Health app or website before travelling to Spain.

 
Unvaccinated 
 
It is not possible for unvaccinated UK tourists to visit Spain – even if they supply a negative Covid test.

In November 2021, the Spanish government announced that negative Covid tests will no longer be accepted from British visitors looking to spend their holidays in the country from December 1st 2021 onwards. 

Only those that can show proof of being fully vaccinated will be allowed in.

The UK’s status as a third country and its high infection rate should have meant non-essential travel for unvaccinated travellers was not possible, but Spain had made an exception. 

The appearance of the Omicron variant, however, forced the Spanish government to introduce further restrictions for its primary tourism market. 

Again, the vaccination rule is applicable to UK visitors so unvaccinated Spanish nationals, EU citizens and any non-EU family member as well as British residents in Spain are exempt but do need to show a negative PCR or antigen test or proof of recovery.

The vaccination rule doesn’t apply to children under the age of 12 either.

Since December 13th 2021, fully vaccinated children aged 12 to 15 can get an NHS Covid Pass letter for travel to Spain.

What are the new rules for travel from Spain to the UK?

On January 24th, the British government announced the end of testing requirements for fully vaccinated travellers, including the post-arrival Day 2 tests that travellers from Spain had previously been forced to pay for.

The new rule will come into effect on Friday, February 11th, the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps confirmed.

A few weeks earlier, the UK government announced that from January 7th, fully-vaccinated arrivals would also no longer need to take a pre-departure test if travelling to England.

READ ALSO: UK to end ‘Day 2 test’ requirement for travellers from Europe

Up until February 11th however, travellers to the UK will still have to pay and undergo a Day 2 test. This test can be an antigen test rather than the more expensive PCR test.

Unvaccinated travellers will still require a pre-departure test and a Day 2 test, but will no longer have to quarantine on arrival or take a second PCR test after arriving.

The existing rules remain in place around the Passenger Locator Form. You can find the Passenger Locator Form HERE. A booking reference number for a test is required to complete it, which all arrivals in the UK must present before their journey.

From February 11th the Passenger Locator Form will still be required, but passengers can upload proof of their vaccination status instead of a booking reference.

The UK does not require a booster shot in order to be considered ‘fully vaccinated’.

Under 18s do not require any tests. 


Member comments

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  1. Aren’t the Spanish government making any exception for teenagers 12-15 travelling with fully vaccinated parents if they had only one shot?

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