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Can people travelling to Spain use self-administered Covid tests?

Depending on where you’re flying from, you may be required to present a negative Covid-19 test to enter Spain. But do Spanish authorities allow home or self-administered tests for this purpose?

Can people travelling to Spain use self-administered Covid tests?
Photo: Bryan R. Smith / AFP

As things stand, if you’re fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and want to travel from another EU country to Spain, you have to present your Covid certificate or proof of vaccination, without the need to take or show a negative Covid test. 

READ ALSO: Spain’s PM reluctant to require PCR tests from vaccinated EU travellers

If on the other hand you’re not vaccinated and travelling from the EU to Spain, having to present a negative PCR or antigen test will depend on whether your EU nation or region is on Spain’s EU “risk” list. If it is, which you can check here, you will need to get either a PCR test within 72 hours before travel or an antigen test within 48 hours.

If you’re not an EU resident, you’re travelling from a third country to Spain and you’re fully vaccinated, proof of vaccination will suffice. That’s unless you’re travelling from one of the southern African nations classified as “high risk”, in which case you’ll need to get a PCR. 

And if you’re not an EU resident, you are not vaccinated and you want to travel to Spain, you won’t be allowed to board unless you’re flying from one of a select few third countries Spain classified as low risk, which you can also check here.

So which antigen test should you get if you need one to travel to Spain? Are the self-test rapid kits they sell in pharmacies accepted?

The short answer is no. 

Buying an antigen kit at a pharmacy, carrying out the test yourself and showing the negative result to Spanish airport authorities isn’t valid for travel, even if the pharmacies do issue a document after you perform the antigen test at their premises. 

The rapid antigen test that Spain accepts from unvaccinated EU travellers must have been carried out by a professional at an accredited laboratory, who will issue the test certificate that proves a negative result for Covid-19, as agreed to by Member States

This will have to be uploaded to the health control form that in turn has to be uploaded to the Spain Travel Health website or app for a QR Code to be generated before travelling to Spain. 

According to Spain Travel Health, this document should include “the traveller’s name and surnames, personal identification number, the date the sample was taken, identification and contact details of the centre performing the analysis, technique used and negative result”.

In the same vein, self-test kits bought at pharmacies in Spain cannot be used for travel to another country.

It’s worth noting that children under the age of 12 do not have to present vaccination or test documentation to enter Spain. 

READ ALSO: The most common problems with the Spain Travel Health app and some potential solutions

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