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What are the Covid travel rules between Ireland and Spain in February?

Covid travel rules are rapidly changing, so if you're planning on travelling between Ireland and Spain this February, read on to find out everything you need to know and plan for.

Ryanair planes in Ireland
Travel rules between Spain and Ireland. Photo: Paul Faith / AFP

Travel from Ireland to Spain

Ireland is currently on Spain’s at-risk list, meaning that travellers will need to show proof of vaccination, a negative Covid test or a recovery certificate to be able to enter. 

The list does change regularly however, so be sure to check here to see the updated countries. There is a new one published each week.

In order to prove their health status, those travelling from Ireland can show their EU Digital Certificate.

READ ALSO – TRAVEL: What are the Covid rules for international arrivals in Spain in February?

The EU Digital Certificate shows one of three things:

  • That you have been vaccinated against Covid-19. According to the Spanish government, your vaccination certificate must have been issued at least 14 days after the date of administration of the complete course of vaccination. However, if you received your last vaccine does more than 270 days (nine months) ago, your certificate must show the administration of a booster dose as well. 
  • You have a negative Covid test result. The diagnostic certificate must be a negative PCR or similar test (NAAT-type test) issued less than 72 hours prior to arrival in Spain, or a negative antigen test, issued less than 24 hours before arriving in Spain.
  • You have a recovery certificate from Covid-19. The recovery certificate must be issued by the relevant authorities or medical service at least 11 days after the first positive test result. The certificate will no longer be valid 180 days after the date of your test. 

Children under the age of 12 are exempt from providing any of these certificates.

Your EU Digital Certificate or any other forms showing the above information regarding negative tests or recovery should be uploaded to the health control form before you travel.

All travellers from Ireland visiting Spain by air and sea must fill out Spain’s health control form found here, before entering the country. This will give you a QR code, which you will need to show authorities both before you board and when you arrive.

Travel from Spain to Ireland

All travellers to Ireland must fill out a Passenger Locator Form before departure. This will be checked before you board your transportation. 

Travellers who are fully vaccinated no longer need a pre-departure Covid test to enter Ireland as of February 6th, but will need to show proof of vaccination status. 

According to the Irish government, vaccine certificates for your initial vaccination doses will not be accepted for travel if more than 270 days (nine months) have passed since the final dose. This means, after this time, you will need to prove you have a booster dose. 

You must have received the final dose of your initial Covid vaccination series at least 14 days before travel. 

Vaccine certificates based on booster/additional doses are not time limited. 

You can prove your vaccination or recovery status by showing your EU Digital Certificate. 

Travellers who are not fully vaccinated or who don’t have proof of recovery certificate must show a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival. Antigen tests are not accepted. 

Children aged 11 and under will not need to take a test prior to travelling to Ireland.

Covid restrictions in Spain

Travellers from Ireland will find there are still some Covid restrictions in place in Spain, with regard to capacity limits, Covid passes and masks. 

The rules largely depend on which region you’re travelling to in Spain. Click here to see which regions require Covid passes to enter venues. 

Masks are currently required at all indoor venues, apart from when eating or drinking. They are also currently required outdoors, except in rural areas, but as of February 9th or 10th, they will no longer be mandatory outdoors, except in busy areas where a safe distance can’t be maintained. 

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Spain eases Covid entry for unvaccinated tourists

Spain on Saturday eased Covid entry rules for unvaccinated tourists from outside the European Union, in a boost for the key tourism sector ahead of the peak summer holidays.

Spain eases Covid entry for unvaccinated tourists

Until now travellers from outside the bloc — including Spain’s main tourism market Britain — could only enter with proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid-19.

But as of Saturday visitors from outside of the EU will also be allowed to enter Spain with a negative Covid test result, the transport ministry said in a statement.

PCR tests must be carried out in the 72 hours prior to departure to Spain or an antigen test 24 hours prior to departure.

Tourism Minister Maria Reyes Maroto said the “new phase of the pandemic” meant the country was able to relax the rules by equating non-EU travellers with those of the bloc.

“This is excellent news, much awaited by the tourism sector, which will make it easier for tourists outside of Europe to visit us during the high season,” she added in the statement.

Children under the age of 12 are exempt from submitting any type of certificate.

With sunny beaches and a rich architectural heritage, Spain was the world’s second most visited country before the pandemic, with 83.5 million foreign visitors in 2019.

But international travel restrictions related to the pandemic brought Spain’s tourism sector to its knees in 2020 as it welcomed just 19 million tourists.

The figure rose to 31.1 million in 2021, far below the government forecast of 45 million arrivals.

READ ALSO: Spain lifts Covid-19 checks at French border