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Easter holidays: What to expect if you’re coming to Spain

If you're planning on visiting Spain for the Easter holidays this year, here's everything you need to know before you come, including the latest entry rules, mask mandates, Covid health passes, events and what you can expect from the weather.

Easter holidays: What to expect if you’re coming to Spain
The blue tiles of Gaudí's Casa Batlló in Barcelona. Easter is one of the business times for travel in Spain and tourism is expected to pick up this Semana Santa after two years of Covid restrictions. Photo: Karsten Winegeart/Unsplash

Easter is typically one of the most popular times for travel in Spain and with so many restrictions in place over the past two years because of the pandemic, many people are desperate to get out there and start exploring again.

If you’re planning on visiting Spain this Easter, which runs from April 10th to 18th this year, here’s what you can expect. 

Easter back to being busy

Semana Santa or Easter week is one of the most popular times for Spaniards to travel within Spain, as well as for visitors from the EU and other countries in the world to travel here, this means that it’s a very busy time to travel and accommodation is booked out well in advance.

Make sure to be prepared and book tickets for some of the most important sites such as Granada’s Alhambra and Barcelona’s Sagrada Família beforehand too. Try to book car rental if needed as soon as possible. 

Spain will be among the most popular destinations in the world for tourists this Easter, according to Spain’s Tourism Ministry and ForwardKeys, a leading Spanish company in traveller analysis.

Weather

April is usually one of Spain’s most unpredictable months weather-wise but it can often be quite rainy and windy.

Spain has experienced a very wet month of March and a bitter cold start to April (with snow in some parts of the country).

Weather agencies forecast changeable weather over the Easter holidays across Spain, with showers probable but sunny weather expected in most of the country on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

This means that if you’re wondering what to bring, you need to be prepared for a wide variety of different types of weather. Make sure you pack clothes for wet weather, as well as coats and jumpers for cold evenings and t-shirts for the middle of the day. And just in case you get lucky with the weather, don’t forget your swimsuit. 

READ ALSO – Easter weather: Spain set for rain on the parades

General travel rules 

At the end of March, the Spanish government confirmed that Britons, Americans and other non-EU/Schengen travellers who are neither vaccinated nor recently recovered from Covid-19 will still not be able to visit Spain for tourism over Easter or in April 2022. 

All EU countries are on on Spain’s at-risk list but EU nationals and residents can enter Spain with a negative Covid test if unvaccinated, or by showing proof of full vaccination (and booster dose after 270 days) or proof of recovery from Covid in the past six months.

Using the EU Digital Covid Certificate of your EU country to show either testing, vaccination or recovery is the easiest way of proving your Covid status at the airport, but other official certificates are also allowed.

The rules for filling in Spain’s health control form before travel have just changed, meaning that those with EU Covid Digital Certificates or recognised equivalent certificates don’t have to fill in the form before travel anymore. 

Read here to find out more about you need to enter Spain this Easter, depending on where you’re travelling from. 

You won’t need to wear a mask outdoors in Spain in most outdoor situations, but you will be expected to keep it on indoors. Photo: Ana Maria Nichita/Unsplash

Masks

Masks will be required in Spain in all indoor public spaces over Easter, including on all modes of transport.

On Wednesday April 6th, the Spanish government proposed that masks should  no longer be required in most indoor public settings from April 20th 2022, just after Easter.

The legislation has not yet been approved, but even so it is more than probable that Easter holidaymakers will have to keep their masks on in shops, restaurants and bars while moving around and other indoor public settings.

Although masks are no longer mandatory outdoors, there are still some situations where you are recommended to wear one. This includes crowded places such as Easter processions, where you may be required to wear one. 

READ ALSO: What happens when tourists get Covid while on holiday in Spain?

Covid health passes 

All of Spain’s 17 regions, apart from four, at one time or another decided to implement the Covid health pass (a digital pass indicating if you’d been fully vaccinated, recovered from Covid-19 or had a negative test result) for daily affairs such as accessing the interiors of restaurants, bars and nightclubs. 

However, as of the end of February 2022, all of Spain’s regions have scrapped the use of the Covid pass for bars, restaurants, cafés, hotels and other establishments.

They may still be required to access hospitals and care homes in some regions, though this is unlikely to affect tourists. 

READ ALSO – MAP: Which regions in Spain still require a Covid pass for daily affairs?

Other Covid rules

Spain has dropped most of its Covid-19 rules and restrictions.

There are no longer curfews, travel bans between regions, closures of nightclubs or restrictions on the number of people that can meet at a time.

There may however still be capacity limits in certain venues and as mentioned above, masks are still currently required indoors. The rules vary between regions, so check before you leave if there are any restrictions where you’ll be visiting. 

Semana Santa events 

While the mesmerising processions of Semana Santa may have been cancelled during the height of the pandemic, this year they’re back with a bang.

If you’re interested in finding out more about what you can expect to see, here’s our essential guide to Easter in Spain in 2022.

For those spending Easter in Andalusia who prefer to escape the crowds, you can visit one of these beautiful off-the-beaten-track towns.

Travellers heading to the Costa Blanca may be interested in these picturesque day trips in Spain’s Alicante province

And for holidaymakers searching for some peace and quiet on the seaside, consider visiting one of these charming coastal towns in different parts of Spain. 

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COVID-19 RULES

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

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