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TRAVEL: The new rules for filling in Spain’s Health Control Form

Spain has changed the rules regarding its Health Control Form, meaning that now it's not a requirement for all passengers to complete one before arrival. Read on to find out if you're exempt or if you still have to fill one out before travel to Spain.

Spain health form airport
Spain Health form changes. Photo: Pau BARRENA / AFP

On Wednesday April 6th 2022 the Spanish government announced that it would be dropping the need for all travellers to fill out the Health Control Form before arrival in the country.

Previously, every traveller entering Spain, including anyone arriving in transit, from any country, was required to complete the form in order to receive a QR code to present at the airport upon arrival. 

As of April 6th, all travellers with an EU Digital Covid Certificate or equivalent from a non-EU country will simply have to show their certificate upon arrival, without having to complete the Health Control Form as well.

Before flying however, you should check that your equivalent certificate is valid for entry, otherwise you will still be required to complete the form and download the associated QR code to show at the airport.  

Now, when you visit Spain’s SpTH Health Control website, you will see two options – a yellow button for those who have an EU Digital Certificate or equivalent and a blue button for those who don’t (see below).

Children under the age of 12 and passengers in international transit do not have to show a certificate or SpTH QR code. 

The changes to Spain’s Health Control Form (called Formulario de Control Sanitario in Spanish, FCS) were published in Spain’s official state bulletin BOE

So far, 37 non-EU countries (and territories) have joined the EU Digital COVID Certificate system, meaning that their equivalent certificates are accepted in the EU under the same conditions as the EU Digital COVID Certificate. Likewise, the EU Digital COVID Certificate is accepted by those 37 countries.

The list includes countries such as the UK, New Zealand, Israel, Singapore and Malaysia, but does not include the US, Canada or Australia.

Here is the full list of countries whose travellers with Covid certificates equivalent to the EU’s don’t have to complete the SpTH form:

Cabo Verde
El Salvador
Faroe Islands
New Zealand
North Macedonia
San Marino
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom and the Crown Dependencies (Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man)
The Vatican

You can also double-check here on the EU website in case more countries are added.

Check your certificate before travel

If you are unsure if your certificate is valid for entry to Spain or whether you still need to complete the Health Control Form, click on the yellow button that says ‘EU Digital Certificate or EU equivalent’ to check or click here.

First, you will need to introduce your date of arrival in Spain and indicate the country of origin of your trip, before uploading your certificate to the site.

The site will then tell if your certificate is valid or if you still need to complete the form.

You will have to show your Digital Covid Certificate, equivalent certificate or Health Control Form QR code before boarding your flight to Spain and again at the airport upon arrival.

When you arrive at the airport in Spain, the Spain Travel Health website states that if you have an EU Digital Certificate or EU equivalent you should follow the Orange path and if you do not, you must follow the Blue path and present your QR code from the health form.

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Spain to allow unvaccinated non-EU tourists to enter ‘in matter of days’

Spain’s Tourism Minister on Thursday announced that “in a matter of days” unvaccinated third-country nationals such as Britons and Americans will be able to travel to Spain for a holiday with proof of a negative Covid-19 test. 

Spain to allow unvaccinated non-EU tourists to enter 'in matter of days'

Spanish Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto on Thursday May 19th confirmed that it won’t be long before unvaccinated non-EU/Schengen nationals will be allowed to travel to Spain for non-essential reasons such as tourism, visiting friends or family or spending time in a second home in Spain. 

“It’s a matter of days before we eliminate a restriction that could be discouraging tourists from outside the European Union from visiting us,” Reyes told Spanish radio station Onda Cero.

“And that is that we are going to stop requiring the vaccination certificate and allow them to enter with a negative test”. 

Maroto then stated that this would have to be a PDIA test, which in Spain refers to both PCR and antigen tests. If it’s a negative PCR or similar test (NAAT-type test) it must have been issued less than 72 hours prior to arrival in Spain, or if it’s a negative antigen test, less than 24 hours before arriving in Spain.

The surprise announcement comes just days after Spanish health authorities decided to extend the ban on non-essential travel for unvaccinated non-EU holidaymakers until June 15th

Spain’s current Covid-19 travel restrictions only allow in third-country tourists such as Britons, Americans or Indians who have been fully vaccinated (including a booster shot if initial vaccination was more than nine months before travel) and those who have recovered from Covid-19 in the past six months. 

But for practically the entirety of the pandemic, unvaccinated non-EU tourists have been unable to travel to Spain, with only exceptional reasons for travel allowed. 

Reyes’ comments came about when asked by the Onda Cero interviewer when all of Spain’s Covid-19 travel restrictions will be lifted, as there are still other measures in places such as mask wearing on public transport (including planes) and proof of vaccination, testing or recovery.

“There’s a degree of safety with travel that we have to preserve. We’re still co-existing with the pandemic but that doesn’t mean that we haven’t been gradually lifting restrictions,” Maroto argued.

The minister spoke of allowing unvaccinated non-EU holidaymakers in soon as being another way of boosting the country’s recovering tourism industry, adding that her ministry was putting the finishing touches to the legislation, which will be approved in the coming days. 

A number of EU/Schengen countries have already lifted all their Covid-19 travel restrictions, including Greece and Austria most recently, as well as Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland.

Other countries such as France and Italy, Spain’s competitors in the tourism stakes, have also already allowed unvaccinated third-country tourists in with proof of a negative Covid-19 test for more than a month now.