If you’re travelling between Spain and France this summer, then your journey has just become a little easier! This is because Spanish authorities have announced that they will no longer request proof of Covid-19 vaccination, testing or recovery from people who enter Spain by land from France. This rule will apply to all individuals over the age of 12 who are entering the country by car, train, or on foot. Under 12s will also not be subjected to border Covid-19 checks, as these were never implemented on children of this age in the country.
Here’s everything you need to know:
When Will the Change Come into Effect?
The change will come into effect from Thursday 19th May 2022, meaning that anyone travelling to Spain by land from France will no longer be subject to covid-19 testing or vaccination rules. In reality, this might not be perceived as a big change by everyone, particularly if you regularly travel between France and Spain via this route. This is because this border has, for a long time, not always been manned and even since the start of the pandemic Covid-19 checks have not been applied consistently. Many frequent travellers have travelled between France and Spain by land during the pandemic without any border control interaction at all.
Why are the Border Checks Being Lifted?
The strict border controls between Spain and France were introduced 26 months ago, at a time when infection rates were high on both sides of the border and authorities wanted to reduce the spread of the virus as much as possible. During the summer of 2021 these health checks were relaxed slightly for entering Spain from France but remained very tough for entering France from Spain. Now that vaccination levels in both countries are very high, and the case numbers are at a relatively low, and stable, level, the Spanish Health Ministry has decided that it is the right time to remove these restrictions. Serious Covid-19 cases requiring hospitalisation and deaths have also declined significantly on both sides of the border.
Will Border Checks Still Be in Place to Enter France from Spain?
Yes. Whilst the Spanish Health Ministry has made the decision to lift the border check restrictions, this decision has not been reciprocated by the French authorities. The French Embassy in Spain has released a statement clearly announcing that all unvaccinated arrivals in France, including those arriving by land, still have to be able to show proof of a negative PCR or antigen test before crossing over into France from Spain. The only exceptions to this rule are for cross border workers, or for anyone who needs to travel between the two countries for urgent matters (what constitutes an urgent matter has not been clearly defined).
Will This Impact the Border Between Spain and Portugal?
If you’re travelling by land between Spain and Portugal then the good news is that you will also not be subject to Covid-19 border requirements if you are travelling by land. According to Spain’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, there are no Covid certificate requirements at the land border between Spain and Portugal
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