If you’re hoping to travel to Spain this summer, whether for a holiday, to visit your holiday home, or to spend time with friends and family, then you need to know that from 2nd July the rules on entering Spain if you’re travelling from the UK have changed.
Spain have reversed their previous policy of allowing Britons to enter the country quarantine-free, and instead, you can only enter Spain provided you can either demonstrate that you are fully vaccinated or provide evidence of a negative Covid test.
Here we will look further at this announcement, and what will change for travelers:
The Situation in June
The rules and regulations surrounding travel seem to change regularly, and throughout June anyone travelling from the UK (whether they were returning residents or holidaymakers) were not required to show a COVID passport, negative test, or any other evidence of their covid status. However, these rules have now changed. On 28th June, Pedro Sanchez, the Spanish Prime Minister, declared that from the 2nd July these rules would be tightening in order to protect Spain from the surging number of Corona Virus Delta variant cases that the UK is currently experiencing.
This news comes at a particularly poignant time, as the UK government have now added the Balearic Islands onto their ‘green’ travel list, meaning that the country is likely to see an influx of guests from the UK: Tourists who visit a ‘green list’ country no longer have to quarantine for ten days on their return to the UK, but they do have to take a COVID-19 test before their return flight and within two days of their arrival in the UK. The rest of Spain is still on the UK’s ‘amber’ list, but there is good reason to hope that this will be changed on the next review date.
How Can I Demonstrate My Covid Status From 2nd July?
The changes that the Spanish government will be enforcing from the 2nd July mean that anyone travelling to Spain from the UK after this date (regardless of whether they are a British or Spanish citizen will have to demonstrate that they are either: fully vaccinated, with the vaccination having been completed 14 days prior to travel or show a negative COVID-19 test that has been taken within 48 hours of travel. This can be either a PCR, TMA, LAMP or NEAR test. The only exception to this rule are for children under the age of 12, who do not need to demonstrate their COVID status.
If you Have Been Vaccinated:
If you have been ‘double vaccinated’ then this needs to be with one of the four vaccinations that have been approved by the EMA. These are: Pfizer, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. Unlike other European countries, Spain will also recognise vaccinations that are “authorised by the European Medicines Agency or those that have completed the process of emergency use by the World Health Organisation” which includes Sinovac and Sinopharm. The documents that you use to demonstrate this can be presented in either English, French, Spanish or German. These vaccination documents must show:
- Name and surname of the vaccinated person.
- Name of vaccine administered.
- Date of vaccination, stating the date of the last administered dose.
- Number of doses administered/complete vaccination treatment.
- The country the vaccine was administered in.
- Identification of the issuing body that provided the vaccination certificate.
If You Want to Demonstrate a Negative Test:
If you have not already received both doses of the coronavirus vaccination then you can still enter Spain provided you can demonstrate a negative coronavirus test. The Spanish government have stated that “the diagnostic test document should include the date of sampling, identification and contact details of the centre performing the analysis, technique used and negative result, done within 48 hours prior to arrival in Spain.”
- Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT), which detect the genetic material of the virus (e.g. PCR, TMA, LAMP, NEAR, etc.).
- Rapid antigen detection tests (RAT), which detect the presence of virus antigens.
The accepted tests are those approved by the European Commission.
Other Travel Requirements
Regardless of what method you will use to demonstrate your COVID-19 status, you will also need to complete a ‘health control form’ before you arrive in Spain. You can find this form on the official Spanish travel health website, and you can either complete this in paper or digital format.
Britons are not able to use the EU-wide vaccination passport, and they cannot use recovery from COVID-19 as a form of health status: only double vaccination or a negative test can be accepted.
When You Return to the UK
The rules for returning to the UK from Spain remain the same as before, unless you are travelling to the ‘green list’ Balearic islands, where the rules for entry will be much eaiser. If you are visiting mainline Spain, or anywhere else in Spain that isn’t the Balearics, during your trip then you will need to :
- Take a COVID-19 test before flying back to the UK
- Quarantine at home for 10 days (unless you pay extra for the ‘test to release’ scheme that will reduce your quarantine period)
- Book and pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 travel test - to be taken after arrival.
- Complete a passenger locator form
Children aged 4 and under do not need to take the day 2 or day 8 test, and children under the age of 12 are exempt from taking the COVID-19 test before they fly home. You can buy your tests when you’re in Spain with prices ranging from 35-180 euros, depending on the type of test you need, but you are advised to book all of the tests you will need before you leave the UK.
In other good news, if you choose to travel to Spain this month then new rules mean that you will no longer have to wear a face mask when in outdoor public space, which should make for a much more pleasant holiday experience.
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