Traveling to Spain during Covid-19: what you need to know before you go

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Editor’s note – Coronavirus cases are streaming across the world. Health officials warn that staying home is the best way to stem transmission until you are fully immunized. Below is information on what to know if you’re still planning to travel, last updated on September 17.

(CNN) – If you plan to to travel in Spain, here’s what you need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The basics

Spain has suffered greatly from Covid-19, with a high number of cases and deaths. After one of the strictest closures in Europe in the spring of 2020, the country reopened to visitors over the summer, but in November 2020 entered a state of emergency that lasted until May 9, 2021 .

This has now been lifted, but some regional restrictions remain – see more below.

What’s on offer

One of Europe’s biggest hitters for good reason, Spain attracts millions of tourists with its warm climate, laid-back atmosphere, and excellent food and wine. In addition, of course, there are some of the best resorts, mountains and cultural cities in Europe such as Madrid, Seville and Barcelona.

Who can go

Anyone who has been fully vaccinated can enter Spain for a vacation without proof of a negative Covid test, even if they arrive from destinations classified as “at risk” areas.

In addition, travelers from most countries in the European Union and the Schengen area, but not all, alongside Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Jordan, New Zealand, Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Ukraine, Hong Kong and Taiwan – can currently enter Spain without proof of vaccination or recent negative Covid test.

This list of exempt countries is updated weekly – and the United States was on this list until recently, but September 6 has been removed. Americans over 12 now have to prove that they have been fully vaccinated if they are to enter Spain. See more below.

Travelers from the UK must show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test issued 48 hours before arrival. Spain, including the Balearic Islands, is currently on the UK’s “orange list”. For more details on the UK traffic light system see here.

What are the restrictions?

Fully vaccinated travelers from anywhere in the world can enter Spain and the Canary Islands without having to provide proof of a negative Covid test.

This rule applies even if travelers arrive from destinations classified as “at risk” countries.

If you have not been vaccinated and are traveling from a country that is not part of the EU or the Schengen zone, or one of the exempt countries listed above, you can only do so if your trip is considered essential.

Travelers arriving from these “at risk” countries who have not been fully vaccinated must perform a PCR test within 72 hours of departure and prove a negative result on entry.

All travelers – wherever they come from and regardless of their vaccination status – must complete a Health Control Form (HCF), which can be completed via the Travel health website in Spain or application. It will generate a QR code which must be presented on arrival in the country.

Health assessments take place on arrival in Spain, with temperature control and visual examination as standard.

What is the situation of the Covid?

The country has recorded more than 4.9 million Covid infections and more than 85,700 deaths as of September 17, 2021.

A month later, case rates were down, but the number rose again in late March and early April, with authorities calling for caution over fears of a third wave hitting Europe.

Rates then stabilized again, but more recently there are growing concerns about the Delta Covid variant, although cases are now on the decline.

Over the past week, 23,303 new cases of Covid have been reported.

As of September 17, more than 68.9 million doses of vaccine had been administered in Spain and more than 75.8% of the population had been fully immunized.

What can visitors expect?

A rule requiring face masks in public places was relaxed on June 26, but masks should always be worn indoors, and outdoors when it is not possible to socially distance oneself.

Even before the state of emergency was lifted, the exact details of the restrictions varied by region.

It is always best to check in advance the individual restrictions in each region before planning a visit. spain official tourism website is a useful resource.

Travel between Spanish regions is now allowed.

Useful links

Our last blanket

Find out what hiking on the “Coast of Death” in Spain looks like here. In the Spanish region of Andalusia, a Roman thermal spa complex was recently discovered.

Joe Minihane, Julia Buckley and Francesca Street contributed to this report


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