What you need to know about traveling to Spain right now By: Sasha Brady

International travel resumed in Spain earlier this summer and travelers from mid- to low-risk countries are permitted to enter without restrictions, including American visitors despite an EU recommendation to curb nonessential travel from the US. If you’re planning a trip to Spain this year, here’s what you can expect.

Can I travel to Spain from the EU?

Spain has adopted the EU digital COVID-19 certificate which facilitates the return of free movement across the bloc. It’s a digital or paper certificate that indicates the holder meets the conditions for travel: is fully vaccinated (the last dose administered at least 14 days before departure), or has recovered from COVID-19, or holds a negative COVID-19 result from a PCR or antigen test taken within 48 hours of travel.

If you’re coming from an EU country with a good epidemiological situation — an area classified green in the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control’s traffic light system — you are not required to present a digital COVID-19 certificate to travel to Spain.

Read more: Madrid vs Barcelona? I live in both cities but my heart loves this one

Restaurants are open with capacity limits ©Iakov Filimonov/Shutterstock

Can I travel to Spain from a non-EU country?

Spain has somewhat of an open-door policy for people traveling from non-EU countries and regions with good epidemiological situations. This currently includes Albania, Saudi Arabia, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, China, South Korea, United States, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Montenegro, New Zealand, Qatar, Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia, Singapore, Ukraine, as well as Hong Kong and Macau. Visitors from these places do not need to show proof of testing, vaccination or recovery to enter Spain. 

Travelers coming to Spain from the UK will need to present a negative COVID-19 test result or proof of vaccination/recovery.

Visitors from “high-risk” non-EU countries coming to Spain must show proof of vaccination with one of the vaccines authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or the World Health Organization (WHO), with the second dose administered at least 14 days before travel. Non-vaccinated travelers from these countries will not be allowed into Spain for tourism, even if they get tested.

The rules are constantly changing so always check the latest advice before traveling here.

What else is required before traveling to Spain?

All travelers must fill out a Health Control Form (HCF) through the Spain Travel Health website or app. It will generate a QR code which must be shown upon arrival on your mobile phone or printed on paper.

What vaccines does Spain recognise?

Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac and Sinopharm.

Do children face restrictions when traveling to Spain?

No, children under 12 years old are exempt from the testing or quarantine requirements.

Read more: How to explore Seville with kids

Social distancing measures are likely to still be in place in public spaces ©Alberto Loyo/Shutterstock

Where can I get a COVID-19 test in Spain?

Many countries, including the US, require passengers to present a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding their flight home from an international trip. Antigen tests cost about €30, while PCR tests cost about €120 from a private medical facility. You can see the full list of testing locations here.

What restrictions apply in Spain?

Spain usually receives about 80 million international visitors per year. When a state of emergency was declared on March 25, 2020 and borders were sealed, the tourism sector — which accounts for roughly 12% of the country’s GDP — came to a standstill.

Even though Spain ended its state of alarm in May, dropping nationwide curfew and regional travel restrictions, varied local restrictions remain in place across the country’s 17 regions. Spain is in its fifth wave of the pandemic but according to El País. As of August 30, the wave is peaking and the country has reported a downward trend in infection rates and hospitalizations in the last two weeks.

Read more: 8 unmissable cities to visit in Spain

Masks are no longer legally required outdoors, provided people can keep 1.5 meters (5 feet) apart. But it’s a good idea to always take a mask with you as they’re still required in crowded outdoor spaces, on public transport and in taxis, and in indoor spaces such as restaurants, airports, supermarkets, shops and museums.

Introducing Spain

Across Spain, restaurants, cinemas, theaters, cultural attractions and museums are open with capacity limits. Amusement and water parks are open with enhanced health and safety protocols. Beaches are open with social distancing guidelines in place and in some tourist resorts a curfew applies, such as Mallorca, where beaches are closed from 9pm until 6am. In Galicia, visitors must present a health pass to enter certain indoor venues.

Nightclubs opened in June for the first time since the pandemic began. Rules vary by region but in general nightclubs can stay open until about 2 or 3am and capacity limits have been extended in bars. Dance floors are open in some regions, though face masks are required.

This article was first published on May 25, 2020 and updated on August 31, 2021.

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The post What you need to know about traveling to Spain right now
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