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

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 August 24.

(CNN) – If you are planning to travel to Spain, here is 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 vibe, 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 ‘risk areas’.

Visitors from countries classified by Spain as “high risk” – Brazil, South Africa, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia and Namibia – are exempt from this rule. Arrivals from these countries must undergo a 10-day quarantine upon arrival, unless they are residents of the EU or the Schengen area, or have a long-term visa.

This quarantine can be reduced to seven days if the traveler is negative on the seventh day. See all the details of the quarantine rules here.
In addition, travelers from most countries in the European Union and the Schengen area, but not all, alongside Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Montenegro, New Zealand, Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Republic of North Macedonia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, United States, Ukraine, Hong Kong, Kosovo and Taiwan – can currently enter Spain without proof of vaccination or recent negative Covid test.
As of July 2, travelers from the UK must show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test issued 48 hours before arrival. Currently, Spain – including the Balearic Islands – is 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 – with the exception of the high-risk countries mentioned above – 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 countries at risk.

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 countries listed above, you can only do so if your travel is considered essential.

All travelers – wherever they are from and regardless of their immunization status – must complete a Health Check Form (HCF), which can be completed through the Spain Travel Health website or app. It will generate a QR code which must be presented on arrival in the country.

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

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 4.7 million infections and more than 83,300 deaths as of August 24, 2021.

A month later, case rates were falling – on March 8, Spain reported the smallest increase in weekend cases since July of last year – but numbers rose again late March and early April, with authorities calling for caution in the face of fears of a third wave. Europe.

The rates then stabilized again, but more recently the Delta Covid variant is causing more and more concern, aalthough cases now appear to be on the decline.

Over the past week, 75,086 new cases of Covid have been reported.

As of August 24, more than 63 million doses of vaccine had been administered in Spain and more than 66% 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 must still be worn indoors and outdoors when socially distancing is not possible.

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. The official Spanish tourism website is a useful resource.

Travel between Spanish regions is now allowed.

Useful links

Our last blanket

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

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

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