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 November 10.

(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 been lifted, but you need to check regional restrictions before traveling – 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 Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Chile, Colombia , Jordan, Kuwait, Namibia, New Zealand, Peru, Qatar, Rwanda and Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Hong Kong and Taiwan – can currently enter Spain without proof of vaccination or recent negative Covid test. This list of exempt destinations is updated weekly, and this current iteration is valid until November 14.

The United States was on this list but was removed in early September. 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 PCR test issued 72 hours before arrival.

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 by Spain as “at risk” countries.

All non-EU or Schengen countries that are not in the above exempt list are considered to be at risk countries. Some countries and areas of the EU / EEA are also considered as risky destinations by Spain. This list of European countries at risk changes regularly and should be checked before travel.

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

If you are an unvaccinated traveler 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 this if your trip is considered essential.

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 Spain Website 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 state of emergency in Spain has been lifted, but some restrictions related to Covid-19 remain – individual states now set their own restrictions.

The country has recorded more than 5 million Covid infections and more than 87,500 deaths as of November 10, 2021.

Recently, there has been growing concern about the Delta Covid variant, although cases have since declined.

In the week to November 10, 15,088 new cases of Covid were reported.

As of November 10, more than 72.8 million doses of vaccine had been administered in Spain and more than 79.4% 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 social distancing is not possible.

Even before the lifting of the state of emergency, the exact detail of the restrictions imposed by Spain 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 for this.

Travel between Spanish regions is permitted.

Useful links

Our last blanket

In the Spanish region of Andalusia, a Roman thermal spa complex was discovered in May 2021, while amateur divers recently discovered an “extremely valuable” treasure of Roman coins off Portitxol.

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