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23 May 2022

Spain travel advice: Covid tests, vaccinations and entry requirements for children

What are Spain's travel restrictions? Do I need a test to fly to mainland Spain, the Canary islands, Mallorca or Ibiza?

From sandy beaches along the Costa del Sol to Gaudi’s Barcelona, Spain is a favourite destination for British holidaymakers. If you’re planning a getaway to sunny Spain, read on to find out what the latest entry requirements mean for you.

British adults who have had coronavirus in the last six months can now travel to Spain with a negative Covid-19 test result (either PCR or antigen). Previously, if travellers were from outside of the EU they had to be fully vaccinated adults to visit Spain for tourism, or be able to provide proof of recent recovery. 

Be sure to check the dates of your Covid vaccinations very carefully before booking a trip. You will need to have received your second jab between 14 and 270 days before travel to Spain and the Canary Islands to be classed as fully vaccinated. If your second jab (or first if it's a one-dose vaccine) was administered outside of this timeframe, you'll need evidence of a booster jab. There is no minimum time required between the booster jab and travel to Spain. 

For children and teenagers, the entry requirements are slightly different, depending on both their vaccination status and that of the adults they're travelling with. 

Read on to find out what Spain classes as fully vaccinated, what paperwork you'll need to show, and what the rules are for children and teenagers travelling to Spain. 

Make sure you always check the FCDO advice for your chosen destination. If you travel to a country with a warning against it this d could invalidate your travel insurance. 

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What are the current travel rules for Spain? 

Adults over the age of 18 can enter Spain for tourism either if they can prove they're fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 in the last six months, or can provide a negative PCR or antigen test result. Children and teenagers can also go on holiday to Spain providing they meet the vaccination or Covid-19 recovery requirements. 

What you need to do depends on your vaccination status, but here are the basic steps that all UK travellers need to follow to enter Spain and the Canaries for tourism. 

  • STEP 1 - Show evidence that you are fully vaccinated, with a second dose no longer than 270 days ago (or additional evidence of a booster), or valid proof you have recently recovered from Covid. Book and pay for a pre-departure PCR or antigen test for anyone who is not yet fully vaccinated.
  • STEP 2 -  If you’re not fully vaccinated, haven't recently recovered from Covid-19, or aren't under the age of 12, you’ll need to fill in the Spanish Health Control Form online within 48 hours of travel. 
  • STEP 3: Fully vaccinated adults no longer need to test, fill out a passenger locator form or quarantine to re-enter the UK.

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Before you go: what are Spain's Covid entry requirements?

Fully vaccinated passengers

STEP 1: If you have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to arriving in Spain you'll need to be able to prove it. The entry rules are the same for the whole country, whether you're visiting the Canaries, Mallorca, Ibiza or mainland Spain.

What counts as fully vaccinated to enter Spain?

Spain classes you as being fully vaccinated if you received your final (or only) dose of the vaccine between 14 and 270 days before travel to Spain.

Your vaccine must be one approved by either the European Medicines Agency or by the World Health Organisation.

Booster doses

If you completed your vaccination schedule more than 270 days before arriving in Spain, you will need evidence of a booster to be classed as fully vaccinated. Booster doses can be administered any time before arriving in Spain and don’t have an expiration date.

Is the NHS Covid Pass accepted in Spain?

Yes. English holidaymakers visiting Spain can use the NHS Covid Pass to provide evidence of the date of their vaccinations or recent recovery from Covid-19.

Our advice is to print out the required QR code, or at least save it in your phone's document wallet. Some travellers have missed their flights when the Covid Pass app stopped working, leaving them with no means of proving when they received their vaccinations.

Find out more about how to use the NHS app and the options for residents of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

If you don't have a smartphone, you can also access your vaccine status online, or request proof in letter form.

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STEP 2: Fully vaccinated adults or adults who have recently recovered from Covid-19 no longer need to complete a Spanish online Health Control Form before departing to Spain.

Unvaccinated adult passengers

STEP 1: If you are unvaccinated, or not yet fully vaccinated within Spain's validity requirements, you can only enter Spain if you have proof that you have recovered from Covid-19 in the past six months or if you provide a negative result from a privately purchased PCR or antigen test. PCR tests must have been taken within 72 hours before departure, while antigen tests must have been taken within 24 hours prior to departure.

STEP 2: Before your flight, you will also need to complete and sign an online Health Control Form, no more than 48 hours prior to travel, declaring any known history of Covid exposure. 

Once the form is completed you will receive a QR code (again, print this out as a backup). 

On arrival in Spain, you may be asked to present the QR code, undergo a temperature check and/or undergo a visual health assessment. 

Read our guide to choosing a reliable test provider

Travelling with children

STEP 1: Children under the age of 12 do not need to take a test, show evidence of vaccination, or complete a Spanish online Health Control Form to enter Spain. 

Those between the ages of 12-17 will be able to enter Spain using a negative PCR test result. They'll must book, pay for and take the test within 72 hours before arriving in Spain. Test results need to arrive in time for your flight.

Everyone aged 16 and over in England who has been fully vaccinated can prove their status through the NHS app.

STEP 2: Unvaccinated passengers over the age of 12 will need to complete a Spanish Health Control Form up to 48 hours before departure. Passengers of all ages must complete the Spanish health form (see Step 2 above) no more than 48 hours prior to travel. Parents or legal guardians are able to complete an individual form on behalf of their children. Alternatively you can fill in a family/group form.

What if my child has recently recovered from Covid but is not yet fully vaccinated?

Children under the age of 12 do not need to show proof of full vaccination, so as long as they are fully recovered from Covid-19, they should still be allowed to travel to Spain.

If your child is between the age of 12-17 and has recently recovered from Covid-19, they can use a certificate of recovery to enter Spain even if they are not fully vaccinated.

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What are Spain's rules while I am there?

Each region of Spain has its own rules with regards to mask-wearing, indoor hospitality and Covid passes. Some regions also have a curfew and this can vary, not just within regions but within provinces or even between municipalities.

In some regions curfews are currently in place very late at night, between 1.00am and 6.00am, but during the worst moments of the pandemic they have been as early as 11.00pm in some parts of the country.

Check with the local tourist office for the latest Covid restrictions.

Read the rules for Canary Islands travel - from Covid tests to quarantine.

Do I need to show a Covid pass?

In Catalonia and Galicia in the north you do need to be able to prove that you're fully vaccinated, recently recovered or have had a negative Covid test before being allowed to enter indoor hospitality. Other regions are considering similar measures. You can use your NHS pass or the equivalents from the rest of the UK as a vaccine passport.

Will I need to wear a mask?

Anyone over the age of six must wear a mask in enclosed public spaces like shops, bars, restaurants and hairdressers and on public or group transport, except when eating or drinking. That's the case throughout the country, including the Canary and Balearic islands.

It's also obligatory to wear masks outside unless you are in a natural space or you are doing a solo sporting activity - such as running. Rules vary as to whether you have to wear a mask on the beach depending on the region you're in.

Fines may be imposed if you don't comply with these rules. However, those with a disability of respiratory condition are exempt.

What Covid forms, tests and quarantines are required when I return to the UK?

STEP 3: You don't need to take any tests or fill out a passenger locator form, regardless of your vaccination status to enter the UK. Read more about UK travel restrictions being dropped.

Read more about UK travel restrictions being dropped.

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