Spain Covid entry requirements: what are the rules for UK travellers in July 2022 - do I need a Covid-19 test?

Spain has tightened its Covid rules in response to a rising number of cases in the country

Spain has introduced new guidance for tourists arriving in the country following a recent spike in Covid infections.

Holidaymakers who test positive for Covid or start developing symptoms while in Spain are now required to wear a mask, reduce social interactions and avoid crowded spaces and large events, and avoid contact with people at high risk. This includes older people, people with health conditions and pregnant women

These measures must be followed for 10 days from diagnosis or from when symptoms began, and the guidance on face masks applies whether you test positive for Covid or not - it is expected that a covering is worn as soon as any symptoms develop.

Face masks are no longermandatory indoors in Spain (Photo: Getty Images)

The use of face masks in Spain is also mandatory for anyone over the age of six in the following situations:

  • on any form of public transport
  • visiting a hospital or medical centre (including other healthcare settings such as dentists, opticians, pharmacies)
  • visiting a care or nursing home

The Spanish government also recommends the use of face masks in enclosed public spaces, such as shops, cinemas, bars and restaurants, at large events, such as concerts, sporting events, and in any other enclosed communal spaces open to the public.

British tourists are also warned they now need extra documents to enter the country, after the Foreign Office recently updated its guidance on the entry requirements for Spain, confirming that travellers can now use e-gates on arrival.

UK citizens can use the e-gates at the Spanish border if they are over the age of 18 and “instructed to do so by airport staff”, and will need to produce three documents at Spanish border control to be permitted entry. These include:

a return or onward ticket

  • proof you have enough money for your stay
  • proof of accommodation for your visit, such as a hotel booking confirmation, proof of address if visiting your own property (e.g. second home), or an invitation from your host or proof of their address if staying with a third party, friends or family. The Spanish government has clarified that the “carta de invitation” is one of the options available to prove that you have accommodation if staying with friends or family. 

Tourists will also need to prove they meet Spain’s Covid entry requirements.

What are the current entry requirements for Spain?

If you are travelling to Spain from the UK as a tourist, current rules state that you must show valid proof of one of the following on entry:

  • being fully vaccinated
  • a negative Covid test: either a PCR taken within 72 hours prior to departure, or an antigen test taken within 24 hours prior to departure
  • having recovered from Covid in the last six months

At least 14 days must have passed since being fully vaccinated before arrival in Spain and the final dose must have been administered within 270 days prior to travel. If it has been more than 270 days since your final dose of the primary vaccination course you will need to have received a booster jab.

There is no requirement for 14 days to have passed between receiving your booster jab and entering Spain, this can be administered at any time.

Spain will accept the UK’s NHS Covid Pass or a recovery certificate issued by a relevant health authority or medical service to certify your Covid status.

Children aged 12 to 17 inclusive travelling for tourism can enter Spain by showing proof of a negative PCR test or a Covid recovery certificate. Those under the age of 12 years old do not need to:

  • show proof of being fully vaccinated on entry to Spain
  • take diagnostic tests prior to arrival
  • show proof of recovery from Covid in the last six months

If you are travelling to the Canary or Balearic islands from mainland Spain, you may need to show a negative Covid test depending on the region you are travelling from.

You should check with your travel operator and the local authorities in your final destination for guidance on domestic entry requirements.

Do I have to fill out a passenger locator form?

Travellers from the UK who can either proof of vacciantion, a negative Covid test, recovery from Covid in the last six months, or are aged 12 or under, do not need to complete Spain’s Travel Health Control form.

You can check the entry requirements on the Foreign Office website before travelling to make sure you know what is expected.

How long do I need on my passport to enter Spain?

Under Schengen area rules, it is a requirement for UK passports to be no more than 10 years old from the point of issue when entering an EU country.

The Foreign Office has now updated its travel advice for 33 countries to help clarify the changes, with destinations including Spain, Greece and Italy.

The updated advice now addresses the changes for Spain and explains: "If you are planning to travel to an EU country (except Ireland), or Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or Vatican City, you must follow the Schengen area passport requirements.

"Your passport must be:

  • issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country (check the ‘date of issue’)
  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

You must check that your passport meets these requirements before you travel. If your passport was issued before 1 October 2018, extra months may have been added to its expiry date.