The Spanish government confirmed last month that unvaccinated travellers from outside the EU can enter the country with proof of a negative coronavirus test instead.
Under previous rules, only those who could show proof of vaccination, or had a medical certificate certifying recovery from Covid in the last six months, could enter Spain from the UK for tourism purposes.
Madrid’s Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, explained the rule change on Spanish radio station Onda Cero, saying: “It will be a matter of days before we are going to eliminate a restriction that could be discouraging tourists from outside the European Union from visiting us, and that is that we are going to stop requiring the vaccination certificate to allow them to enter with a negative test.
“Always with caution, the world sees us as a safe destination, more than 92 per cent of the Spanish population is vaccinated.”
The rule change, which took effect on 20 April, marks the first time since 2020 that face coverings have stopped being obligatory indoors, and follows the previous easing of rules for outdoor spaces earlier this year.
Face masks are still mandatory for visitors and staff in medical centres and nursing homes, but patients will not always be obliged to wear them. Masks continue to be required on all forms of public transport, but not in stations or in airports, and schools are also exempt from having to use them.
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?
UK travellers who can either show proof of being fully vaccinated, or recovery from Covid in the last six months, or who are aged under 12 years old, do not need to complete Spain’s Travel Health Control form.
Everyone else must complete the form no more than 48 hours before travel to Spain.
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.
Passports must also be valid for at least three months after the day you are due to travel home.
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.