UK tourists face new Covid rules in Spain if they test positive or have symptoms on holiday

Covid rules have been tightened in response to rising cases in the country

UK tourists heading to Spain will now be subject to tighter rules if they get Covid symptoms while abroad.

Government officials have introduced new face mask guidance for holidaymakers arriving in or travelling around the country following a recent rise in infections.

UK tourists heading to Spain face tighter rules if they get Covid symptoms (Photo: Getty Images)

What are the new rules?

Under the new rules, tourists who test positive for Covid or start developing symptoms while in Spain must:

  • wear a mask
  • reduce social interactions and avoid crowded spaces and large events
  • avoid contact with people at high risk, including older people, people with health conditions and pregnant women

These precautionary measures must be followed for 10 days from diagnosis or from when symptoms began.

It is not a mandatory requirement to self-isolate if you have Covid symptoms, but guidance recommends informing direct contacts and avoiding social interactions where possible, particularly with people vulnerable to serious illness from the virus.

The rule on wearing 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 to help reduce the risk of spread.

If symptoms persist or get worse, you should call your regional hotline. Most of the regional hotlines listed have English speaking staff and some regions offer alternative helpline numbers for those calling from non-Spanish mobile phones. In an emergency, call 112.

Where must face masks be worn in Spain?

The use of face masks in Spain is 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 the following circumstances:

  • enclosed public spaces, such as shops, cinemas, bars and restaurants
  • at large events, such as concerts, sporting events
  • when in the company of people considered clinically vulnerable or high-risk and social distancing of 1.5m cannot be observed
  • at family gatherings
  • in any other enclosed communal spaces open to the public

Those with respiratory problems or those unable to wear a mask due to other health conditions or disabilities are exempt.

Entry requirements for Spain still remain the same, with travellers required to show proof of vaccination, a negative Covid test (PCR or antigen), or proof of recovery from Covid in the last six months. These requirements do not apply to children under the age of 12.

If you are aged 18 or over and have not received a booster, but have received two doses of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine approved for use by Spain, then at least 14 days and no more than 270 days must have passed since your last dose, to qualify as fully vaccinated.

Travellers from the UK who can either show proof of one of the above requirements, or are aged 12 or under, do not need to complete Spain’s Travel Health Control form.