Spain updates Covid vaccination rules as Malaga, Seville and Costa del Sol issue face mask advice

Locals and tourists are being urged to be vigilant in the face of new Covid strains and rising cases in China

Tourism bosses in popular Spanish holiday hotspots have issued fresh Covid guidance which reintroduces a previous rule.

Health chiefs across Malaga, Costa del Sol and Seville are now asking people to consider wearing face masks inside crowded places to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. The rule has only been introduced as advice and is currently not mandatory for holidaymakers visiting the region.

At a meeting held on Tuesday (17 January), Juanma Moreno, the president of Andalusia - where Costa del Sol, Malaga and Seville are based - said people should wear face masks indoors in places where there is a crowd of people, and it is difficult to maintain a safe social distance.

It comes after Spain’s national health minister Carolina Darias hinted that the requirement to wear masks on public transport would soon be scrapped. Mr Moreno said he was not impressed by her remarks and he would continue advising that masks be worn in his region.

Health chiefs across Malaga, Costa del Sol and Seville are advising people to wear face masks in crowded places (Photo: Getty Images)

The regional government is also reintroducing a booking system for visitors at Spanish nursing homes to ensure they are not showing any signs of Covid.

The updated guidance was issued this week in response to concerns around new Covid variants and rising cases in China, which recently reopened its borders to the world.

On 3 January, Spain reinstated mandatory Covid vaccination and testing requirements for all passengers arriving from China. Travellers from China are also required to undergo visual and temperature checks on arrival and may be subjected to a Covid testing at the point of entry.

Children under the age of twelve are exempt from this requirement, as are passengers who are transiting airside for 24 hours or less.

What are the entry rules for UK tourists?

Despite concern over rising Covid cases and new strains, Spain does not currently require any proof of vaccination, a negative test result, or a Covid recovery certificate from UK holidaymakers to enter the country.

It means that British travellers who have not been vaccinated against Covid are not banned from holidaying in Spain.

Under Schengen area rules, it is also 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 Foreign Office has updated its travel advice for 33 countries to help clarify the changes, with destinations including Spain, Greece and Italy.

The updated advice addresses the rules 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 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.

“Contact the embassy of the country you are visiting if you think that your passport does not meet both these requirements. Renew your passport if you need to.”