COVID restrictions for UK travelers to Spain have been relaxed. Unvaccinated children, ages 12 to 17 years old, can now enter the country. This will allow all family members, regardless of age and vaccination status, to enjoy their vacation in Spain.
Previously, COVID restrictions for UK travelers to Spain only allowed entry to the country if they had received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. This became a problem for many families hoping to enjoy their half-term holidays in the country, especially on the mainland and the Canary Islands. They could not travel to Spain because it would mean leaving their children who were not yet fully vaccinated by the time of their scheduled departure. This is, of course, not an option for families. Many had to postpone their trips and go elsewhere so that they could spend time together as a whole family.
According to the TUI Group, the largest tour operator in Europe, Mexico and Turkey have become the more favorable options for UK travelers.
The Price of COVID Restrictions for UK Travelers to Spain Paid By the Tourism Sector
These COVID restrictions for UK travelers to Spain came at an expensive price for the travel industry. Hotels in the Canary Islands have claimed that the decrease in the number of travelers due to the entry regulations resulted in a financial loss of as much as 400 million euros. But, it is not just the hotels that were affected. Other establishments, such as those for food and beverages, have also lost income. This means that businesses in the Canary Islands have lost more than what is known. As such, it would be to the advantage of the industry if travel restrictions were eased.
Hazel Bryant, a travel operator working at the Travel With Kitts agency, said that many travelers had to adjust their plans because of the surge of COVID-19 cases brought about by the highly transmissible omicron variant. This meant that vacations that were scheduled for Christmas had to be rebooked for the half-term, which is often a week-long break in the middle of the semester for schools in the UK.
The Canary Islands is one of the top travel destinations for UK travelers during the month of February. They get to enjoy its warm weather and, at the same time, they don’t have to travel too far. It would only take them about four hours to get to the wonderful beaches of the islands.
But, the COVID restrictions for UK travelers to Spain would not allow them entry.
One of the hopeful tourists to the country, Ben Fishlock, had already planned a trip to Gran Canaria as early as last year. However, the COVID restrictions for UK travelers to Spain meant that he had to cancel the trip that he and his family were looking forward to. His 12-year-old son would not have been fully vaccinated by the time of their scheduled trip this month. However, they still plan to go to Gran Canaria when restrictions are eased.
Jorge Marichal said that “For us the British marker is the biggest one. We have more than 2.5 million British citizens coming to Tenerife every normal year. For us this part of the year is one of the most important. All these profits will be lost.” The president of the Tenerife Hoteliers Association was hoping that COVID restrictions for UK travelers to Spain would be adjusted to encourage more of them to come to the Canary Islands.
COVID Restrictions for UK Travelers to Spain: From February 14, 2022 Onwards
Good news for both the tourism sector and travelers came recently in the form of the relaxation of COVID restrictions for UK travelers to Spain.
UK nationals ages 12 to 17 years old and are not yet vaccinated can now enter Spain. Even if the regulations were not lifted to make it in time for the half-term holiday, it is still expected that families will now plan their vacations in the country.
Entry Requirements for Spain
Prior to Entry in Spain
Regardless of age, all travelers coming to Spain are required to fill out the Spain Health Control Form (FCS) 48 hours before departure for the country. Once completed, an FCS QR code will be generated. The FCS QR code is important because airlines or any of the like can ask travelers to present it prior to boarding. It may also be required at airports and at any point of entry into the country.
Travelers on an international cruise need to fill out a different form in lieu of the FCS.
18 years of age or older
Individuals coming from the UK who are older than 17 years old need to present a vaccination certificate in order to be allowed entry into Spain. The traveler should be fully vaccinated. This means that 14 days should have already passed from the date of administration of the second dose of a two-dose regimen or one dose of a one-dose regimen.
At the same time, the last dose of the COVID-19 vaccine should have been administered 270 days or less prior to arrival in Spain. If the last dose was received more than 270 days ago, an individual is no longer considered fully vaccinated. However, this does not mean that they cannot enter the country. Travelers should just get a booster dose and show proof of such. Similarly, 14 days should have passed since the administration of the booster dose to be considered fully vaccinated.
The COVID-19 vaccines accepted by Spain are the following: Pfizer-Biontech, Moderna, Astra-Zeneca, Jansen/ Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac, and Sinopharm.
The vaccination certificate must clearly show the following information:
- Full name of the individual
- Vaccination date
- Type of vaccine administered
- Number of doses administered
- Country where the vaccine was administered
- Identification of the institution that issued the vaccination certificate
12-17 years old
Individuals who belong to this age group are not required to show a vaccination certificate to gain entry to Spain. They just need to undergo an RT-PCR test or any molecular nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) and present a negative result. This test must be done 72 hours before they arrive in the country.
11 years of age or younger
For children who belong to this age group, neither a vaccination certificate nor a negative COVID-19 test result is required. They will be allowed to enter the country without the aforementioned documents.
Arrival in Spain
Travelers should undergo a health check, which includes measurement of temperature, review of documents, and visual examination, upon arrival in Spain.
If health authorities suspect the traveler of having COVID-19, they will be subjected to a medical evaluation and a COVID-19 test. The traveler will undergo either a PCR, TMA, or RT-LAMP test. The test can either be done at the point of entry or up to 48 hours after arrival, as deemed suitable by the examiner.
However, if health authorities do not see any signs that point to a possible COVID-19 infection, travelers will be cleared. Then, they can proceed with their agenda for their trip.