On the first day of this month, entry rules to Spain were tightened due to the surge of COVID-19 cases brought about by the omicron variant.
Omicron has truly proven itself as a highly transmissible variant of the COVID-19 virus, not just in Spain but across the whole world. The good side of it is that hospital admissions are not as high in comparison to previous coronavirus waves. This does not, however, mean that entry rules to Spain will be made any less strict.
The new entry rules to Spain took effect on February 1, 2022. This is applicable to tourists who plan to travel to the country.
What are the New Entry Rules to Spain?
Tourists who are 12 years of age or older and are coming from the UK need to present a Health Control Form and proof of vaccination to be allowed entry into Spain.
Children who are younger than 12 years old just need to fill in the Health Control Form. Vaccination against COVID-19 is not required.
This requirement was further revised to make it more appropriate for the COVID-19 situation in the country. New entry rules to Spain state that UK visitors should have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 within the past 270 days.
As such, tourists who received their 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine more than 9 months ago already need to get their booster shot. For the vaccination to be valid, 14 days must have passed between receiving the booster shot and arriving in Spain.
The document that serves as proof of vaccination should clearly show the name of the individual, date of vaccination, type of vaccine, number of doses, issuing country, and issuing body of the vaccination certificate. These should be written in Spanish, English, French, or German. If the original document was not written in one of the aforementioned languages, it must be translated into Spanish by an official body.
Only COVID-19 vaccines that are authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or the World Health Organization (WHO) will be acknowledged by Spain. These vaccines include Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca.
If a tourist is vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized by the aforementioned institutions, they can only enter Spain with the condition that the last dose they obtained is one of the vaccines authorized by the EMA and WHO.
Safe Spain, the official travel website of the country, posted that “From February 1, 2022, in order to travel to Spain with a vaccination certificate, the certificate must have been issued by the competent authorities of the country of origin at least 14 days after the date of administration of the last dose of the full course of vaccination, as long as the final dose of that course of vaccination was no more than 270 days ago.”
The NHS Covid Pass of the UK will also be accepted by Spain as proof of vaccination.
New entry rules to Spain also removed the regulation that allowed alternative documents instead of proof of vaccination. Previously, a negative COVID-19 test result could be used if a UK tourist could not present vaccination records. This regulation is currently not in effect.
A medical certificate indicating recovery from a COVID-19 infection in the past 6 months is also not accepted.
UK tourists who have complied with the vaccination requirement do not need to undergo testing or quarantine upon arrival in Spain. Proof that the tourist is fully vaccinated is the only condition for entry to the country.
There may be additional requirements for tourists coming from mainland Spain who then travel to the Canary or Balearic islands. A negative COVID-19 test result may be asked for depending on your region of origin.
Health Control Measures Before Entering the Country
Health control measures are categorized into three levels of action, namely primary control, secondary control, and quarantine. These are implemented at the first Spanish point of entry.
Primary control measures include evaluation of the tourist’s health status and their documents. Non-contact thermometers or thermal imaging cameras will be used to measure tourists’ body temperatures. Then, a visual evaluation of tourists will be done to determine if they have any signs and symptoms of COVID-19 infection. The Health Control Form will also be checked. If there are no issues, tourists can obtain a QR code, which they should present at health checkpoints.
Secondary control measures take effect when tourists are not cleared during primary control. Tourists who have a temperature higher than 37.5 °C, show symptoms of COVID-19, or reveal any information related to COVID-19 in the Health Control Form will be subjected to a more exhaustive assessment.
This involves assessing the individual’s clinical and epidemiological status. An Active Infection Diagnostic Test (AIDT) may also be performed if deemed necessary by a competent health authority. Individuals coming from a country at risk can similarly be requested to undergo an AIDT.
Health alert protocols that have been established together with regional health authorities will be activated if the individual is confirmed to have COVID-19 after the health evaluation or AIDT. These protocols will also be applicable to close contacts of the COVID-19 patient.
COVID Rules to Follow When in Spain
Once tourists get past the entry rules to Spain, they must follow COVID rules during their stay in the country.
A face mask must be worn at all times when outdoors or in open spaces. This also applies to the following settings:
- Any enclosed space for public use, which includes shops, restaurants, and hotels
- Any indoor space with people from different households
- Any outdoor space where a social distance of 1.5 meters cannot be maintained
- All forms of public transport, which include planes, trains, trams, buses
- All transport stations, such as platforms and airports
Anyone older than 6 years of age must comply with the rule on wearing face masks.
Residents from the UK should comply with the new entry rules to Spain. With the available vaccines in the UK, citizens may not have any trouble accessing them. This can help them enter Spain so that they can go around the different beautiful places that the country has to offer.