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Traveling to Spain during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go

CNN 5/10/2022 CNN Staff
a harbor with a city in the background: Barcelona's unfinished architectural symphony -- the Sagrada Familia cathedral. © David Ramos/Getty Images Barcelona's unfinished architectural symphony -- the Sagrada Familia cathedral.

If you're planning to travel to Spain, here's what you'll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The basics

Spain has suffered greatly from Covid-19, with a high number of cases and deaths. The Omicron coronavirus variant caused a peak in Spain earlier in the year, but cases have since dropped.

Spain is open for travel with some restrictions in place, see below.

What's on offer

One of Europe's biggest hitters for good reason, Spain pulls tourists in by the millions thanks to its warm weather, laidback vibe and excellent food and wine.

Plus, of course, there are some of Europe's best beach resorts, mountains, and cultural cities such as Madrid, Seville and Barcelona.

Who can go

Fully vaccinated travelers and travelers with proof they've recovered from Covid-19 within the past six months can enter Spain for a vacation, no matter where they're traveling from, even if traveling from Spain's "risk" destinations.

All non-EU and non-Schengen countries count as risk countries, aside from an exempted list of destinations that currently includes Bahrain, Chile, Colombia, Indonesia, Kuwait, New Zealand, Peru, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, the UAE, Uruguay, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Some countries and areas in the EU/EEA are also regarded as risk destinations by Spain.

People traveling from non-risk EU and Schengen countries, and from countries on the exempted list above, can enter Spain for a vacation even if they're not vaccinated and don't have proof of recovery, as long as they provide a negative Covid test result.

Travelers from risk countries who haven't been vaccinated and who haven't got proof of recovery can only enter Spain if they are traveling for essential reasons. See Spain's list of essential travel exemptions here.

Young people over 12 and under 18 who've received a single dose of a vaccine and are traveling from EU or Schengen zone countries can enter Spain with a PCR or antigen test.

Young people over 12 and under 18 traveling from a country outside the EU and Schengen zone do not need to show proof of vaccination. They can enter Spain as long as they present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival.

Children younger than 12 do not need to present a health certificate of any kind, no matter their country of origin.

Check out this map to find out exact restrictions and requirements for each destination.

What are the restrictions?

As mentioned above, fully vaccinated travelers from anywhere in the world can enter Spain for a vacation, including travelers from countries Spain's classified as risk destinations. Travelers from risk destinations with proof they've recovered from Covid-19 within the past six months can also freely travel to Spain.

Spain does not accept traveler proof of vaccination if the traveler's final dose of vaccination was over 270 days ago -- unless the traveler is aged 12-17.

If you're an unvaccinated traveler from a country on Spain's "risk" list, you can only visit Spain if your trip is regarded as essential.

Non-vaccinated travelers/travelers without proof of recent recovery from Covid-19 arriving from risk countries for essential travel must show proof of a negative test result -- either a PCR test taken within 72 hours before your arrival or an antigen test taken within 24 hours prior to arrival.

Spain recognizes the European Union's Digital Covid Certificate -- which EU travelers can use to demonstrate if they have had Covid-19, recently tested negative and whether they've been vaccinated.

Travelers flying into Spain using the EU Digital Covid Certificate or its equivalents (such as the UK's NHS Covid travel pass) as proof of vaccination or recent recovery, as well as children under 12, no longer need to fill out Spain's Health Control Form. A list of countries where equivalent Covid certificates are accepted can be viewed here.

Everyone else must fill out this form before arrival. It can be completed via the Spain Travel Health website or app. It will generate a QR code that must be shown on arrival in the country.

Health assessments take place on arrival into Spain, with a temperature check and visual examination as standard.

What's the Covid situation?

Spain has seen more than 12 million Covid infections and over 104,800 deaths as of May 10, 2022.

As of May 10, over 86.4% of the population has been fully vaccinated.

What can visitors expect?

Face masks are no longer mandatory in some indoor or outdoors public spaces, but remain compulsory on all public transport.

People in Spain who test positive for Covid-19 are no longer required to self-isolate for seven days, as long as they're either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. See more detail here.

Different regions of Spain may have slightly different Covid measures. It's best to check in advance what individual restrictions are in each region before planning a visit. Spain's official tourism website is a helpful resource for this.

Useful links

Health Control Form

Spanish Tourist Board

Spanish Government health website

Our latest coverage

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Spain's Olavidia cheese was crowned the world's best at the 2021 World Cheese Awards.

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