As travel restrictions start to lift in Europe, “can I travel to Spain for my holidays this summer?” is currently one of the most searched-for terms on Google. Millions of sun-starved tourists and travel-hungry visitors want the answer so that they can book that longed-for holiday. The good news is that the answer to the question for many nationalities is a resounding yes. But as with everything in these Covid times, there are some caveats.
These FAQs on travelling to Spain this summer look at those caveats and answer some of their related questions. And because the situation changes quickly, we’ll be updating them – bookmark this page for updates.
How can I travel to Spain for summer holidays in 2021?
The answer to this question generally depends on your nationality. The COVID and vaccination rates in your country also influence the response.
Can I travel to Spain if I’m from the EU?
In May, Spain and the other EU countries agreed to lift non-essential travel restrictions within the EU. This means that EU nations are free to travel to Spain for holidays this summer.
Caveat – each EU member state reserves the right to bar entry to nationalities if they wish. A previous example of this was when Portugal and Spain closed their border from Christmas 2020 to early May 2021.
Can I travel to Spain if I’m from outside the EU?
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the EU has had a list of countries whose nationals can enter the EU, including Spain. The list is currently short, but it should get longer as Covid rates fall. It’s updated every two weeks.
In late May, Spain took the unilateral decision to welcome non-EU travellers (including the UK, US and Canada) with full Covid immunisation (two doses of Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca or one dose of Janssen vaccines). This measure is in place from 7 June.
What about UK nationals?
After five months of an almost blanket ban on the entry of British nationals, Spain lifted restrictions on 24 May 2021.
Caveat – Spain is currently on the amber list for UK travel. This means that you’re advised not to visit Spain unless it’s for an important reason. Plus, you have to self-isolate for ten days or test negative in two PCR tests on your return.
What are the requirements to enter Spain?
Anyone over 6 entering Spain from abroad must show that they have a negative PCR or TMA test done within 72 hours of travel (UK residents will NOT need to present a negative COVID-19 test certificate (PCR), as long as they have remained in the UK in the last 14 days). You also need to fill in the Health Control Form (Formulario de Control Sanitario/FCS) before you arrive. Find out more.
Will I still need to show a negative PCR result if I travel to Spain for my holidays this summer?
This requirement may change as Spain introduces the Digital Green Pass (see below). In late May, the Spanish Ministry of Tourism stated that it plans to remove the PCR test requirement for tourists who have had complete vaccination against Covid.
What about the Digital Green Pass?
Both Spain and the EU are introducing the Digital Green Pass. This document (digital or paper) will contain personal Covid information and facilitate travel within the EU. Using a QR code, the Pass will include data on the following:
- Covid vaccination status.
- Results of a Covid test.
- Proof that the holder has had Covid.
Is the Digital Green Pass compulsory?
No, and it will not be a requisite for travelling to Spain this summer. However, it will make things easier and speed up entry at the border.
When will the Digital Green Pass come into play?
Spain is currently trialling the Pass at airports in some parts of the country. The Spanish President presented it at FITUR, the Madrid tourism fair, in late May, and officials expect to implement it countrywide by 1 July.
Could Spain be on the green list for the UK?
The UK is reviewing the traffic light system of countries every three weeks. The next revision is on 7 June, and Spain may go from amber to green if the Covid rate continues to fall and vaccination rises.
Does the amber apply to the whole of Spain?
Yes, although the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs is currently (21 May) in negotiations with the British government to allow the Balearics and Canaries (both with very low rates) onto the green light list.
Is it safe to travel to Spain for my holidays this summer?
Spain has taken Covid security and hygiene measures very seriously and, as a result, offers a safe travel experience providing (of course) that you take sensible precautions.
Several destinations in Spain hold the World Travel & Tourism Council Safe Travels Stamp, certifying that they comply with recognised health and hygiene protocols for Covid. They include Malaga and Marbella on the Costa del Sol and Alicante and Benidorm on the Costa Blanca.
At the local level, most accommodation establishments, restaurants, and tourist attractions comply with Covid safety regulations. Many municipalities have local initiatives in place, such as regular antigen testing for those who work in the tourist sector.