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

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Editor’s Note — Coronavirus cases remain high across the globe. Health officials caution that travel increases your chances of getting and spreading the virus. Staying home is the best way to stem transmission. Below is information on what to know if you still plan to travel, last updated on June 16.

(Asia Despatch) — 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. After one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns in spring 2020, it reopened to visitors over the summer, but in November entered a state of emergency that ran until May 9, 2021. This has now been lifted, but some regional restrictions remain — see more 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

As of June 7, anyone who has been fully vaccinated can enter Spain for a vacation without proof of a negative Covid test, even if they are arriving from destinations categorized as ‘risk’ countries.

South Africa, Brazil and India are exempt from this rule, however. See more below.

Travelers from most places in the European Union and Schengen Area, alongside Australia, China, South Korea, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, Israel, Japan, the UK and Thailand are also allowed to enter Spain, even if they’ve not been vaccinated.

Right now, Spain is still on the UK’s “amber list” which means nonessential travel from the UK to Spain is not recommended.

Visitors from India must undergo a 10 day quarantine upon arrival.

What are the restrictions?

Since June 7, travelers from anywhere in the world — bar South Africa, Brazil and India — who have been fully vaccinated can enter Spain without providing proof of a negative Covid test.

If you’ve not been vaccinated and you’re traveling from a country that’s not part of the EU or the Schengen zone, or one of the countries listed above — you can only do so if your trip is regarded as essential. For exact requirements, see here.
All travelers — wherever they’re coming from — must complete a Health Control Form (HCF), which can be completed via the Spain Travel Health website or app. It will generate a QR code which must be shown on arrival in the country.

Travelers arriving from ‘risk’ countries who’ve not been fully vaccinated must undertake a PCR test within 72 hours of departure and show proof of a negative result on entry.

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

Spain’s health minister also announced that travelers arriving from Brazil and South Africa are being given an antigen test in the airport.
Additionally, all travelers to the Canary Islands, no matter where they’re arriving from, require an antigen test taken within 72 hours of departure in order to check into their accommodation.

What’s the Covid situation?

The country has seen over 3.7 million infections and over 80,500 deaths as of June 16, 2021.

A month later, case rates were falling — on March 8, Spain reported the lowest weekend rise in cases since July last year — but numbers rose again in late March and early April, with authorities urging caution amid fears of a third wave hitting Europe. Daily reported Covid-19 cases now appear to be falling again.

Over 33 million people have had their first vaccination in Spain and 27.63% of the population has been fully vaccinated as of June 16.

What can visitors expect?

Under the state of emergency, a national curfew was in place, masks had to be worn public at all times (children 5 and younger were exempt), while gatherings indoors and outdoors were limited to six people.

Face masks continue to be required in public places across the country.

Even before the state of emergency was lifted, the exact detail of the restrictions varied by region.

It’s still 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.

Traveling between Spain’s regions is now permitted.

Useful links

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Joe Minihane, Julia Buckley and Francesca Street contributed to this report

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