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

Editor’s Note — Coronavirus cases are in flux across the globe. Health officials caution that staying home is the best way to stem transmission until you’re fully vaccinated. Below is information on what to know if you still plan to travel, last updated on March 23.

(CNN) — 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. In recent months the Omicron coronavirus variant spread in Spain. 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 last six months can enter Spain for a vacation without proof of a negative Covid test, no matter where they’re traveling from.

This goes for travelers from countries Spain has classified as “risk” destinations, but excludes travelers from countries Spain has classified as “high risk.” There are currently no countries on Spain’s “high risk” list.

All non-EU and non-Schengen countries count as “risk” countries, aside from an exempted list of destinations that currently includes Colombia, Indonesia, Kuwait, Peru, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Travelers from these destinations can enter Spain without proof of vaccination or a recent negative Covid test. This list is refreshed regularly, and this current iteration is valid until March 27.
Some countries and areas in the EU/EEA are also regarded as risk destinations by Spain — the list of European risk spots is currently extensive and also changes regularly, so should be checked before travel.

Young people between the ages of 12 and 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 between the ages of 12 and 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 under 12 do not need to present a health certificate of any kind, no matter their country of origin.

What are the restrictions?

As mentioned above, fully vaccinated travelers from anywhere in the world can enter Spain for a vacation without proof of a negative Covid test, including travelers from countries Spain’s classified as “risk” destinations, but excluding travelers from countries Spain’s classified as “high risk.”

Travelers from “risk” destinations with proof they’ve recovered from Covid-19 within the last 6 months can also freely travel to Spain.

Travelers from countries classified as “high risk” by Spain must show a negative test, regardless of vaccination status. There are currently no countries on Spain’s high risk list.

Spain does not accept proof of vaccination if the final dose of vaccination was over 270 days ago.

If you’re an unvaccinated traveler from a country that’s not part of the EU or the Schengen zone — nor one of the exempted non-EU and non-Schengen countries listed above — 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 must show proof of a negative test result — either a PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to your arrival or an antigen test taken within 24 hours prior to arrival.

All travelers — wherever they’re coming from and whatever their vaccination status — 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.

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 11.3 million Covid infections and over 102,000 deaths as of March 23, 2022.

There was a spike in cases in Spain following the emergence of the Omicron variant, but cases have since fallen.

As of March 23, over 84.9% of the population has been fully vaccinated.

What can visitors expect?

Face masks are currently required in indoor public spaces, but wearing masks outdoors is now optional. Wearing a face mask outside is still obligatory if standing at a large outdoors event, or at a seated outdoor event where social distancing between households isn’t possible.
From Monday March 28, people in Spain who test positive for Covid-19 will no longer be required to self-isolate for seven days, as long as they’re either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. See more detail on this change here.
Different regions of Spain’s 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.

Traveling between Spain’s regions is permitted.

Useful links

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

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