Planning a trip to Spain this year? Be sure to read up on the latest entry requirements, domestic restrictions, and the current COVID-19 situation here.
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Thanks to its delicious gastronomic delights, colorful cities, an interesting blend of cultures, and untouched nature, Spain is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
Although the coronavirus pandemic may have put a damper on the country’s tourism for the better half of two years, Spain is progressively opening the country to foreign arrivals. The country ‘officially’ reopened in the summer of 2021, just in time for peak tourist season.
After battling multiple waves of the pandemic and managing to get the new omicron variant under control, Spain is ready to welcome travelers once again.
Those who are planning a trip to Spain should take a careful look at the current entry requirements, which include the SPTH: Spain Travel Health Pass, a vaccination certificate and/or proof of recovery, and more. These are all outlined in this practical travel guide.
The Current Coronavirus Situation in Spain
Although Spain enacted strict entry rules and domestic health requirements, the country — just like the rest of its European neighbors — was affected by the pandemic.
Spain had five major coronavirus waves through various times of the pandemic, with the most serious happening at the beginning of 2022 and lasting until mid-February. This wave reached its peak on January 13, when the country recorded more than 159 thousand new cases in one day.
At the moment, the average number of cases per day ranges between 15 to 20 thousand, with the average slowly decreasing. The Extremadura region has the highest number of new cases, while Madrid, Valencia, and Castilla La Mancha report the largest decrease in cases over the past week.
The majority of Spain’s population has been vaccinated: 86% of Spaniards have at least one dose; 84% are fully vaccinated, and more than half of locals (51%) have received their booster shot.
Tourism makes up more than 14 percent of Spain’s GDP and, as such, it makes sense why the country is doing its best to keep the pandemic under control. There are a handful of domestic restrictions that tourists should keep in mind when planning their trip to Spain.
Face covers are still mandatory when indoors, which includes public transportation, indoor public spaces, movie theaters, and open-air events where social distancing cannot be observed.
Although previously required, travelers no longer need to wear face masks outdoors (including beaches).
Likewise, there is no nightly curfew in place, nor are there any restrictions on intercity travel. This means that typical transport options — including domestic flights, buses, and trains — are running normally.
On a similar note, cafes, restaurants, nightclubs, bars, and other establishments are also working without any restrictions.
Spain Entry Requirements
Like most countries worldwide, Spain requires visitors to show their vaccination status or provide proof of recovery. Those who wish to travel to Spain will need to be fully vaccinated, with the second dose taken at least 14 days before entering the country.
Spain accepts vaccines that are approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) or the European Medicines Agency (EMA). At the moment, this includes Comirnaty (BioNTech Pfizer), Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), Nuvaxovid, Spikevax (Moderna), Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca), Covovax, Covishield, Covaxin, CoronaVac, and Covilo.
However, it’s important to note that the Spanish government set an expiration date of 270 days from the traveler’s last vaccine. This means that visitors who had their second vaccine more than nine months ago will need to get a booster shot before they are allowed into Spain.
According to Spain’s Ministry of Health (Ministerio de Sanidad), there are a handful of countries that are exempt from providing a vaccination certificate or negative COVID-19 test. At the moment, the list of exempted countries includes China, Colombia, Indonesia, Peru, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. However, the list updates once a week and it is worth double-checking just in case.
After making sure that the traveler’s vaccination status is in order, the next entry requirement is to fill out a Health Control Form. This is required for every visitor who arrives via air or sea. The form will ask for the traveler’s full name, passport number, contact information, and vessel details (i.e. flight number or ship name). This is done to decrease the spread of coronavirus and help with contact tracing if fellow passengers were sick.
After filling out the form, travelers will receive a QR code that they will need to present while boarding the aircraft/ferry and again when going through immigration upon arrival.
Those traveling with their family or small kids should note that children under 12 years old will not need to present any documents, including proof of vaccination, negative test results, or proof of recovery. Children under 6 years of age do not need to wear face masks.