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Can unvaccinated people travel to Spain? Covid entry requirements from UK and rules on vaccination explained

The Spanish tourist office has announced a U-turn on entry rules to Spain for unvaccinated travellers

Plans to allow unvaccinated tourists to enter Spain have been reversed after Spanish authorities made a sharp U-turn on rules.

It was announced last Wednesday (6 April) that travellers who are not fully vaccinated against Covid would be allowed to enter the country in time for Easter.

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The Spanish Tourist Office said Spain would be reopening with immediate effect, providing unvaccinated travellers could show proof of a negative coronavirus test.

However, the authority quickly backtracked on the announcement and issued an apology saying the changes were a misinterpretation of a government bulletin, marking a huge blow to holidaymakers hoping to jet off for some sun.

Unvaccinated UK tourists are still barred from entering Spain for tourism purposes (Photo: Getty Images)

What are the entry requirements for Spain?

If you are fully vaccinated

All travellers visiting Spain for tourism purposes must show one of the following to be allowed entry:

  • proof of being fully vaccinated (with both doses of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of a one-dose vaccine) at least 14 days prior to arrival in Spain 
  • proof of having recovered from Covid in the last six months. Travellers can use a medical certificate or recovery record to prove their coronavirus status on entry to Spain

If you are fully vaccinated and travelling from the UK you can enter Spain without needing to test or quarantine, regardless of your reason for travel.

At least 14 days must have passed since being fully vaccinated before arrival and your final dose must have been administered within 270 days prior to travel to Spain.

If you completed your vaccination more than 270 days prior to travel to Spain, you must be able to show proof of having received a booster jab.

There is no requirement for 14 days to have passed between receiving your booster jab and entering Spain. Boosters can be administered at any time prior to travel and there is currently no expiry date for top-up jabs.

Children under the age of 12 do not need to show proof of being fully vaccinated on entry to Spain, or show proof of recovery from Covid in the last six months.

Travellers aged 12 to 17 inclusive can enter Spain by showing proof of a negative Covid nucleic acid amplification test - NAAT (PCR or similar) taken within 72 hours prior to arrival. Antigen tests are not accepted. Alternatively, travellers in this age group can enter with a full vaccination or recovery certificate.

Spain also has a Travel Health Control form which must be completed no more than 48 hours before travel, unless you have a digital Covid certificate.

Travellers may also be subject to additional checks on arrival, including a temperature check, visual health assessment, or testing, and may be contacted and required to undertake a Covid nucleic acid amplification test - NAAT (PCR or similar) at any point up to 48 hours after arrival in Spain.

If you are not fully vaccinated

Under the Spanish government’s current rules, travellers who are not fully vaccinated against Covid continue to be barred from Spain for tourism purposes.

The tourist office has confirmed that a negative Covid test taken before travel will not be accepted to allow those who are not fully jabbed to gain entry to the country.

Diagnostic tests are only accepted for travellers from the UK if the reason for travel falls into one of the categories listed as ‘essential’ on the entry requirements listed on the Spanish Ministry of Health ‘Travel and COVID-19’ page. This includes EU citizens, an accompanying family member of an EU citizen, a resident of Spain, or if you meet one of the exemptions.

Holidaymakers can only enter Spain from the UK with valid proof of vaccination or a medical certificate certifying recovery from Covid in the last six months before travel.

You can check the entry requirements on theForeign Office website before travelling to make sure you know what is expected.