Passengers at Malaga-Costa del Sol Airport. File photograph. / SALVADOR SALAS

Spain introduces new Covid vaccination certificate rules for international arrivals

The requirements come into effect on 1 February after being published in the BOE Official State Gazette

SUR IN ENGLISH

From 1 February, Spain will tighten the coronavirus vaccination certificate requirements for international arrivals at its airports and ports, after the order was published in the BOE Official State Gazette.

The Travel Safe area of Spain’s official tourism website has reminded travellers, “From 1 February 2022, in order to travel to Spain with a vaccination certificate, the certificate must have been issued by the competent authorities of the country of origin at least 14 days after the date of administration of the last dose of the full course of vaccination, as long as the final dose of that course of vaccination was no more than 270 days ago. From that date, the certificate must show the administration of a booster vaccination.”

The web page goes in to say the vaccination certificate must include, at least, the following information:

1. Name and surname of the holder

2. Dates of vaccination, indicating the date of the last dose administered

3. Type or types of vaccine administered

4. Number of doses administered / complete regimen

5. Issuing country

6. Identification of the issuing body of the vaccination certificate

The Brits in Spain Facebook page, managed by the British Embassy staff in Madrid, has also reminded that, for anyone planning to travel to Spain, the UK’s Travel Advice has been updated accordingly – while pointing out the web page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel, reinforcing that the authorities in Spain set and enforce entry rules.

The current information (27 January) on the UK’s Travel Advice web page is as follows:

All travellers

Before travel to Spain, everyone (including children under 12 years old, by air or sea must fill in and sign an online Health Control Form. If you do not complete this form electronically, you may submit it in paper format before boarding.

On arrival into Spanish ports and airports you must show the QR code (hardcopy or digital) issued when you completed the online Health Control Form before travel.

The additional documentation you must present on entry when travelling from the UK to Spain is determined by your reason for travel:

• Tourism: you must show valid 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 (date(s) of vaccination must be specified).

• EU citizens and accompanying family members of an EU citizen (including those travelling for tourism purposes), residents of Spain, or those covered by one of the other exemptions listed may present alternative documentation to the vaccine certificate.

You may also be subject to additional checks at the point of entry including a temperature check, visual health assessment, or testing on arrival. Passengers may also be contacted and required to undertake a PCR, TMA or LAMP test at any point up to 48 hours after their arrival in Spain. More information can be found on the Spanish government’s Border Health Controls webpage.

Everyone (excluding children under the age of 12 years old) arriving into Spain who have visited a ‘risk country’ in the previous 14 days must meet the requirements on the Spanish Ministry of Health Travel and Covid-19 page. The Spanish government reviews the ‘risk countries’ list every 7seven days.

Requirements are country specific. You may get a minimum fine of €3,000 if you do not comply with the requirements.

If you are travelling from a country where Spain has travel restrictions, check with the Spanish Embassy in that country before you travel to Spain. Due to current travel restrictions, you may be questioned on arrival by Spanish border authorities to ensure you meet the legal entry requirements. Spanish border authorities only allow entry if they are satisfied that you meet the entry requirements, and reserve the right to deny passage.

All travellers should follow the advice of the local authorities on how best to protect themselves and others, including any measures that they bring in to control the virus.

Plan ahead in case you present symptoms or test positive for Covid-19 during your stay in Spain.

If you’re fully vaccinated

If you’re fully vaccinated and travelling from the UK, you can enter Spain without needing to test or quarantine regardless of your reason for travel. Your vaccination status must meet the Spanish authorities’ validity period requirements:

• Until 1 February, at least 14 days must have passed since being fully vaccinated (with both doses of a 2-dose vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine) before arrival in Spain.

• From 1 February onwards, at least 14 days must have passed since being fully vaccinated (with both doses of a 2-dose vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine) before arrival in Spain. Your date(s) of vaccination must be specified and your final dose must have been administered within 270 days prior to travel to Spain. If you completed your vaccination (with both doses of a 2-dose vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine) more than 270 days prior to travel to Spain, you must be able to show proof of having receiving a booster jab.

Only vaccines authorised by the European Medicines Agency or by the World Health Organisation are accepted.

Children under the age of 12 years old do not need to show proof of being fully vaccinated on entry to Spain.

Proof of vaccination status

You must show valid proof of being fully vaccinated to enter Spain from the UK if travelling for tourism purposes. If one of the exemptions listed applies to you, you may be able to present other documentation on entry.

Spain will accept the UK’s proof of Covid-19 vaccination record and proof of Covid-19 vaccination issued in the Crown Dependencies.

Your date(s) of vaccination must be specified and you need to have had a vaccine authorised by the European Medicines Agency or by the World Health Organization.

Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.

Fully vaccinated children aged 12 to 15 can request an NHS Covid Pass letter for international travel.

Documents can be in either English, Spanish, French or German and in paper or electronic format. They must specify your name and surname.

Further rules may apply if you have travelled to a country on Spain’s list of ‘risk’ countries in the 14 days prior to travel to Spain.

If you’re not fully vaccinated

Under the Spanish government’s current measures, you can only enter Spain from the UK for tourism purposes if you can show valid proof of meeting the vaccination requirements set out above.

Diagnostic tests are only accepted for travellers from the UK if your reason for travel to Spain falls into one of the categories listed as ‘essential’ on the ‘Entry requirements for entry in Spain from third countries’ - section ‘a’ to ‘i’ - 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 one of the other exemptions listed applies to you.

If you’ve had Covid-19 in the past year

If you’re travelling to Spain for tourism purposes, you cannot use the UK proof of Covid-19 recovery record certifying that you have recovered from Covid-19 in the last 6 months.

Exemptions

Entry requirements may vary if your reason for travel to Spain falls into one of the categories listed as ‘essential’ - section ‘a’ to ‘i’ - on the Spanish Ministry of Health Travel and Covid-19 page. This includes residents of Spain. If you are an EU citizen, an accompanying family member of an EU citizen, including UK citizens and other non-EU citizens who are travelling with EU family members (including for tourism), a resident of Spain, or if one of the other exemptions listed applies to you, you will be required to present one of the following on entry:

• documentation certifying that you have undertaken a Covid-19 nucleic acid amplification (NAAT) test (e.g. PCR, TMA, LAMP or NEAR) within 72 hours prior to arrival in Spain, or an antigen test taken within 48 hours of arrival, and tested negative

• a medical certificate certifying that you have recovered from Covid in the last 6 months prior to travel

Covid-19 diagnostic tests (e.g. PCR, TMA, LAMP, NEAR or antigen) tests are not accepted if you are travelling from the UK to Spain for tourism purposes unless you are travelling with a family member who is an EU citizen.

British travellers who are resident in Spain should be prepared to show Spanish border authorities proof of residency on arrival.

All travellers must fill in and sign an online Health Control Form.

There are some different entry requirements for children under 12 years old.

Children and young people

Travellers of any age, including children under 12 years old, travelling by air or sea must fill in and sign an online Health Control Form no more than 48 hours before travel.

From 13 December, fully vaccinated children aged 12 to 15 can request an NHS Covid Pass letter for international travel.

Children under the age of 12 years old do not need to:

• show proof of being fully vaccinated on entry to Spain

• take diagnostic tests prior to arrival

• meet the requirements outlined in the Spanish Ministry of Health ‘Travel and Covid-19’ page, even if they have visited a ‘risk country’ in the previous 14 days

Children aged 12 and over must follow the general entry requirements.