File photograph of Malaga Airport on Spain's Costa del Sol. / SALVADOR SALAS

Spanish Tourist Office in the UK issues 'unreserved apology' for massive Covid blunder

The official statement released earlier today, 6 April, falsely raised the hopes of thousands of unvaccinated passengers wishing to travel to Spain

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The Spanish Tourist Office in the UK issued a statement earlier today, Wednesday 6 April, which was incorrect but raised the hopes of thousands of unvaccinated travellers wishing to travel to Spain. It was widely reported in the British national press.

The statement said that from today, April 6th, non-vaccinated UK passengers could enter Spain with proof of a negative PCR or antigen test, or proof of diagnostic recovery and without the need to be double vaccinated. The Tourist Office has now clarified the latest coronavirus regulations, published in Spain's BOE, the Official State Gazette, were misinterpreted and the statement was not correct.

On its website tonight, the Tourist Office has clarified that UK travellers aged 12 and above are still required to show proof of being fully-vaccinated or a certificate of recovery. There is an exception for those aged 12 to 17 (inclusive) who can show a negative Covid test (PCR or similar) taken within 72 hours of arrival.

Pedro Medina, deputy director of the Spanish Tourist Office in the UK said: “We apologise unreservedly for the miscommunication earlier today which was due to a misunderstanding of the new entry requirements.”

UK travellers, aged 12 and above will need to fulfill the below criteria:

1. Certificate of vaccination: 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. If more than 270 days have passed since the final dose, certification of a booster vaccination is also required, except for teenagers aged 12 to 17 (inclusive).

2. Certificate of recovery: Proof that the passenger has recovered from Covid. Recovery certificates issued by the official authorities will be valid at least 11 days after the first NAAT diagnostic test or positive antigen screening test, carried out by qualified personnel. The certificate shall be valid for 180 days after the date of the first positive diagnostic test result.

Children under 12 years old are exempt when travelling with an adult.

From 6 April, children under 12 and those travelling to Spain with an EU Covid passport or equivalent (including NHS Covid travel pass) no longer need to complete the Health Control Form (FCS in Spanish) prior to arrival. Those without an EU Covid pass or equivalent must complete the Health Control Form to show evidence of their vaccinations or certificate of recovery. This can be completed via Spain Travel Health (SpTH).

For more information about travelling to and around Spain safely, please visit https://travelsafe.spain.info/en/