Just when we thought we could sink into that inviting turquoise sea and think of nothing but whether we fancied the prawns or the sea bream for lunch at that little place right by the beach, here we are, clicking on gov.uk again for the latest update.
Spain and its islands are in the amber category under the traffic light system for travel.
However, things have got a bit less stressful for people who are not yet fully vaccinated, as the window for having a test and getting the results before travel to Spain has been changed from 48 hours to 72 hours. Those who are double-jabbed have been able to enjoy greater freedom since July 19, when the requirement to quarantine on their return home was scrapped.
Jet2 and EasyJet have resumed holidays and once you are back in your favourite Spanish resort you shouldn’t find the local restrictions too intrusive.
For the latest information on the rules for travel and the situation in the area you want to go to, keep an eye on the Spanish Tourist Office’s Travel Safe site. For now, here’s everything you need to know about a holiday in Spain this summer.
Can I go to Spain?
Spain (including the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands) is on the amber list, meaning that travellers who are not fully vaccinated have to self-isolate upon their return and carry out several tests. However, since July 19, fully vaccinated Britons (and UK travellers who are under 18) returning from amber list destinations have not needed to isolate.
What’s more, the FCDO has dropped its advice against all but essential travel to Spain, meaning it will be increasingly easier to get insurance and on July 19 the Government also dropped its guidance against amber-list holidays.
Spain is welcoming British arrivals, however there are some restrictions in place (see below).
Are flights operating?
Yes, airlines are still operating flights between the UK and Spain, though at a far reduced schedule than pre-pandemic. This will likely change as demand surges.
The same applies to ferries between the UK and Spain, which continue to run at a reduced capacity. Brittany Ferries’ Santander-Portsmouth service is twice-weekly, for example.
Will I be insured if I go?
The FCDO no longer advises against non-essential travel (ie. holidays) to Spain, meaning travel insurance is easier to come by. It is worth checking what cover providers offer for coronavirus-related claims, amber list destinations and if travel advice changes. Find out more about getting travel insurance to the amber list here.
Do I need to take a test before travel to Spain?
The Spanish Government has imposed its own restrictions on travellers from the UK. Upon entry to the country, Britons must now show proof that they have tested negative for Covid within 48 hours prior to their arrival – or that they have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days beforehand.
Do I need to fill in any forms?
Yes. According to the FCDO: “Before travel to Spain, all passengers (including children under 12 years old) travelling by air or sea must complete and sign an online Health Control Form no more than 48 hours prior to travel declaring any known history of exposure to Covid-19 and giving contact details.
“Anyone who has not completed this form electronically via the Spain Travel Health website or app, may submit it in paper format prior to boarding.”
What’s more, you must present proof certifying that you have undertaken a PCR test (and have tested negative) or have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to arrival.
Do I need to self-isolate on arrival?
There is currently no requirement for travellers from the UK to self-isolate on their arrival in Spain. Additional rapid tests may be conducted at hotel check-in, or as a follow-up request by border control within 48 hours of arrival. For the full entry requirements, including those for citizens/residents of Spain, see the FCDO’s Spain guidance
However, tourists who catch Covid while on holiday this summer in the Valencia region, which includes the Costa Blanca, must quarantine for 10 days in designated rooms in their hotel at their own expense or paid by their insurance, or face a €30,000 fine.
Essential tick-list: What do I need to travel to Italy?
Make sure you have the right paperwork and documents for your trip:
Before travelling, you will need:
Certificate of negative PCR test taken in the 72 hours preceding entry into Spain or proof of your double vaccination status.
A QR code from your completed online Spanish Health Control Form.
Any additional non-Covid related visa/entry documents.
On arrival, you must:
Show the QR code (hardcopy or digital) issued on completion of the online Health Control Form prior to travel.
To return to the UK, you will need:
Certificate of negative PCR or lateral flow test, taken in the 72 hours before travelling home.
A PCR test, taken within 48 hours of arriving back in the UK. You can find a full list of Government accredited companies here.
A completed passenger locator form.
Exemptions may apply, and rules may vary for children. See the full FCDO travel requirements here.
Do I need to wear a mask?
Masks are mandatory (by law) indoors and in enclosed spaces in Spain. You do not have to wear a mask outdoors provided a social distance of 1.5 metres can be maintained – but the law comes back into play if this is not the case, such as on a busy street, so be careful or you could be fined €100 (£86). In Seville, for example, a lot of people are continuing to wear masks all the time while walking around the city centre. Mask wearing is taken much more seriously in Spain than the UK and a lot more people wear the surgical or respirator types rather than flimsy coverings. If in doubt, put your mask on.