Spain has reinstated COVID-19 entry restrictions on passengers traveling from the United States following the European Union's decision to remove the US from its "white list" of epidemiologically safe countries.

Read more: What you need to know about traveling to Spain right now

Spain had a relatively relaxed open-door policy for US travelers since June, allowing them to visit without any COVID-19 restrictions. That changes from today with Spain now requiring travelers coming from the US to be fully vaccinated if they wish to travel to Spain for tourism or leisure. 

Read more: Visa requirements for Spain

Spain accepts vaccines that have been approved by the European Medicines Agency or those listed by the World Health Organization for emergency use. They include Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sinopharm, Sinovac and Covishield. Travelers must have completed the full course of the vaccine course before flying to Spain, which means two weeks after having the second dose, or two weeks after having a one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

In addition, all international travelers, regardless of where they're departing from, must register their details through the Spain Travel Health portal. Once completed, the website will generate a QR code which must be shown upon arrival on your mobile phone or printed on paper. The form can be obtained through the Spain Travel Health portal, or downloaded as the ‘SpTH’ via Google Play or the App Store.

St Bartholomew church and city square, Soler, Spain
Nonessential travel is closed off to US residents who are unvaccinated ©Getty Images

Unvaccinated children under 12 traveling with vaccinated adults are allowed to travel to Spain without any additional requirements. However, children between the ages of 12 and 18 must present proof of vaccination.

Travelers coming from the US who are not vaccinated can present a negative PCR test (taken no more than 72 hours before arriving in Spain) or antigen test (taken no more than 48 hours before arriving in Spain) if they are traveling for essential reasons or if they belong to one of the following groups:

  • Residents of EU, Schengen Area, Andorra, Monaco, The Vatican (Holy See) or San Marino en route to their country of residence
  • EU/Schengen Area long-stay visa holders travelling to that country
  • Health professionals, including health researchers and elderly care professionals
  • Transport personnel, seafarers and aeronautical personnel
  • Diplomatic and consular personnel
  • The staff of international organizations, military, civil protection and members of humanitarian organizations
  • Students at universities in the EU, Iceland, Switzerland, Lichtenstein and Norway, who have the corresponding permit or visa and medical insurance
  • Highly qualified workers whose work is essential and cannot be postponed or carried out remotely
  • Persons travelling important family reasons
  • People in a situation of force majeure or who need to enter for humanitarian reasons

Read more: The best time to go to Spain

Spain's decision to tweak its border rules for Americans follows the EU's recommendation that its 27 member states reimpose restrictions on nonessential travel for all US citizens as cases spike. According to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US is averaging about 153,246 new cases per day in the last seven days.

Other countries within the EU have announced additional travel restrictions on Americans in recent days too. The Netherlands is requiring US passengers to quarantine for at least 10 days upon arrival, regardless of vaccination status. And people traveling from the US to Italy must now produce a negative PCR or antigen test taken in the 72 hours prior to entering Italy, even if they can provide proof of vacccination like a COVID-19 green pass or equivalent certification.

You might also like:

How to get around in Spain
8 unmissable cities to visit in Spain
Madrid vs Barcelona? I live in both cities but my heart loves this one

Explore related stories

A group of friends walk  through a city street holding coffee cups.

Air Travel

Traveling to Germany? 6 questions you need to ask before you go

Jul 26, 2022 • 5 min read