Spain has loosened restrictions on unvaccinated arrivals from the UK, the US, Australia, Canada, and other non-EU nations, allowing them to enter for the first time in two years.

Previously people from outside the European Union and Schengen Zone who were not vaccinated or only partially vaccinated were banned from entering Spain for non-essential reasons.

That changed this week when officials agreed that unvaccinated tourists and other visitors from outside the EU can travel to Spain if they show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test.

What test is required to travel to Spain?

Spain accepts either a PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure to Spain or a laboratory-produced rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours. Tests are required from any visitor over the age of 12 who is unvaccinated. The same rule that has applied to EU residents and citizens for months now applies to non-EU residents including British and American travelers.

What qualifies as 'fully vaccinated' to travel to Spain?

Generally, people will need to show proof of two vaccines, or one in the case of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. However, those over the age of 18 must show proof of a third or booster dose if more than 270 days have passed since the person received their second shot (or first and only Johnson & Johnson shot) to bypass testing requirements.

Spain accepts all vaccines approved by the World Health Organization.

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Spain has extended its travel entry restrictions © Iakov Filimonov/Shutterstock

What are the rules for traveling to Spain from the EU?

Travelers over the age of 12 from the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) can enter Spain without restriction as long as they fulfil one of three requirements.

Holders of an EU Digital COVID Certificate or equivalent may enter the country, providing they have been fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine in the previous nine months or have received a booster shot.

Otherwise travelers must hold a recovery pass, proving they have recovered from COVID-19 in the previous six months.

The third way of entering is by producing a test certificate, confirming that the traveler has received a negative COVID-19 result from a PCR or rapid antigen test within 72 hours or 48 hours before travel to Spain, respectively.

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What are the rules for traveling to Spain from a non-EU country?

As of May 21, visitors from outside the EU are now subject to the same rules as visitors from the EU. They can show their vaccination certificates or take a PCR/antigen test to enter the country.

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What other documentation do I need before flying?

Travelers must complete a health control form before departure, manually entering the details of  vaccination, recovery or — if coming from an EU/EEA country or territory — diagnostic test certificate. You can do it through the Spain Travel Health website or its app for Android devices or iOS. Once completed, you will obtain a QR code that you will have to present both at the time of boarding and upon arrival in Spain.

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Do children face restrictions when traveling to Spain?

No, children under 12 years old are exempt from the testing or quarantine requirements.

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La Concha beach in a sunny day
There is no requirement to wear a face mask when accessing public places in Spain © Alberto Loyo/Shutterstock

Where can I get a COVID-19 test in Spain?

Many countries, including the US, require passengers to present a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding their flight home from an international trip. Antigen tests cost about €30, while PCR tests cost about €120 from a private medical facility. Tests are widely available at clinics and hospitals throughout Spain. They are also often available at local airports.

Is mask-wearing mandatory in Spain?

Spain lifted its mask requirement on April 20, meaning that travelers and residents are no longer required to wear a face mask when accessing public places and events there. However, masks are still required on flights and in airports.

This article was first published May 2020 and updated May 2022

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