Summer may be over, but a Spanish fall heralds crowd-free attractions, better value for the vacation, and still plenty of sun, especially in the south.
Cases have declined in Spain in recent weeks and you can enter the country with minimal faff if you have been fully vaccinated. Additionally, many traditional Spanish summer destinations extend their usual season and there is plenty of availability at reasonable prices in October.
For the latest information on travel rules and the situation in the region you wish to travel to, keep an eye on the Travel Safe site of the Spanish Tourist Board. For now, here’s everything you need to know about vacations in Spain.
Can I go to Spain?
Yes. Spain is classified as low risk by the UK government which means you can visit. On September 17, the previous Green and Orange Lists were merged into a single “Go” category. All other countries are on the red list or “No Go”; arrivals from these countries must enter quarantine at the hotel upon their return.
Additionally, the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) no longer advises against non-essential travel to Spain, making it easier to obtain insurance.
Spain welcomes British arrivals, but some restrictions are in place (see below).
Are the flights working?
Yes, airlines still operate flights between the UK and Spain, albeit on a much shorter schedule than before the pandemic. This will likely change as demand increases.
The same goes for ferries between the UK and Spain, which continue to operate at reduced capacity. Brittany Ferries’ Santander-Portsmouth service is for example bi-weekly.
Will I be insured if I go?
FCDO no longer advises against non-essential travel (i.e. vacations) to Spain, which means travel insurance is easier to find.
Do I have to take a test before traveling to Spain?
The Spanish government has imposed its own restrictions on travelers from the UK. Upon entering the country, Britons must now prove that they have tested negative for Covid within 48 hours of arrival – or that they have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days in advance.
Do I have to fill out any forms?
Yes. According to the FCDO: “Before traveling to Spain, all passengers (including children under 12) traveling by air or sea must complete and sign an online health check form no later than 48 hours before trip, stating any known history of exposure to Covid-19 and providing contact details.
“Anyone who has not completed this form electronically through the Spain Travel Health website or app can submit it in paper format prior to boarding. “
In addition, you must present proof that you have performed a PCR test (and have tested negative) or that you have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days before your arrival.
Do I have to isolate myself on arrival?
There is currently no requirement for travelers from the UK to self-isolate upon arrival in Spain. Additional rapid tests may be performed upon hotel check-in or as a follow-up request by border control within 48 hours of arrival. For full entry requirements, including those for citizens / residents of Spain, see FCDO guidelines for Spain
However, tourists who catch Covid while on vacation in Spain must self-quarantine for 10 days in designated rooms at their hotel or in hotels reserved for people with Covid. The costs for this vary by country, but are usually at their own expense or may be covered by their insurance. In the region of Valencia, which includes the Costa Blanca, a fine of € 30,000 is imposed for non-compliance with regulations.
Essential checklist: What do I need to travel to Spain?
Make sure you have the correct papers and documents for your trip:
Before traveling you will need:
Certificate of negative PCR test carried out within 72 hours of entering Spain or proof of your dual vaccination status.
A QR code of your completed Spanish online health check form.
Any additional entry / visa document not related to Covid.
When you arrive, you must:
Show the QR code (paper or digital) issued after completing the pre-travel online health check form.
To return to the UK you will need:
If you are not fully vaccinated, a negative PCR or lateral flow test certificate, taken within 72 hours before you go home.
A PCR test, performed within 48 hours of returning to the UK (he will be downgraded to a lateral flow test from the end of October). You can find a full list of government accredited companies here.
A completed passenger locator form.
Exceptions may apply and rules may vary for children. Check out the full FCDO travel requirements here.
Do I have to wear a mask?
Masks are mandatory (by law) indoors and in confined spaces in Spain. You don’t have to wear a mask outside as long as a social distance of 1.5 meters can be maintained – but the law kicks in if you don’t, like on a busy street , so be careful or you could be fined € 100 (£ 86). In Seville, for example, a lot of people still wear masks all the time while walking through the city center. Mask-wearing is taken much more seriously in Spain than in the UK and many more people wear surgical or respiratory types rather than fragile coverings. If in doubt, put on your mask.