1 Feb, 2022 @ 12:36
1 min read

TRAVEL LATEST: Spain tightens antigen test window to 24 hours for unvaccinated travellers entering Spain

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SPAIN has reduced the validity of antigen tests from 48 hours to 24 hours required by those who don’t meet vaccination status requirements to enter Spain.

The measure was brought in on February 1 when it was published in Spain’s Offical State Bulletin (BOE).

Previously those travellers had to provide a negative result to an antigen test taken within 48 hours prior to arrival, a period which has now been reduced to just 24 hours.

Current rules state that unvaccinated travellers from within the EU/EEA including Spanish passport holders and those with residency in Spain must show either a valid vaccination certificate, a certificate of recovery, or a negative PCR, LAMP, TMA or antigen test.

Those from third countries considered high risk (which currently includes the UK) and are unvaccinated but whose trips falls under essential travel can also show a negative test.

It is antigen tests that now have the narrow window of just 24 hours while PCR tests remain valid up to 72 hours.

Spain currently bars entry to all unvaccinated travellers over the age of 12 from outside the EU unless they fall into the exemption category.

From Tuesday February 1, 2022, “only negative Covid tests obtained within the 24 hours prior to arrival in Spain will be considered valid and provided that they are tests included in the list common rapid antigen detection test for Covid-19, published by the European Commission and based on Council Recommendation 2021/C 24/01?, said the Spain’s Health Ministry in a statement.

Negative results of NAAT or PCR tests which are also accepted for travel to Spain have a wider window and are considered valid as long as they were taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Spain.All international arrivals must also fill in a health control form within 48 hours of arriving in Spain.

From February 1 new rules concerning vaccination certificates also come into play with only those who have received their last jab within 270 days (nine months) prior to entry being considered valid. The last vaccine must also have been adminsitered more than 14 days prior to arrival to meet the criteria.

Effectively this means that who received their full dose of the first vaccine more than nine months ago will require a booster jab more than two weeks before they plan to arrive in Spain.


Fiona Govan

Fiona Govan joined The Olive Press in March 2021. She moved to Spain in 2006 to be The Daily Telegraph’s Madrid correspondent and then worked for six years as Editor of The Local Spain. She lives in Madrid’s Malasaña district with her dog Rufus.

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