IMPORTANT new rules came into force on February 1 that affect travellers between Spain and the UK.

For several months now, Spain has only allowed those Brits who are fully vaccinated to enter Spain (unless they fall into an exception category) but there is one important change to that rule from February 1.

Vaccinations are now subject to a 270-day validity period which means that if your last jab was given more than 9 months ago, then you will need a booster to enter.

An additional requirement is that the last vaccine or booster was administered at least two weeks prior to arrival in Spain.

This must be shown on the traveller’s vaccination certificate (which must have a QR code and can be in paper format or downloaded to a mobile phone).

“Your date(s) of vaccination must be specified and your final dose must have been administered within 270 days prior to travel to Spain,” explains the British Embassy in a post on Brits in Spain facebook page.

“If you completed your vaccination more than 270 days prior to travel to Spain, you must be able to show proof of having received a booster jab.”

The 270-day rule is only applicable to UK tourists travelling to Spain, but not Spanish nationals, EU citizens and their non-EU family members or British passport holders who have residency in Spain.

Instead, if more than 270 days have passed since their initial Covid-19 vaccination, they can show either proof of a negative PCR taken within the last 72 hours, a negative antigen test taken within 24 hours prior to arrival in Spain or a medical certificate proving recovery from COVID-19 in the last six months. 

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In effect this means fully vaccinated travellers from the UK to Spain are able to enter without the need for a negative COVID test result, provided their second dose is no more than 270 days old, or they have received a booster dose.

Under current rules it is not possible for those aged over 12 who are not vaccinated to enter Spain for tourism purposes – even if they have a negative test result or proof of recent recovery.

The rules state that anyone over the age of 12 must be fully vaccinated to enter the country, including a booster (administered no later than 14 days prior to departure) if their second dose is more than 270 days old.

The NHS app will now allow children aged 12 and above to prove their vaccination status.

While some countries within the EU make an exception for people who have recovered from Covid in the past 180 days, Spain does not currently accept recovery certificates for arrivals from the UK.

UNVACCINATED?

Spain has effectively banned unvaccinated foreign travellers from entering Spain if they are coming from a third country (meaning outside the EU) that is considered high risk – which includes the UK – unless their trip falls in the ‘essential category’ which are categorised as the following:

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This vaccination rule is applicable to UK visitors but not to unvaccinated Spanish nationals, EU citizens and any non-EU family member as well as British residents in Spain.

Unvaccinated Individuals who fall into these categories will need to show a negative PCR or antigen test or proof of recovery. The latest rule introduced on February 1 means that antigen tests must have been carried out within 24hours prior to arrival in Spain, while PCRs have a validity of 72 hours.

Travelling to UK from Spain

From January 7 the UK scrapped the need for fully-vaccinated arrivals to take a pre-departure test when travelling to England.

Current rules however require that travellers take a ‘Day 2’ test booked before travel and entered onto a passenger locator form.

However on January 24, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that the test requirement would be scrapped from Friday February 11.

Unvaccinated travellers will still be required to do a pre-departure test and a Day 2 test, but will no longer have to quarantine on arrival or take a second PCR test after arriving.

Booster shots are not a requirement in order to be considered ‘fully vaccinated’ nor is there a validity.

All arrivals will have to fill in a Passenger Locator Form within 48 hours prior to travel.

For more information visit the official UK government website.

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