Foreign travel advice Spain

COVID-19 travel guidance For Alicante Spain

COVID-19 travel guidance

Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not leave home or travel, including internationally unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. Check the rules that apply to you in EnglandScotlandWales and Northern Ireland.

If you intend to travel to EnglandScotlandWales, or Northern Ireland from abroad, including UK nationals returning home, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival.

Before you return to the UK you must provide your journey and contact details. You must self-isolate when you enter the UK from any foreign country except Ireland, unless you have a valid exemption.

If you are legally permitted to travel abroad, check our advice on your country of destination. Some other countries have closed borders, and may further restrict movement or bring in new rules including testing requirements with little warning.

Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Entry to Spain

Spain’s borders are open to European Union and Schengen-area countries.

On 22 December 2020, Spain introduced travel restrictions on passenger travel from the UK by air and sea. These measures have been extended until 6pm (GMT+1) on 2 February 2021 (5pm / GMT in the Canary Islands), with the exception of Spanish nationals and those legally resident in Spain.

International transit through Spanish airports by passengers on flights departing from the UK is permitted on presentation of a negative PCR, TNA or LAMP test taken within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival into Spain. See Transiting Spain

Travellers arriving from the United Kingdom are not required to self-isolate on arrival in Spain. However, from the 23 November 2020, there are some requirements for testing on arrival for those travelling by air and sea. Spot checks may be carried out on arrival to confirm travellers have undergone a COVID-19 PCR, TMA or LAMP test and have tested negative. A minimum fine of €3000 may be issued to anyone who does not comply.

Some restrictions on travellers from outside the European Union and the Schengen free-travel area remain in place. You should refer to the Spanish Embassy in the country you are in for further advice.

Travellers should follow the advice of the local authorities on how best to protect themselves and others, including any measures that they bring in to control the virus. See the Coronavirus section for further information.

Testing/screening on arrival

On arrival, travellers entering Spain from the UK will not be required to self-isolate.

However, from 23 November 2020, all passengers (excluding children under the age of 6 years old) travelling to Spanish airports and ports from ‘risk’ countries (as determined by the European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control) will be required to present a negative PCR swab test taken within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival, in order to enter the country.

From 10 December 2020, a TMA (Transcription-Mediated Amplification) swab test or a LAMP (Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification) test are also accepted by Spanish authorities, again taken within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival. While TMA and LAMP tests are not currently widely available in the UK, you should refer to testing facilities directly for specific information on the types of tests available to you, prior to booking an appointment. The UK is currently on the ‘risk’ countries list and passengers arriving from the UK are therefore subject to this requirement.

This requirement applies to all passengers arriving in Spain by air or sea, regardless of your residency status in Spain and the length of time you intend on staying. Property owners in Spain are subject to this requirement.

If you are travelling by air or sea to Spain, you must declare on the mandatory ‘Health Control Form’ listed below, that you have undertaken a PCR, TMA or LAMP test within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival, have tested negative for COVID-19, and can show on request evidence certifying your results. The document you provide must be the original, be written in Spanish or English, may be submitted in paper or electronic format and must contain the following information:

  • name of passenger
  • passport number or ID card number (the number provided must match the one provided on the Health Control Form)
  • test date
  • name and contact details of the testing centre
  • testing method applied (ie PCR)
  • test results

You will also be subject to the following additional requirements at the point of entry. It is mandatory for all passengers travelling to Spain to fill out and sign a Health Control Form 48 hours prior to travel, providing the Spanish Ministry of Health with:

  • contact information
  • details of any known history of exposure to COVID-19, and
  • confirmation that you are able to provide evidence, certifying that you have undertaken a PCR (swab) test within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival and have tested negative for COVID-19

You can do this on the Spain Travel Health website or downloadable app. On completion, you will be issued a personal and non-transferable QR code which you must show (electronically or hardcopy) at airport health controls on arrival. Anyone who has not completed this form electronically via the Spain Travel Health website or app, may submit it in paper format prior to boarding.

  • temperature check
  • undergo a visual health assessment

Anyone who presents symptoms or fails to meet one of the above requirements will be required to undergo a test on arrival and will be obliged to observe the COVID-19 protocols in place as determined by the local authorities of your destination in Spain.

Checks will be carried out on arrival to confirm travellers have undergone a COVID-19 PCR, TMA or LAMP test and have tested negative. A minimum fine of €3000 may be issued to anyone who arrives in Spanish airports and ports from ‘risk’ countries without adequate evidence of a negative PCR, TMA or LAMP test.

Passengers may also be contacted and required to undertake a PCR, TMA or LAMP test at any point up to 48 hours after their arrival in Spain.

You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test and should confirm with the testing facility the type of tests available prior to booking an appointment.

Overland travellers to Spain are exempt from the above-mentioned entry requirements, and are therefore not currently required to present a PCR, TMA or LAMP test or Health Control Form on entry by road or rail.

Additional requirements for UK nationals resident in Spain

If you are resident in Spain, you should also carry the appropriate proof of residency documents as well as a valid passport when you travel. Spanish authorities have clarified that either the A4-size or credit card sized green EU registration certificates, the “Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Unión Europea”, or the new TIE card, the “Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero” are valid proof of residency for UK nationals who wish to return to their homes in Spain.

The Spanish authorities have not confirmed whether other documents are being accepted as sufficient proof of residence to enable entry to Spain. We strongly advise that you contact your airline before travelling to confirm your proof of residency meets the requirements of your airline.

Transiting Spain

Spain’s land borders are open.

International transit through Spanish airports by passengers on flights departing from the UK is permitted on presentation of a negative PCR, TNA or LAMP test taken within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival into Spain.

Travellers due to transit Spain on return to the UK, are allowed to transit through Spanish airports. You should be prepared to show evidence of your connecting flight. Should your transit involve passing through Spanish border control into Spanish territory, you may be required to present a negative PCR, TNA or LAMP test. Please contact your travel operator before departure.

A negative PCR, TNA or LAMP test taken within the 72 hours prior to arrival is not required for those entering Spain by land (by road or by rail). Further information on the test is available from the Spanish authorities here.

The French government has implemented additional entry requirements for those travelling to and transiting through France. If you are planning to drive from Spain through France, check the latest FCDO travel advice for France ahead of your journey.

Spain re-opened its borders with Portugal on 1 July 2020, see FCDO travel advice for Portugal.

If you are travelling to Spain via Gibraltar, check the latest entry requirements and FCDO travel advice for Gibraltar. Spain have extended current travel restrictions from the UK until 6pm (GMT+1) on 2 February 2021. While restrictions are in place you will only be able to enter Spain via Gibraltar if you are a Spanish national, you are legally resident in Spain or Gibraltar or a cross border worker. You will be asked to show documentation to prove you meet the criteria above.

Inter-regional travel is permitted, providing your point of origin and destination do not fall within a confined area where entry and exit restrictions are in place. Transiting confined areas to reach your final destination is permitted, however you should be prepared to show evidence of your onward journey such as train or flight tickets to your final destination. See Coronavirus for further information.

If travelling with people who are not from the same household, all passengers must wear a face mask covering the nose and mouth. Penalties may be imposed if you do not comply.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

The rules for travelling or working in European countries changed on 1 January 2021:

  • you can travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training
  • if you are travelling to Spain and other Schengen countries without a visa, make sure your whole visit is within the 90-day limit. Visits to Schengen countries within the previous 180 days before you travel count towards your 90 days
  • to stay longer, to work or study, for business travel or for other reasons, you will need to meet the Spanish government’s entry requirements. Check with the Spanish Embassy what type of visa and/or work permit, you may need
  • if you stay Spain with a visa or permit, this does not count towards the 90-day visa-free limit

Any time you spent in Spain or other Schengen countries before 1 January 2021 does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit.

At Spanish border control, you may need to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. You may also need to:

  • show a return or onward ticket
  • show you have enough money for your stay

There are separate requirements for those who are resident in Spain. If you are resident in Spain, you should carry proof of residence as well as your valid passport when you travel. For further information on these requirements, see our Living in Spain guide.

Passport validity

Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip, and renew your passport if you do not have enough time left on it.

You must have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland). This applies to the whole of Spain, including the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands (Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera).

If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed.

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs)

UK ETDs are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Spain.

Travel between Spain and Gibraltar

Spanish border checks can cause delays when crossing between Spain and Gibraltar. If you are travelling to Spain via Gibraltar, check the latest entry requirements and FCDO travel advice for Gibraltar. Spain have extended current travel restrictions from the UK until 6pm (GMT+1) on 2 February 2021. While restrictions are in place you will only be able to enter Spain via Gibraltar if you are a Spanish national, you are legally resident in Spain or Gibraltar or a cross border worker. You will be asked to show documentation to prove you meet the criteria above.

There is no charge to enter or leave Gibraltar. Don’t hand over money if you’re approached by anyone claiming that there is a charge.

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