Foreign travel advice

Spain

Important COVID-19 Travel

Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not travel, including abroad, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. It is illegal to travel abroad for holidays and other leisure purposes.

Check the rules that apply to you in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

If you intend to travel to the UK 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.

When you enter England from abroad (except Ireland), you must follow the new requirements for quarantining and taking additional COVID-19 tests. For those travelling from a country on the banned travel list you will be required to quarantine in a hotel. Different rules apply for arrivals into England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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.

Summary

The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to:

  • Spain, including the Balearic Islands but excluding the Canary Islands, based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.

Travel is subject to entry restrictions

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 16 March 2021 (5pm / GMT in the Canary Islands), with the exception of Spanish nationals and those legally resident in Spain.

Some travel restrictions and testing requirements are in place for international transit through Spanish airports by passengers on flights departing from the UK. See Transiting Spain

If you are resident in Spain, you should carry your residence document (the green paper EU residence certificate or the new TIE), as well as your valid passport when you travel. If you are not in possession of a residence document, the Spanish government has formally confirmed to the UK government that UK nationals who were legally residing in Spain before 1 January 2021, and as such are beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement, can present other documents to prove their residence status when entering Spain. See Additional Requirements for UK Nationals resident in Spain for further information.

Additionally, all passengers (excluding children under the age of 6 years old) travelling to Spanish airports from ‘risk’ countries, as determined by the European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control are required to present a negative PCR, TNA or LAMP test taken within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival, in order to enter the country. See Entry requirements for further details.

While TMA and LAMP tests are not currently widely available in the UK, you should refer to testing facilities directly for 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.

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.

You will also be subject to the additional 3 requirements at the point of entry. It is mandatory for all passengers travelling by air or sea to Spain to fill out and sign an online 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 (electronically or hardcopy) that you have undertaken a PCR, TMA or LAMP test taken 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.

  • temperature check
  • undergo a visual health assessment

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.

See Entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel.

Preparing for your return journey to the UK

If you’re returning to the UK from overseas, you will need to:

If your return journey to the UK transits another country, you should check whether it is subject to a travel ban or any other additional requirements. If so, contact your travel provider.

Check our advice on foreign travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and sign up for email alerts for this travel advice.

On 25 October 2020, the Spanish government declared a nationwide State of Emergency with further mobility restrictions and curfews. If you’re planning travel to Spain, find out what you need to know about coronavirus there in the Coronavirus section.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.

For information about COVID-19 vaccines, see the Coronavirus page.

There are rules about taking food and drink into the EU. See Taking food and drink into Spain for further information.

Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Spain. See Terrorism

There have been large gatherings of people and demonstrations in some parts of Barcelona and other areas of the Catalonia region in relation to political developments there. Some demonstrations have become violent and may cause disruption to public transport, including access to airports. See Political situation

If you’re living in or moving to Spain, read the Living in Spain guide in addition to this travel advice.

Some cities in Spain operate low emission schemes and apply vehicle restrictions to city centres. See Road travel

There have been several deaths as a result of falls from balconies. Don’t take any unnecessary risks, especially when under the influence of drink or drugs. See Falls from height

Be alert to the existence of street crime. Thieves tend to target money and passports so don’t keep them all in one place. Keep a copy of your passport somewhere safe. See Crime

Temperatures regularly reach over 40ºC in Spain during the summer months. These temperatures bring an increased risk of forest fires. See Forest fires

There have been reports of an increase in holidaymakers being encouraged to submit a claim for personal injury if they have experienced gastric illness during their stay. You can find more information about the action you can take if you have suffered a personal injury on the Citizens Advice website. You should only consider pursuing a complaint or claim if you have genuinely suffered from injury or illness. If you make a false or fraudulent claim, you may face legal proceedings in the UK or Spain.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.