Entry requirements

This page has information on travelling to Spain. Check what you must do to return to the UK.

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Spain set and enforce entry rules.

All travellers

If you are traveling to Spain you must show valid proof of one of the following on entry:

These requirements do not apply to children under 12 years old. See ‘Children and young people’

Travellers from the UK who can either show proof of being fully vaccinated, or of having recovered from prior COVID-19 infection in the last 6 months, or who are aged under 12 years old, do not need to complete Spain’s Travel Health Control form. Everyone else must complete Spain’s Travel Health Control form no more than 48 hours before travel to Spain. See Spain’s Ministry of Health travel pages for more detail.

You may also be subject to additional checks at the point of entry including a temperature check, visual health assessment, or testing on arrival. Passengers may also be contacted and required to undertake a COVID-19 nucleic acid amplification test - NAAT (PCR or similar) at any point up to 48 hours after their arrival in Spain. More information can be found on the Spanish government’s Border Health Controls webpage.

Spain’s land borders are open, but there may be travel restrictions, border controls and testing requirements depending on the country you are travelling from. For further details see If you’re transiting through Spain.

All 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.

Plan ahead in case you present symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 during your stay in Spain, see Be prepared for your plans to change and Developing symptoms of COVID-19 or testing positive for COVID-19 in Spain.

If you’re fully vaccinated

If you’re fully vaccinated and travelling from the UK, you can enter Spain. Your vaccination status must meet the Spanish authorities’ validity period requirements.

If you have received a booster, you are considered fully vaccinated for entry into Spain. As soon as you receive your booster, you are considered fully vaccinated with immediate effect. There is currently no expiry date for booster jabs.

If you are aged 18 or over and have not received a booster, but have received two doses of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine approved for use by Spain, then at least 14 days and no more than 270 days must have passed since your last dose, to qualify as fully vaccinated.

If you are aged 12 to 17 and have not received the booster, but have received two doses of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine approved for use by Spain, then at least 14 days must have passed since your last dose, to qualify as fully vaccinated. You continue to qualify as fully vaccinated more than 270 days after your last dose and do not need to show proof of having received a booster to travel.

Children under the age of 12 years old do not need to show proof of being fully vaccinated on entry to Spain – see Children and young people

Only vaccines authorised by the European Medicines Agency or by the World Health Organisation are accepted. Date(s) of vaccination must be specified.

Proof of vaccination status

Spain will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 vaccination record and proof of COVID-19 vaccination issued in the Crown Dependencies.

Your date(s) of vaccination must be specified and you need to have had a vaccine authorised by the European Medicines Agency or by the World Health Organisation.

Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.

Documents can be in either English, Spanish, French or German and in paper or electronic format. They must specify your name and surname. See ‘Entry requirements for entry in Spain from third countries’ section ‘k.’ on the Spanish Ministry of Health Travel and COVID-19 page for further information on proof of vaccination for travelling to Spain from the UK.

If you’re not fully vaccinated

If you’re not fully vaccinated, you can enter Spain presenting one of the following documents:

  • documentation certifying that you have undertaken a diagnostic test and tested negative within 72 hours of entering Spain if using a COVID-19 nucleic acid amplification test - NAAT (PCR or similar), or 24 hours if using an antigen test.
  • proof of having recovered from COVID-19 in the last 6 months. You can also use a medical certificate or recovery record to prove your COVID-19 status on entry to Spain. See ‘If you’ve had COVID-19 in the past year’.

Travellers from the UK who can either show proof of being fully vaccinated, or of having recovered from prior COVID-19 infection in the last 6 months, or who are aged under 12 years old, do not need to complete Spain’s Travel Health Control form. Everyone else must complete Spain’s Travel Health Control form no more than 48 hours before travel to Spain. See Spain’s Ministry of Health travel pages for more detail.

If you’ve had COVID-19 in the past year

If you’re travelling to Spain for tourism purposes and have recovered from prior COVID-19 infection in the last 6 months, you can use the UK proof of COVID-19 recovery record or a recovery certificate issued by a relevant health authority or medical service to certify your COVID-19 status.

At least 11 days must have passed since your first positive COVID-19 nucleic acid amplification test - NAAT (PCR or similar) or rapid antigen test. The recovery record or certificate will be valid for 180 days from the date of the positive test and must include the following information:

  • your full name
  • the date you first tested positive for COVID-19
  • the type of test administered (e.g. COVID-19 nucleic acid amplification test - NAAT (PCR or similar) or rapid antigen test)
  • the name of the country issuing the recovery record or certificate
  • documentary proof of the diagnostic test from which the Recovery Certificate is derived

Exemptions

There are no exemptions to Spain’s entry requirements.

Children and young people

Children under the age of 12 years old do not need to:

  • complete an online Health Control Form before travel
  • show proof of being fully vaccinated on entry to Spain
  • take diagnostic tests prior to arrival
  • show proof of having recovered from prior COVID-19 infection in the last 6 months

For travellers aged 12 to 17, see the sections above for vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers.

If you’re transiting through Spain

(This section also covers travelling overland to Spain.)

If you are transiting Spain by air from the UK on the way to your final destination you are not subject to testing requirements nor do you need to complete a Travel Health Control form, provided your transit is under 24 hours and you are not leaving the international zone of the airport. If you are leaving the airport, documentation requirements set out in ‘All travellers’ apply. See Spain’s Ministry of Health travel pages for more detail. You should check with your travel operator and the authorities at your final destination if a negative test is required on entry.

Spain’s land borders are open. While testing requirements do not apply to overland travellers, you should consult travel advice for any countries you are traveling through at the links below:

Check your passport and travel documents before you travel

Passport validity

If you are planning to travel to an EU country (except Ireland), or Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or Vatican City, you must follow the Schengen area passport requirements.

Your passport must be:

  • issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country (check the ‘date of issue’)
  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

You must check your passport meets these requirements before you travel. If your passport was issued before 1 October 2018, extra months may have been added to its expiry date.

Contact the embassy of the country you are visiting if you think that your passport does not meet both these requirements. Renew your passport if you need to.

Visas

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. You should check with the Spanish consulate in the UK prior to travel regarding what type of visa and/or work permit you may need.

If you are travelling to Spain for work, read the guidance on visas and permits.

If you are unable to return to the UK before the expiry of your visa/permit or visa-free limit due to C-19 restrictions, you should contact your local immigration office (Extranjería) for advice. You can also call 060 from a Spanish phone line.

If you are visiting Spain and need to extend your visa-free stay for exceptional reasons, such as a medical emergency, you must apply to the immigration authorities (Extranjería) to do so.

If you stay in Spain with a residence permit or long-stay visa, this does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit.

Passport stamping

Check your passport is stamped if you enter or exit the Schengen area through Spain as a visitor.

Border guards will use passport stamps to check you’re complying with the 90-day visa-free limit for short stays in the Schengen area. If relevant entry or exit stamps are not in your passport, border guards will presume that you have overstayed your visa-free limit.

You can show evidence of when and where you entered or exited the Schengen area, and ask the border guards to add this date and location in your passport. Examples of acceptable evidence include boarding passes and tickets.

E-gates

You can use the staffed immigration booths or, if you are aged 18 and over, and are instructed to do so by airport staff, you may be able to use the e-gates, if these are in operation.

Hand your passport to the border officer for stamping after you have passed through the e-gate.

Additional documents required by tourists

UK nationals entering the Schengen zone as tourists may need to provide additional documents at the border. As well as a valid return or onward ticket, it is possible that travellers to Spain may also be asked to:

  • show you have enough money for your stay. More information is available from the Spanish Ministry of Interior (in Spanish).

  • show proof of accommodation for your stay, for example, a hotel booking confirmation, proof of address if visiting your own property (e.g. second home), or an invitation from your host or proof of their address if staying with a third party, friends or family. The Spanish government has clarified that the “carta de invitation” is one of the options available to prove that you have accommodation if staying with friends or family. More information is available from the Spanish Ministry of Interior.

Residents of Spain

If you are resident in Spain your passport should not be stamped. Read our Living in Spain guide for passport stamping information.

You should proactively show your proof of residence - such as the ‘TIE’ (la tarjeta de identidad de extranjero) - as well as your valid passport at Spanish border control. For further information, see our Living in Spain guide.

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. Entry requirements and testing requirements are currently in force for travel into Spain.

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

UK Emergency Travel Documents

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

Returning to the UK

Check what you must do to return to the UK.