Entry requirements

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

The authorities in Spain set and enforce entry rules. For further information contact their embassy, high commission or consulate. You may also check with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and travel documents meet their requirements.

If you are travelling to Spain for work, read the guidance on visas and permits as the rules have changed since 1 January 2021.

Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Entry to Spain

The Spanish government requires all arrivals to Spain from the UK to present on entry a pre-travel declaration form and one of the following: a negative COVID-19 test; or proof of vaccination. See Testing and vaccination requirements for arrivals from the UK for details.

If you are travelling to Spain from another country, see Testing and vaccination requirements if travelling to Spain from outside the UK.

If you are travelling from mainland Spain to the Balearic or Canary Islands, or you are staying in tourist accommodation in the Canary Islands, see Travel to the Balearic and Canary Islands.

If you are travelling to Spain overland (by road or rail) from France or Portugal, see Overland travel and transit.

If you are transiting through Spanish airports from the UK, see Air transit.

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 Testing positive for COVID-19 while in Spain.

Quarantine and testing on return to the UK continues to apply, see Returning to the UK.

Testing and vaccination requirements for arrivals from the UK

The Spanish government requires all arrivals to Spain from the UK (excluding children under the age of 12 years old) to present on entry one of the following:

  • documentation certifying that you have undertaken a COVID-19 nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT - e.g. PCR, TMA, LAMP or NEAR) within 72 hours prior to arrival in Spain and tested negative. Antigen tests can only be used in certain limited circumstances (as outlined in section ‘k’ of the ‘Entry requirements for entry in Spain from third countries’ on the Spanish Ministry of Health ‘Travel and COVID-19’ page) and are not accepted if you are travelling from the UK to Spain for tourism purposes (see Reason for travel to Spain below for further information)

or

  • proof of being fully vaccinated (with both doses of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of a one-dose vaccine) at least 14 days prior to arrival in Spain (date(s) of vaccination must be specified), with a vaccine authorised by the European Medicines Agency or by the World Health Organisation.

Spain will accept the UK’s COVID-19 vaccination record. 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.

Certificates of recovery - a medical document certifying that you have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 6 months prior to travel - is not currently accepted for arrivals from the UK. See the Spanish Ministry of Health ‘Travel and COVID-19’ page for details.

Documents can be in either English, Spanish, French or German and in paper or electronic format. All documents must specify the name and surname of the passenger. See ‘Entry requirements for entry in Spain from third countries’ section ‘k.’ on the Spanish Ministry of Health ‘Travel and COVID-19’ page for details regarding proof of vaccination and the types of diagnostic tests that can be presented when travelling to Spain from the UK.

All passengers (including children under 12 years old) travelling by air or sea must complete and sign an online Health Control Form no more than 48 hours prior to travel. See Arrival by air or sea for details.

Further rules may apply if you have travelled to a country on Spain’s list of ‘risk’ countries in the 14 days prior to travel to Spain.

Reason for travel to Spain

Entry requirements and the type of diagnostic tests you can present may vary if your reason for travel to Spain falls into one of the categories listed on the ‘Entry requirements for entry in Spain from third countries’ - section ‘a’ to ‘i’ - on the Spanish Ministry of Health ‘Travel and COVID-19’ page. This includes residents of Spain. If one of the exemptions listed applies to you, an antigen test taken within 48 hours of arrival can be presented on entry as an alternative to a certificate of vaccination, a negative nucleic acid amplification test (such as PCR, LAMP, TMA etc.) taken within 72 hours prior to arrival, or a certificate of recovery.

Antigen tests are not accepted if you are travelling from the UK to Spain for tourism purposes.

Testing and vaccination requirements if travelling to Spain from outside the UK

The Spanish government publishes and reviews their list ‘risk countries’ every 7 days. All passengers (excluding children under the age of 12 years old) travelling to Spain who have visited a ‘risk country’ in the previous 14 days should be prepared to show evidence of one of the following on entry:

A minimum fine of €3000 may be issued to anyone who does not comply with this requirement.

Travel to the Balearic and Canary Islands

If you are travelling to the Canary or Balearic islands from mainland Spain, you may be required to present a negative COVID test depending on the region you are travelling from. You should refer to your travel operator and the local authorities in your final destination for guidance on domestic entry requirements.

For specific information on travel to the Balearic Islands see the Balearic Islands Tourism board.

In some parts of Spain, regardless of your country of origin, tourist accommodation providers may require you to present evidence either of a negative test, of being fully vaccinated or of having had and recovered from COVID-19 in the last 6 months. This currently applies in the Canary Islands, see the Canary Island tourist board website for details. Children under the age of 12 are exempt from testing. Tests permitted are PCR (RT-PCR for COVID-19), Transcription Mediated Amplification (TMA), and Antigen tests. You should check with your accommodation provider prior to travel.

Arrival by air or sea

Before travel to Spain, all passengers (including children under 12 years old) travelling by air or sea must complete and sign an online Health Control Form no more than 48 hours prior to travel declaring any known history of exposure to COVID-19 and giving contact details.

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.

On arrival into Spanish ports and airports, you may be subject to the following requirements at the point of entry:

  • Present the QR code (hardcopy or digital) issued on completion of the online Health Control Form prior to travel.
  • Undergo a temperature check
  • Undergo a visual health assessment

All passengers (excluding children under the age of 12 years old) travelling to Spanish airports and ports from the UK should be prepared to present:

  • evidence of a negative test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival, or;
  • evidence of being fully vaccinated

See Testing and vaccination requirements for arrivals from the UK.

All passengers (excluding children under the age of 12 years old) arriving into Spain who have visited a ‘risk country’ in the previous 14 days must show:

  • evidence either of a diagnostic test,
  • vaccination
  • or recovery certificate

If travelling from a country where Spain has travel restrictions, you should check with the Spanish Embassy in that country before you travel to Spain. Due to current travel restrictions, be aware that you may be questioned on arrival by Spanish border authorities to ensure you meet the legal entry requirements. Spanish border authorities will only grant entry if they are satisfied that you meet the entry requirements and reserve the right to deny passage.

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.

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.

Air Transit

If you are transiting Spain by air from the UK you are not subject to testing requirements, however all passengers (including children under 12 years old) are required to complete and sign an online Health Control Form no more than 48 hours prior to travel declaring any known history of exposure to COVID-19 and giving contact details. You should check with your travel operator and the authorities at your final destination if a negative test is required on entry.

Overland travel and transit

Spain’s land borders are open, however travel restrictions, border controls and testing requirements may be in place depending on the country you are travelling from. Overland travellers from France (excluding children under the age of 12 years old) who wish to enter Spain by road or rail, may be required to present one of the following documents on entry:

  • a certificate or document certifying you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19
  • documentation certifying that you have undertaken a diagnostic test (e.g. PCR, LAMP, TMA or antigen test) and tested negative 48 hours prior to crossing the border into Spain
  • a medical certificate certifying that you have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 6 months prior to travel

The following groups are exempt from this requirement:

  • Haulage workers
  • Frontier workers
  • Residents of border regions within a radius of 30 km

Check FCDO travel advice for France for further information.

While these testing requirements don’t apply to overland travellers from Portugal, Andorra and Gibraltar, travel into Spain from all locations may be limited. Border controls at the Portugal land border with Spain have been lifted. 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. Entry requirements and testing requirements are currently in force for travel into Spain, Entry requirements

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. See Use of face-masks

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. 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 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

At Spanish border control, it is likely you will need to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit unless you can demonstrate that you are resident of Spain and are returning to your place of residence (see Requirements for UK nationals resident in Spain section below for further details). You may also need to:

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

Requirements for UK nationals resident in Spain

If you are resident in Spain, you should present proof of residence - such as the ‘TIE’ (la tarjeta de identidad de extranjero) - as well as your valid passport when you pass through border control. If the Spanish border authorities are satisfied that you are a resident in Spain, your passport should not be stamped on entry and exit.

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.

Make sure your passport is:

  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave Spain, or any other Schengen country
  • less than 10 years old

The 3 months you need when leaving a country must be within 10 years of the passport issue date.

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 minimum 3 months needed.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK ETDs are accepted for airside transit and exit from Spain. ETDs are only accepted for entry to Spain if you are legally resident in 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. Entry requirements and testing requirements are currently in force for travel into Spain, see Testing requirements.

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.