Coronavirus: Spain will require a negative PCR test from travellers arriving from high-risk areas

Photo by Andreas Johansson on Unsplash
Photo by Andreas Johansson on Unsplash
16 November 2020, Redaction

Travelling to and from Spain remains something that isn't advised by authorties across the world, with the UK foreign office advising against all but essential travel to the country, including the Balearic Islands but excluding the Canary Islands, based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.

For those who are still planning a holiday to Mallorca or the Spanish mainland, we have summarised the most important information that you need to know before travelling.

State of Alarm

Spain remains one of the most popular holiday destination for Brits, but unfortunately it is also one of the European countries most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 29th October 2020, a nationwide State of Alarm has been in force (not for the first time), and with this set to last until 9th May 2021, travelling to and from the country is set to be restricted for months to come. The State of Alarm means that the Spanish government and local authorities in Spain's Autonomous Communities have the necessary power to introduce new restrictions to control the virus. So far, a night-time curfew has been imposed in the majority of the country and many Autonomous Communities have severely restricted mobility. The only exceptions are the Canary Islands where the health situation is currently much less serious. 

Spain remains a high-risk area

For the UK, Spain remains a high-risk travel zone, meaning that those travelling to or returning to the UK from Spain need to complete a passenger locator form which can be filled in on the British Government website. Take note that when travelling from Spain to the UK, you also need to self-isolate in the place you’re staying for the first 14 days after you arrive. This does not apply to those returning from the Canary Islands. 

PCR tests for holidaymakers in Spain from 23rd November 2020

Anyone entering Spain from a coronavius risk area from 23rd November 2020 onwards must present a negative PCR test at the airport and this test must have been done within the previous 72 hours.

The countries included as high risk are based on data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), an agency of the European Union, which operates a traffic light system. Spain has stated that all of those arriving in the country from countries classified as red zones will need to show a negative PCR test.

Countries with an accumulated COVID-19 incidence rate of more than 150 cases per 100,000 people over the past 14 days are classed as high risk. Currently, all 4 UK territories (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) are included as high risk areas, as well as the Republic of Ireland. Note that even if you are a resident in Spain, you still have to take a test before arriving in Spain. 

The test results must be in English or Spanish and can be shown in electronic or paper format. Test results in any other language will not be accepted. Anyone who cannot provide proof of a valid test must have themselves tested on site and can also expect a hefty fine of up to 6,000 euros

Regardless of the country of origin or the PCR test, all passengers entering Spain must also fill out a health check form which generates a QR code which must be presented upon entry in the country. In addition, the temperature of all travellers is taken on arrival at the airport, while quarantine regulations, such as those in the UK, do not currently exist in Spain for travellers from abroad.

Apart from the new entry regulations in Spain from 23rd November onwards, remember that Spain also continues to have a nationwide mask requirement and social distancing rules. 

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