Updated on Sata 26th Dec 2020

Is it safe to travel to Spain?

Heres updated information on the current situation in Spain.  As I live here I thought I would share a more detailed insight with regards to travel and tourism.

  • In Spain Face Masks are obligatory at ALL times. (even when distancing can be kept) from 9th July.
  • Over the Christmas holidays (up to 9th January 2021) restrictions have eased slightly. However travel is still being checked by local authorities and police forces.
  • If you are travelling to Spain after 23rd November 2020 you will need to have a negative PCR test.  You need to have a document with a negative test result no older than 72 hours. At the moment the only European countries exempt from this rule are Finland Norway and Greece. (check before you travel as restrictions may alter)
  • Depending on the specific restrictions of the area you are travelling to you may be required to show documents to prove that you are a resident or property owner in the place you are going to. Or that you are travelling for business reasons. The restrictions are changing on a weekly basis and different regions apply different rules.
  • Some regions of Spain continue to have outbreaks. Madrid and Aragon are some of the areas with most cases. However Spain has a high rate of infections across the country at the moment.
  • Businesses, shops and restaurants are closed or have limited timetables across Spain. On 12th December a review is due ahead of Christmas.
  • Some areas have a local lockdown in place. Andalucía is confined. You can´t enter the area unless you are a resident and have documents to hand. Navarra, La Rioja, Aragón, Asturias, País Vasco, Murcia, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León, Cantabria, Ceuta + Melilla all have restrictions on entry to the area and movement around those parts of Spain. Other parts of Spain have different levels of restrictions.
  • In the areas which are closed you can only get in if you are a resident and can show that you are returning home. Or if you have work that takes you out of the area. (Must be able to show this in documentation) Check local authority information for specific details.
  • Fines of 100 euros or more can be applied to those not following the rules.

Carrera de la Virgen Granada Spain

COVID rules in Spain

  • In all public spaces a face mask must be worn regardless of the distance being maintained or not.
  • Smoking is not allowed in public spaces. If you need to take your mask off to smoke you need to stay 2 metres away from others and keep the minimum distance.
  • On the beach you need to wear a mask to arrive, leave and walk around the beach. If you are on the sand sunbathing with people from your household you can take the mask off and also to swim (socially distancing in the water)
  • At bars cafés and restaurants you should wear the mask when you arrive and when you leave (also in bathroom). While sitting at the table you may take it off only to eat or drink. As soon as you have finished you need to put it back on.
  • It is recommendable to stay in well ventilated areas such as outdoor terraces, gardens, or semi covered areas of restaurants and bars. Indoors should have open windows or doors to keep air circulating. If you have to be inside limit the amount of time you are there.
  • There are tier systems in place with restrictions varying for Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3. You need to check the status each week for the area to be sure that you know the correct rules for that time and location.

Eating out in Spain

  • In many parts of Spain there are reduction in capacity and timetables for restaurants and bars. Check and book ahead.
  • Groups of 6 is the largest number allowed at one table.
  • Note: Larger fines can be issued if you cause an outbreak or infection of a group of people due to major negligence.
  • Schools across Spain reopened at the beginning of September 2020. Children over 6 wear masks in their classrooms.
  • Most businesses are working to some normality with social distancing measures and limited capacities in place.

Face Masks in Granada Andalucia Spain

Which mask do I need in Spain?

  • In some areas of Spain (e.g Galicia) the masks with valves have been banned, so they are not recommendable.
  • Acceptable versions are FP2 masks sometimes referred to as N95. Also the paper, blue coloured surgical masks and fabric washable cloth masks.

Quarantine when travelling to or from Spain?

  • On 23rd May 2020 the Spanish government indicated that Spain would be open to International Visitors from July 2020. Spanish Borders reopened on 21st June 2020.
  • Depending on your country of residence you may need to quarantine when you go back home. Check your local rules.
  • The number of cases in Spain are still increasing in numbers, Hospitals are under pressure but offering their usual appointments and surgeries.
  • Across Spain the regions are at different phases of local rules. Movement is permitted across the regions, however some very specific locations are asked to be on lockdown if major outbreaks are detected.
  • Face masks are obligatory in public spaces where social distancing is not possible. They are also required to access many services. (dentist, shops, hairdressers, cafés etc).

Reduced Timetable

  • Most businesses are working again and open daily. Some protocols may have changed. Different opening hours, limited capacity, appointments required etc. To go inside a shop you may be required to use hand sanitizer at the door. In some cases you may be asked to check your temperature too.
  • Beaches are open although there are strict rules in place. Social distancing must be observed. Shower and toilet facilities may not open. Some dont allow inflatables. You need to be wearing a mask when you arrive and leave the beach. There are beach patrols to check everything is being done properly.
  • The Alhambra Palace reopened on Wednesday 17th June 2020. The tickets will be limited capacity 50% and their will be rules in place to visit the monument safely. Please see the official rules when you book the ticket to follow guidelines. They offer day and nighttime visits.

Situation in Spain Beach Rules

Situation in Spain 2020

To answer the question of whether it is safe to travel to Spain, this depends on many factors and in particular which country you are coming from. You may be asked to follow quarantine rules on returning home after visiting Spain. This depends on your local laws and the situation at the time. However, as announced on 25th May 2020 by the Spanish government, when you arrive in Spain you will not be asked to quarantine on arrival into the country. (check specific countries)

It also depends on your personal situation and health. For some people COVID 19 can be a very serious infection. Vaccines are gradually being rolled out across Europe from late December 2020.

Alhambra Palace Generalife

Is the Alhambra open for visits?

The Alhambra reopened in December. The Alhambra Palace is open with a reduced capacity of visitors and social distancing measures in place. When you book your ticket or tour online you will be given the specific details. There are clear signs to follow a specific route around certain areas of the monument to ensure people remain at a distance.

Tickets are generally easier to obtain due to reduced demand as tourism numbers are still recovering. The tickets have QR codes to limit contact and you will need to wear a mask throughout the visit. On sale are 50% of tickets in each time slot.

It´s very recommendable to visit right now as there are fewer people inside the monument so the visit is much more enjoyable. Also you will have better photo opportunities.

Hairdresser guilherme-petri-PtOfbGkU3uI-unsplash-min

Current Statistics on the Pandemic in Spain

You can see this updated Coronavirus Map in Spain

Everyday the Health Minister in Spain shares figures with updated details at this link: Current Situation COVID in Spain – Ministerio de Salud (click on the 2nd item Actualización nº: enfermedad por SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)

If you plan to travel to Spain this summer (from July onwards) I would encourage you to keep updated with the information, as the situation continues to progress. Also keep up to date with the immigration department of your own country as they are also modifying requirements on returning home.

If you take out healthcare or travel insurance, Check that they will cover any COVID related incidents or cancelled travel plans.

Train Station Suitcase Trolley Valladolid Campo Grande Gladiator Grow up

Situation in Spain with COVID

Here is the information that I am sharing with the people who have written to me with questions.

Should I cancel my trip to Spain?

Travel to Spain was not possible during March or April 2020. Air routes, Tourist activities, Restaurants and Beaches closed down. A State of Emergency was declared in Spain. International flights began their service early Summer 2020. However some routes were maintained but with limited frequency. Not all airlines are operating but you can fly to Spain at the moment. Borders are open.

If you have travel booked, most airlines hotels and companies are keeping you updated with any cancellations, changes or new rules to travel.

Safe travel Visiting Spain in 2020

At the moment Madrid is the region most affected. Although across Spain schools & universities are reopening in September 2020.  In Catalonia and Aragon the regions are also suffering high infection rates.

Cultural events and festivals are being postponed or cancelled. For example The Seville Easter Processions and Las Fallas festival in Valencia are cancelled. These measures are to avoid an increase in the area.

If you have travel booked or reservations in 2020 to Spain. Do check official websites for latest updates. This Travel Restrictions Map maybe useful that explains by country.

Gran Via Madrid Spain by Piccavey Spain blogCoronavirus Situation in Andalucia

In this link below you can see a map with details of the situation in Andalucia, Southern Spain.

For Travel to Andalucia in 2021 the local government have launched an initiative for international travellers. More details here Free COVID insurance plan in Southern Spain

Mezquita Mosque Cordoba Situation in Spain

How to Travel Safe

It seems that masks may help but they are not the only measure to keep this new virus at bay. There are products like Nasal Barrier Sprays available too which maybe a good thing if you have to fly.

It´s important to keep your hands clean with an Hand Sanitiser if you cannot get access to a public bathroom.

I found this article very useful too:  Flight Recommendations

  • Even the seat selection you make on the plane makes a difference.
  • Window seats towards the front of the plane are a better choice than seats in the aisle or towards the back of the plane.
  • Keeping passengers at a distance is also helpful when possible.

Piccavey Travel Insurance IATI

Travelling Soon?

If you are planning essential travel over the next months. April, May or June 2020 and maybe concerned about flight cancellations or problems. The best thing is to take out travel insurance. This should cover you in case of changes to your travel plans.

As new cases crop up across the world the situation can change. Airlines and different geographies are changing their protocols week by week. It is also a good time to make the most of travel deals and hotel offers.

Some travellers are cancelling or not booking holidays, when this is usually a peak time in the industry. Many companies are offering deals such as free cancellation or higher discounts for early reservations.

travel visa international trip

Cancelled Flights

Airlines are removing flights if they see that travellers are avoiding travel to certain destinations.

As a regular traveller Safety Wing is my current go to. They are very good especially for location independent folks and digital nomads. IATI are also a good insurance provider (based in Barcelona) that offers great cover for certain trips. *Safety Wing have introduced coverage for COVID now*COVID Situation in Spain 2020

Insurance cover right now follows CDC travel warnings. Check your policy for specific details.

  • When a location (typically country or a city) reaches a level 3 (or 4) travel warning. You could lose your insurance coverage. If you arrive after warning is given.
  • If you are already in a location that has a travel warning, you have 10 days to evacuate and you do get cover during this time. The insurance covers the evacuation itself. If you stay beyond the 10 days, you are no longer covered for health treatment.
  • Note that even if your coverage lapses because you stay in a country with a CDC level 3+ travel warning. You are still covered by the rest of the policy for other eligible expenses, just not healthcare treatment.
  • You may also find useful the website for Passenger Air Rights in Europe

COVID 19 Useful links:

Gladiator Suitcase Trolley Made in Spain

Keep Calm and Carry On

As more information develops on the Spain situation, I will update this post.

Highlighting the most important points to help you plan your future Travel in Spain

If you are feeling overwhelmed at the moment you may also like this article: When life throws you a Curveball

Updated Situation in Spain

Here are some resources to help you plan your Spain Itinerary:

Coronavirus in Spain
Article Name
Coronavirus in Spain
The current Spain situation and travel recommendations
Publisher Name
Publisher Logo