Updated Sunday 26th December 2021

Is it safe to travel to Spain?

Here´s updated information on the current situation in Spain.  As I live here I´m sharing detailed insight with regards to travel and tourism.

  • COVID Vaccine certificates for over 12 years (COVID passes) are required in many areas of Spain. You need the QR code as this is often scanned to check validity. Entrance is checked for Bars, Restaurants, Nightclubs, Cinemas and other leisure activities. Implemented in the regions of Navarra, Galicia, Aragón, Cataluña, Murcia, Baleares, Pais Vasco, Andalucía and Castilla Leon. Rules vary depending on the local laws. 
  • Children under 6 years old do not have to have a test to travel to Spain as per the BOE from Spanish Government in December 2020.  

UK Visitors

  • New restrictions for UK travellers have been introduced from 30th November due to the Omicron variant. Travel between Spain and the UK is possible if you follow the guidelines. You need to have been fully vaccinated 14 days before travel and also have a test booked before arrival into the UK. You need to self isolate until the test comes back negative. Travelling to Spain you must have a Vaccination certificate to show that you are fully vaccinated. 
  • To return to the UK. Travellers who are vaccinated dont need to quarantene on return. You must have a negative PCR test 72h before your return to the UK. Even for those who are fully vaccinated. Antigen tests are also accepted. 
  • From the 7th of June 2021 International Cruises were allowed to dock again in Spanish ports.
  • Spain is the 2nd most resilient country in the World according to this Bloomberg ranking. The COVID Resilience Ranking measures where the virus is being handled the most effectively with the least social + economic upheaval. Currently Spain has the 4th most vaccinated population in the world and highest acceptance of the jab in Europe.

Current Case Level in Spain

  • Spain Risk level is currently Very high as the Average National Case Level is increasing. It is currently at 911 per 100,000 on 25th December 2021. 
  • The main variants in Spain at the moment is Delta. Omicron Variant has been detected in many cases too. 

Quarantine for Spain Travel

  • A 10 day quarantene currently applies to some countries. South Africa, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia + Zimbabwe.
  • Within the EU Fully vaccinated travellers may show their Certificate with details of dates and their vaccine status.
  • You may need a negative PCR, TNA or LAMP test taken less 72 hours before arrival. Fines can be up to 3000 euros for non compliance.  Antigen tests may not acceptable for travel. 
  • Find a Test Location near you: World Wide COVID-19 Test Provider
  • If you are travelling again, it´s worth arranging good cover with this deal: 10% off PCR tests with Staysure insurance policies. 

Campello Alicante Spain Blog Fish Auction Market

US Travellers to Europe

  • US Visitors are to be welcome back to Europe from Monday 7th June 2021 with the Green Certificate system. The EU confirmed that American travellers may travel to the EU with valid certificates. 
  • This covers those travellers who are fully vaccinated with Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. This will be valid for all 27 member states. The document shows the traveller is fully vaccinated against Covid-19; has recovered from the illness recently or has tested negative for the virus in the 72h.  

¨From June 7, tourists from other countries with which there is not complete free movement (non-EU), among them the United States, will be able to enter Spain provided they count on a certificate showing they have received their full COVID-19 vaccinations.”

Embroidered Face Masks in Granada Andalusia

Face Masks in Spain

  • In Spain face masks are obligatory in indoors. Masks are also obligatory outdoors. Social distancing measures are also in place. Children of 6 years of age and older must wear masks in indoor settings. For 3, 4 and 5 year olds it´s recommended but optional.
  • There are a few exceptions. If you are in a natural space and are 1.5 metres from others or if you are practising a sporting activity.
  • Tourism is beginning to recover particularly within Europe. Local restrictions must be fulfilled by visitors

Restrictions in Spain

  • The State of Alarm expired on the 9th May 2021.
  • Curfew ended on Saturday May 8th for most Spanish regions. In December 2021 in some regions Curfew at 1am has been brought back to curb infections over the festive season.
  • Currently Andalusia and Extremadura are the locations with least incidence of COVID. (14th Dec 2021)
  • Local Restrictions depend on the level of cases numbers in the municipality. For Andalusia check this site mapacovid which tells you if your level is 1 2 or 3. Basically the different levels allow opening hours and capacities to be easier when levels are lower. 
  • If you are travelling into Spain make sure you know the specific rules of the local area you will visit. COVID passes maybe required to visit places or go to restaurants. Some countries and territories are exempt from this rule. Check as restrictions can alter week by week. Further Details regarding entry to Spain on the Spanish Government Website: www.spth.gob.es
  • Depending on the specific restrictions of the area of Spain you are travelling to. Restrictions may still apply to municipality, province and autonomous region. Do check the rules for the specific location you are going to or are residing in. Different rules apply according to risk for healthcare and contagion levels.

Source:  https://covid19-country-overviews.ecdc.europa.eu/#32_Spain

Vaccine programme in Spain

  • At the moment in Spain children between 5 and 11 years old are being vaccinated. 
  • Here they are administering both doses. So far 84.868.049 doses have been administered. (source Ministerio Interior 26th Dec 21)
  • 83% people in 100 Spanish population have at least one of the vaccine doses as I write on 26th Dec 2021. (source)
  • 79.7% of the Spanish population are fully vaccinated (26th Dec 2021)
  • Pfizer and Moderna are the types of vaccines in circulation in Spain.
  • As the amount of people with the vaccine increases, restrictions continue to ease. Some areas with outbreaks may implement local restrictions. 
  • If you are a resident in Spain and registered with your local doctor (Medico de Cabecera) you will be contacted for the vaccine according to the Spanish Vaccine Programme. Vaccines are not covered through private healthcare schemes.

Business timetables in Spain

  • Spain continues to an increase in infections across the country. 
  • The curfew has been lifted. Most businesses, shops and restaurants no longer have limited timetables. (Unless they have very high case numbers and are on lockdown).
  • However Nightclubs may still have limitations to their opening hours depending on the specific city or region. Particularly if case numbers are high in the local area.
  • In Andalucía the region is on Level 1 of restrictions. (Levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 apply across Andalusia, 1 is the least strict)
  • For Andalusia you can check your areas situation and numbers: Junta de Andalucía – Datos Sanitarios
  • Movement is no longer limited between regions and autonomous communities in Spain as the State of Alarm has ended (9th May 2021)
  • Fines maybe applied to those not following the rules by local, regional and national authorities. (Implemented by Policía local, Guardia civil, Policía nacional etc)

El Tigre Alhama Tapas Food

COVID rules in Spain

  • In all indoor 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 outdoor seating at cafés you will be asked to leave the area to smoke.
  • Even during the height of the pandemic Visitors to Spain in 2020 felt safe according to this article.
  • At bars cafés and restaurants you should wear the mask indoors. While sitting at the table indoors its recommend to wear it unless you are eating or drinking. As soon as you have finished you need to put it back on.
  • There are limitations on group numbers for certain activities depending on the specific location and incidence level. For groups over 8 people check ahead.

Metropolis Madrid Circulo Bellas Artes

Spanish Hotels are Open

  • Some hotels are open and have travellers staying with them. Other hotels are still closed. This means that prices are not very low as there are less places to choose from.
  • 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.

Eating out in Spain

  • In many parts of Spain in hospitality there are reductions in capacity and limited timetables. To support restaurants and bars check and book ahead. If you have to cancel your booking, make sure you let them know as soon as possible. Don´t forget to call them to cancel your booking. Most restaurants are currently open. They may offer home delivery or take away service too.
  • Schools across Spain reopened Mid September 2020. Children over 6 wear masks in their classrooms.
  • Most businesses are working again as normal. With social distancing measures and limited capacities in place. Many offer service via WhatsApp or online now.

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 or FP3 masks. Also known as N95. Also the paper, blue coloured surgical masks and fabric washable cloth masks.
  • Despite the vaccination rate in Spain being high (80% are fully vaccinated), People wear masks and keep socially distanced in daily life. 

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 UK have announced enforced hotel stays on return to the UK in early 2021. However now in October 2021 the UK will ease travel restrictions. Antigen tests will be used to travel for those who are fully vaccinated rather than PCR tests from 4th October 2021.

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 must use hand sanitizer at the door. Temperature checks are in place at some businesses too.
  • Beaches are open although there are strict rules in place. Social distancing rules are in place. Shower and toilet facilities may not open. Some dont allow inflatables. You need to be wearing a mask on the beach. There are beach patrols to check for compliance.

Puerta de la Justicia Entrance to Alahambra Palace Spain

Situation in Spain 2021

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 have to follow quarantine rules on returning home after visiting Spain. This depends on your local laws and the situation at the time. Announced on 25th May 2020 by the Spanish government, when you arrive in Spain you do not need to quarantine. (Unless your country is on the red list – South America, Africa etc)

It also depends on your personal situation and health. For some people COVID 19 can be a very serious infection. (Vaccines came into force in different parts of the world in late December 2020.)

Is the Alhambra open for visits?

The Alhambra reopened in December 2020. When you book your Alhambra Palace ticket or get your Alhambra 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. 

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.

Alhambra palace blog Granada

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)

The vaccine program is in full swing in Spain. If you plan to travel to Spain soon, I would encourage you to keep updated with the information. The situation continues to progress. Also keep up to date with the immigration department of your own country for the requirements on returning home.

Take out healthcare or travel insurance cover. Check that they will cover any COVID related incidents or cancelled travel plans.

Malaga apartment in Southern Spain

COVID Travel Insurance

As a regular traveller Safety Wing is my current go to. They are very good especially for location independent folks and digital nomads.

IATI is a good insurance provider (based in Barcelona) that offers great cover for holidays and shorter trips.

  • Buy Remote Health Insurance This coverage is for remote workers and digital nomads. Its designed for those who time abroad but also includes coverage in your home country. Of course there are no exclusions for pandemics.
  • Buy Nomad Medical Insurance This policy covers people from all over the world for medical attention while they are outside their home country.
  • Travel insurance for Andalusia. The Andalusian government  is offering a specific programme for COVID related issues to promote their region as a safe destination for tourists. Read further details of the Insurance policy.

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 until March or April 2020. Air routes, Tourist activities, Restaurants and Beaches closed down. The government declared a State of Emergency in Spain. International flights began their service early Summer 2020. Some routes operate with limited frequency. Not all routes are operating but you can fly to Spain at the moment. Borders are open.

If you book travel, your airlines hotel and or travel agent will keep you updated with cancellations, date changes or new rules to travel.

flight plane airport iberia aeropuerto granada Business travel

Do I need to Quarantine when I travel?

Across Spain schools & universities reopened in September 2020.  Daily Life is steadily getting back to normal. Many large scale cultural events are not happening. For example Easter Processions, The Feria de Abril and Las Fallas festival in Valencia were cancelled in 2020. These measures are to avoid crowds and large numbers of people together.

If you have travel booked or reservations in 2021 to Spain. Check official websites for latest updates. This Travel Restrictions Map maybe useful that explains by country. For example to travel back to the UK you need a Negative PCR test and some countries want you to self isolate on return to your hometown.


Coronavirus Situation in Andalucía

In this link below you can see a map with more details and data for Andalucía, Southern Spain. Data from Junta de Andalucía

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

Church in Alhama de Granada Andalusia blog

How to Travel Safely

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. Wearing glasses is reduces contagion by a third according to a study carried out in India (Feb 2020)

It´s important to keep your hands clean with an Hand Sanitiser if you cannot get access to running water and soap. Use it hand gel regularly especially when using public transport.

I found this article interesting: Flight Recommendations

  • Even the seat selection you make on the plane could make 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 if possible. Some airlines allow you to book an empty seat for a fee. 

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. If you can it is best to book with an ATOL protected travel company. Also pay by credit card for additional cover.

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  like Booking offer deals such as free cancellation or higher discounts for early reservations.

Cancelled Flights

Airlines may cancel or reschedule flights during these uncertain times. As the situation continues to change you need to keep up with the latest in the destination you are heading to.

 COVID Situation in Spain 2021

COVID Insurance Cover

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 may lose your insurance coverage. Check if you travel after  warnings status changed.
  • 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 will not be 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 will still have cover with the rest of the policy for other eligible expenses,  but not healthcare treatment.
  • You may also find useful the website for Passenger Air Rights in Europe

COVID 19 Useful links:

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: Coronavirus anxiety: Here’s how to cope

Caldereria Tea Shops Souk in Granada

Updated Situation in Spain

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

Please Note:

My website contains affiliate links, which means that if you click through and make a purchase,
I will receive a small commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
All thoughts, feelings and opinions shared on this blog and in this post are my own.

Coronavirus in Spain
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Coronavirus in Spain
The current Spain situation and travel recommendations. Detailed information about local restrictions in Spain. What daily life is like at the moment across Spanish regions.
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