Incidence rates are rising, but can we go on holiday from Spain?

by Lorraine Williamson
incidence rates rising restricts travel options

MADRID – Restrictions begin to tighten once more for holiday makers arriving in Spain. And incidence rates are increasing. But what if you want to go on holiday from Spain? Where can you go? And what are the entry requirements?

As incidence rates continue to rise, this fifth wave is currently experiencing higher rates than the second wave did. As such, most areas within Spain are now considered “extremely high risk”. There are, however, a few areas of exception.

This new wave is also starting to impact on the healthcare system. And is especially worrying in Catalonia where 25% of all patients within ICU are corona related.

Other regions also imposing local restrictions to keep the spread of the Delta variant under control. While several European Union Member States have suggested that Spain is not a safe destination for holidaymakers.

As a result, these countries have now added Spain to their red list or have imposed further restrictions regarding entry.

Incidence rates and restrictions within regions and different countries are changing all the time. Therefore, please check the most up to date information before booking a vacation or travelling.

United Kingdom

With effect from July 19, the UK will change the status of the Balearic Islands from green to amber. This means unless holiday makers have been fully vaccinated, they must quarantine on return to the UK.

However, if you are resident in Spain and wish to visit the UK, the newly updated guidelines are detailed on the official government website.

Travelling from Spain to the UK (unless you are a UK resident), means you will require to provide a negative test prior to travel, quarantine in the place you are staying for 10 days, and you must take two COVID-19 tests.

Before you travel to England you must:

On arrival in England you must:

  • quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days.
  • take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8.

Children aged 4 and under do not need to take the day 2 or day 8 test.

You may be able to end quarantine early if you pay for a private COVID-19 test through the Test to Release scheme.

NOTE: There may be slightly different requirements for those travelling to Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland.

France

France warns stricter entry measures could be imposed

The French Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, advised French holidaymakers to “avoid Spain as a destination”. He warned that France could impose stricter entry restrictions to those returning from the country.

The French authorities have announced that the country will introduce stringent rules against unvaccinated persons travelling from the United Kingdom, Spain, and Portugal.

Among the countries classified, Spain will be subject to reinforced surveillance: the test required at the start must be 24 hours for unvaccinated people,” Beaune said.

Even though Spain is placed on France’s green list, unvaccinated persons travelling from Spain will now be subject to stricter entry restrictions.

Consequently, unvaccinated persons travelling to France from Spain must present a negative COVID-19 test result not older than 24 hours. In contrast, fully vaccinated travellers will not be subject to any of the measures.

Italy

Holders of EUDCC (Digital Certificate) can enter Italy without being subject to further restrictions (testing or quarantine).

Spain is a List C country therefore, entry is permitted without the need to specify the reason for travelling. Specific and updated rules for each country of origin are can be found at ViaggiareSicuri and at Covid-19 – Viaggiatori (salute.gov.it.

All travellers who cannot provide either a certificate of vaccination or a certificate of recovery from COVID-19 are subject to the requirement for a pre-departure negative COVID-19 test. This must be taken within 48 hours prior to arrival.

Accepted test: molecular (PCR) and antigenic.

Children under 6 years old are exempted.

No quarantine is necessary for travellers arriving from EU Member States and Schengen Associated Countries. This is with the proviso they can provide a pre-departure negative COVID-19 test, or a certificate of vaccination or recovery from COVID-19.

Belgium

For Belgium’s categorising, Spain is currently a mix of red and amber zones depending on where you reside. This will undoubtably changes in line with increase or decrease in incidence rates.

The red listed zones are;

Aragon, Catalonia, Cantabria, La Rioja, Andalucia, Canary Islands, Valencian Community, Asturias, Basque Country, Navarre, Communidad de Madrid, Castilla y León, Extremadura, Baleares, Murcia

The amber zones are;

Galicia, Castilla-La Mancha, Melilla.

All travellers must complete a passenger locator form (PLF).

The PLF will take the last 14 days into account when determining quarantine, also if/when the zone changes colour.

C&D Solicitors

If you travelling from a green or orange zone, you do not need to get tested or quarantine.

Travelling from a red zone in Spain, if you have the vaccination or recovery certificate, you do not need to quarantine, or take any tests.

If you have not been vaccinated or do not have a recovery certificate, you must provide proof of a negative PCR test taken a maximum of 72 hours before arrival in Belgium.

Children under the age of 12 do not have to be tested.

Croatia

Croatia has started operating the travel pass for fully vaccinated travellers or those who can prove they have had and recovered from COVID-19.

All passengers coming from an EU/EEA country on the ‘green list’ are allowed into Croatia. Providing they can show a negative PCR test taken 48 hours before departing, or a vaccination certificate showing that at least 14 days have passed since their first or second injection.

If you are unable to provide any of the above documents, travellers must self-isolate for 10 days on arrival in Croatia. This can be shortened by obtaining a negative result in a PCR test or rapid antigenic when in Croatia.

The Czech Republic

The Czech Republic have categorised Spain as a high-risk country . Therefore, travellers must complete a PLF, provide a negative PCR prior to travel, quarantine and take a further test while there. The exception to this is if you have the digital certificate showing proof of two jabs or having recovered from covid.

The Czech Republic has also placed Spain’s Balearic Islands on the red list. Therefore, travellers from the islands must follow the same rules as for mainland Spain. Likewise, a PLF must be completed before entry, plus a negative antigen or PCR test must be produced. You must quarantine for 14 days. However, this can be shortened by taking a PCR or rapid antigen test no earlier than on the fifth day of their arrival.

Denmark

On July 10,  Demark started imposing stricter entry restrictions for arrivals from Spain’s regions of Asturias, the Basque Country, Navarre, Aragon, Madrid, Castilla y León, Extremadura, the Balearic Islands (including Mallorca and Ibiza), as well as Murcia, after the areas were moved from the green category to orange.

Unvaccinated Spanish travellers can only enter Denmark for essential purposes.

As a result, travellers from these regions who have not been vaccinated are permitted to enter Denmark for essential purposes only. If eligible to enter, these travellers must present negative COVID-19 test results through the Coronapas, as well as take a second test upon arrival in Denmark

There are some regions throughout Spain that are still classified as green. However, this list is due to be updated at some point over the next few days. The green zones currently are;

  • Galicia
  • Castilla-La Mancha
  • Ciudad de Ceuta
  • Ciudad da Melilla

All other areas within Spain not listed above will be classed as yellow.

Unless in possession of the Covid digital certificate, travellers from the yellow zones will require to provide a negative test. This must be carried out prior to entry and a further test must be taken while in Denmark.

Finland

Only those fully vaccinated or who have confirmation of having recovered from Covid may travel to Finland.

Finland has extended border controls with Spain, which were set to expire on July 12, for a further two weeks until July 25.

Estonia

Another country that has imposed stricter entry measures on arrivals from Spain is the Baltic country of Estonia. With effect from July 12, travellers from Spain are being quarantined in Estonia. This is due to the increase of incidence rates of COVID-19 cases in Spain.

“People who wish to shorten the ten-day restriction of freedom of movement after arrival in Estonia may take a coronavirus PCR test up to 72 hours prior to arrival in Estonia. While in Estonia, it is then possible to take a second test. But not earlier than on the sixth day after the first test taken.  Travellers will be released from the 10-day isolation obligation ahead of time, assuming both tests are negative,” the Estonian authorities explained.

Estonia has imposed a quarantine requirement against all arrivals from Spain.

Germany

From July 11, Spaniards, and other residents of Spain travelling to Germany must present proof of vaccination against COVID-19, proof of recent recovery from the virus, or negative test results. Additionally, they must register at einreiseanmeldung.de.

This comes after the German Robert Koch Institute categorised Spain as a simple risk area. The Institute is a German federal government agency responsible for disease control and prevention.

Romania

With effect from July 16, Romania classified Spain as a red zone. This now means those traveling to Romania from Spain must self-quarantine for 14 days if not vaccinated, even if proof of a negative Covid-test is presented.

The duration of self-quarantine can be reduced to ten days if on day ten of self-quarantine, a negative Covid test is confirmed.

The Netherlands

With effect from July 18, Spain is no longer considered to be a safe country for travelling to the Netherlands.

Norway

Norway has placed Spain in its red list of countries considered as highly affected by the virus. Therefore, this means travellers from Spain can enter only if they have a compelling purpose of entry. For those eligible to enter, they must provide a negative test certificate before entry and complete the entry registration form (PLF) They must also test themselves at the border upon arrival, and then they will be required to quarantine.

Meanwhile Spain refuses to close the borders for the Brits

Data shows that the number of cases in Spain in the last 14 days has jumped by 313%. According to Spain’s health ministry, among the age group 20-29 over the last 14 days, more than 800 cases per 100,000 people have been registered.

Yet, the country still refuses to close the borders to British tourists. UK holidaymakers are the main tourist market in Spain. However, most EU countries have announced the UK a virus variant country due to the spread of the Delta variant.

According to Schengenvisainfo.com. on June 29, the Spanish authorities only imposed additional testing requirements for non-vaccinated arrivals from the United Kingdom. However, the additional measures are said to not go far enough. There is worry Covid-19 figures in Spain will continue to increase because of the minor entry restrictions on arrivals from the UK.

The Spanish government is still hoping to reach their target of 45 million international tourists by the end of the year.

According to Our World in Data as of July 15, 50.2 million vaccines have been administered against Covid-19. This means around 61.9% of the population have received at least one dose of the vaccine, whereas 49.8% have been fully immunised.

Please remember to check with the official government websites of the country you wish to travel to for updated information.

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