What does the renewal of the Digital Covid Certificate DCC mean for your trip to Spain?

by Lorraine Williamson
Digital Covid Certificate

Last week, the EU extended the use of the DCC Digital Corona Certificate for a year. The European Parliament is doing so to guarantee citizens’ right to free movement regardless of how the Covid pandemic develops 

The scheme will remain in effect until June 30 next year. Parliament considers it important that Member States refrain from imposing additional entry restrictions on travellers holding the Digital Corona Certificate (DCC). Therefore, a patchwork of confusing measures which are different in each country must be avoided. 

The condition is that the evolution of the pandemic does not deteriorate to such an extent that the imposition of new travel restrictions becomes necessary. Any need will always be scientifically tested at the EU Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the EU Health Security Committee. 

The normative framework for the EUDCC will be reviewed at the request of Parliament after six months, i.e. in December 2022. This evaluation must show whether the scheme is still necessary or not. If not, Parliament wants the regulation to be suspended with immediate effect. According to the press release MEPs want to keep the period of application of the regulation as short as possible and withdraw it as soon as the epidemiological situation allows.  

The EU Digital Covid Certificate (EUDCC) was introduced in June 2021. This was to facilitate the free movement of citizens in Europe during the pandemic. 

No DCC for some EU countries 

More than 60 countries are affiliated with the DCC framework. This includes the EU and Schengen countries, as well as some other third countries. Several countries have already abolished the requirement to present a EUDCC or other certificate to enter their territory. These include the Netherlands, Greece, Switzerland, and Lithuania. 

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOUR HOLIDAY IN SPAIN? 

Travelling to Spain from Europe 

First of all, the travel advice of most countries for Spain is green. This means that there are few or no security risks in the country. 

All persons aged 12 years and older travelling to Spain must present a vaccination, negative test result, or recovery certificate. The vaccination certificate is valid from 14 days after the date of the last vaccination and is then valid for 9 months (270 days). It is valid indefinitely for children under 18 years of age. 

You can show the corona proof with a DCC or the health declaration. There is currently no additional testing obligation for travellers from the EU with a valid vaccination or recovery certificate. 

Travellers with a vaccination, test, or recovery certificate issued outside the EU must complete the health form via the Spain Travel Health website (information in English). Here you can also check whether your DCC is valid. 

Regional authorities in Spain can take additional measures. These vary by region. For more information, please refer to the Travel Safe Spain page. 

COUNTRY SPECIFIC INFORMATION 

Travel from the United States to Spain 

Travellers from 18 years of age and older can enter Spain on non-essential travel (such as tourism or business). However, they must show they are vaccinated or have a recovery certificate. On essential travel (such as workers and students with specific long-term visas) they must show they are vaccinated, have a recovery certificate, or show a negative COVID test. Minors between 12 and 18 may show they are vaccinated or have a recovery certificate, or a negative PCR test was taken within 72 hours of the trip. 

Vaccines are valid from 14 days after the last dose up to 270 days. If more than 270 days (9 months) have passed since receiving the last required dose of their COVID-19 vaccine, U.S. citizens must show proof of having received a booster shot. The booster shot certificate is valid since the day it was administered. 

Recovery certificates that are issued at least 11 days after the first positive COVID test, and up to a maximum of 180 days after the date of sampling, are accepted as valid. Passengers with a Recovery Certificate other than an EU Digital COVID Certificate or equivalent must also provide documentary proof of the diagnostic test from which the Recovery Certificate is derived. 

Travel from the United Kingdom to Spain 

Travellers from the UK do not need to complete Spain´s Travel Health Control form if they;

  • can show proof of being fully vaccinated
  • or of having recovered from prior COVID-19 infection in the last 6 months
  • or are aged under 12 years old

Everyone else must complete Spain’s Travel Health Control form no more than 48 hours before travelling to Spain.  

You may also be subject to additional checks at the point of entry including a temperature check, visual health assessment, or testing on arrival. Passengers may also be contacted and required to undertake a COVID-19 nucleic acid amplification test – NAAT (PCR or similar) at any point up to 48 hours after they arrive in Spain. More information can be found on the Spanish government’s Border Health Controls webpage. 

Travel from Canada to Spain 

The Canadian government reasons that anyone who has not completed a COVID-19 vaccine series should continue to avoid non-essential travel to all destinations. If you must travel, consider delaying your plans until you’re fully vaccinated. All eligible travellers should complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada, at least 14 days before travelling. 

Travel from Australia to Spain 

Travellers aged 12 years or older, arriving by air, must provide an EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate (or equivalent) or complete the SPTH Health Control Form. The Australian issued International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate is not equivalent to the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate. Travellers aged 12 years or older, arriving by sea, must have one of the required health certificates (vaccination, recovery, or diagnostic test), whether it is an EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate (or equivalent) or another type, without being required to complete a health control form. 

Australians travelling to Spain for tourism purposes can enter with either vaccination or a COVID recovery certificate. Travellers aged 12 to 17 years may present a negative SARS-CoV-2 molecular nucleic acid amplification test NAAT (RT-PCR or similar) result taken within 72 hours before travel. Travellers aged under 12 years are not required to show a certificate or complete the SPTH Health Control Form. 

Unvaccinated travellers must present either a negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result, taken within 72 hours (24 hours in the case of rapid antigen tests) before you travel or a COVID-19 recovery certificate. 

Vaccination certificates are valid from 14 days after the administration of the last dose and up to 270 days from the administration of the last dose. Beyond this period you will need to provide evidence of a booster shot. COVID-19 recovery certificates are valid between 11 and 180 days from the date of diagnosis. Border measures are reviewed every seven days and travellers should check entry requirements close to the time of travel. 

Sometimes testing is necessary 

Experience has shown that the circumstances surrounding the coronavirus can change quickly. There are currently virtually no corona measures in Spain. However,

 is mandatory in hospitals and health centres, in nursing and retirement homes, and on public transport. The incidence is increasing slightly again and the same is true for hospital admissions and deaths due to Covid-19. The sale of antigen tests has also increased again. 

Covid-testing in Spain 

If you are in Spain and for whatever reason you want to know whether you are infected with the coronavirus, you can go to a test location in English. The Testcoronadirect test site in Barcelona in Carrer del Regomir is currently open.  And the Altea, Villajoyosa, and Benidorm sites will open in the second half of May. You can make an appointment via this link. 

Antigen test and emergency PCR test 

You can go for an antigen test at all locations, and the results will be available within 15 minutes. For an emergency PCR test, the results will be within an hour. Both include a EUDCC, QR code that you can read in your Corona Check App. You will also receive a PDF of your travel certificate. Bring your passport or ID (the original, not a copy). You can pay online when making the appointment or on location (pin or cash). 

Testcoronadirect.nl also had several test locations in Spain during the past summer season. If you have a company in Spain near Barcelona, Benidorm, Altea, or Villajoyosa, you can also contact them for testing. 

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