26th September 2023
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Spain changes antigen time validity for travellers who need to take Covid tests

Latest: Coronavirus in Spain figures (11 Feb)

Those travellers to Spain who are still required to show a negative Covid-19 test result to enter the country will now have to get tested within 24 hours before their arrival rather than 48 hours, if they choose a rapid antigen test (RAT). The new ruling has been published in the Boletín Official del Estado (BOE) and came into effect from Tuesday 1 February.

The new requirement follows a recent European Council recommendation for a ‘negative rapid antigen test obtained no more than 24 hours before travel’.

From Tuesday 1 February, ‘only negative Covid tests obtained within the 24 hours prior to arrival in Spain will be considered valid and provided that they are tests included in the list common rapid antigen detection test for Covid-19, published by the European Commission and based on Council Recommendation 2021/C 24/01’, Spain’s Health Ministry said in a statement.

Negative PCR test results are not affected by the new ruling. They remain valid if the PCR test was taken up to 72 hours before travelling to Spain.

Travellers who currently still need to show negative test results on arrival include unvaccinated travellers from EU/EEA nations as well as Spanish residents and nationals who haven’t had any Covid-19 vaccine doses, and several third-country categories relating to essential travel. Unvaccinated travellers from the majority of non-EU/EEA countries cannot currently visit Spain.

Before travelling to Spain, everyone (including children under 12 years old) travelling by air or sea, must fill in and sign an online Health Control Form. If you do not complete the form electronically, you may submit it in paper format before boarding. On arrival into Spanish ports and airports you must show the QR code (hardcopy or digital) issued when you completed the online Health Control Form before travel.

For fully vaccinated travellers

Also from 1 February onwards, at least 14 days must have passed since being fully vaccinated (with both doses of a 2-dose vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine) before arrival in Spain. Your date(s) of vaccination must be specified and your final dose must have been administered within 270 days prior to travel to Spain. If you completed your vaccination (with both doses of a 2-dose vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine) more than 270 days prior to travel to Spain, you must be able to show proof of having received a booster jab.

Click here for full details in English on the Spanish Health Ministry’s Travel Health page for all the requirements for travelling to and arriving in Spain, by plane or ferry.

Click here for all our reports on: Coronavirus in Spain

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