7th December 2023
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Spain to allow in unvaccinated teenagers with negative PCR test

Latest: Coronavirus in Spain figures (17 Feb)

Unvaccinated teenagers will be allowed to enter Spain from Monday 14 February if they can show a negative PCR test taken up to 72 hours before travelling.

Spain had previously required all travellers aged over 12 to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. This measure has been in place for all of 2021 for most non-EU/EEA nationals and since December 2021 for UK nationals who are non-resident in Spain.

The change comes after weeks of appeals by some of Spain’s regional governments and business groups, saying that the vaccination rule for teenagers was causing thousands of holiday cancellations and having a negative impact on the country’s struggling tourism industry. 

Many families from the UK, for example, had already cancelled half term holidays to Spain and the Canary Islands because their children had not yet had their second jab.

The new legislation applies to all unvaccinated non-EU/Schengen teenagers

The rule that still remains in place is that all adult UK nationals (aged over 18) who are non-resident in Spain must be fully vaccinated to visit for non-essential reasons such as tourism. British children under the age of 12 will also continue to be exempt from Spain’s vaccination and testing rules for travel. 

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.

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). British teenagers, as stated above, need to show negative PCR tests taken up to 72 hours before travelling. ALSO READ: Spain changes antigen time validity for travellers who need to take Covid tests

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.

For fully vaccinated travellers

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.

The UK, meanwhile, scrapped Coronavirus testing for all fully vaccinated travellers from Friday 11 February.

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps described this as ‘good news’ for families. ‘The UK has eased international travel measures for Covid-19 and now has one of the most free-flowing borders in the world – sending a clear message that we are open for business,’ he said.

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