Spain holidays: FCDO travel advice update – travellers must have a negative covid test

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Spain holidays have faced a real rollercoaster this year amid the coronavirus pandemic. The country has been off the UK’s travel corridor list for some time, although the Spanish archipelago of the Canary Islands is deemed ‘safe’. Now, Spain itself is introducing tough new rules.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has updated its travel advice with the new measures Spain is implementing at its borders.

The country is cracking down on covid testing in a bid to limit the spread of the deadly virus.

These changes are coming into force next week.

“On arrival, travellers entering Spain from the UK will not be required to self-isolate,” detailed the FCDO in yesterday evening’s update.

“However, from November 23, all passengers (including children) travelling to Spanish airports and ports from ‘risk’ countries (as determined by the European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control) will be required to present a negative PCR (swab) test taken within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival, in order to enter the country.

“The UK is currently on the ‘risk’ countries list and passengers arriving from the UK are therefore subject to this requirement.

“This requirement applies to all passengers arriving in Spain by air or sea, regardless of your residency status in Spain and the length of time you intend on staying.

“Property owners in Spain are subject to this requirement.”

Travellers will need to stay on top of the admin required to head to Spain, with a fair bit of paperwork also needed.

“If you are travelling by air or sea to Spain, you must declare on the mandatory ‘Health Control Form’ listed below, that you have undertaken a PCR (swab) test within 72 hours of arrival, have tested negative for COVID-19, and can show on request evidence certifying your results,” said the FCDO.

“The document you provide must be the original, be written in Spanish or English, may be submitted in paper or electronic format.”

The following information will be required:

  • name of passenger
  • passport number or ID card number (the number provided must match the one provided on the Health Control Form)
  • test date
  • name and contact details of the testing centre
  • testing method applied (i.e. PCR)
  • test results

Further requirements will be needed at the point of entry to Spain.

The FCDO said: “It is mandatory for all passengers travelling to Spain to fill out and sign a Health Control Form 48 hours prior to travel, providing the Spanish Ministry of Health with:

  • contact information
  • details of any known history of exposure to COVID-19
  • confirmation that you are able to provide evidence, certifying that you have undertaken a PCR (swab) test within 72 hours or arrival and have tested negative for COVID-19.

“You can do this on the Spain Travel Health website or downloadable app.

“On completion, you will be issued a personal and non-transferable QR code which you must show (electronically or hardcopy) at airport health controls on arrival. Anyone who has not completed this form electronically via the Spain Travel Health website or app, may submit it in paper format prior to boarding.”

Travellers to Spain will also need to undergo a temperature check and a visual health assessment.

“Anyone who presents symptoms or fails to meet one of the above requirements will be required to undergo a test on arrival and will be obliged to observe the COVID-19 protocols in place as determined by the local authorities of your destination in Spain,” explained the FCDO.

Harsh repercussions are in place for those who refuse to follow these rules.

“Fines may be issued to anyone who arrives in Spanish airports and ports from ‘risk’ countries without adequate evidence of a negative PCR (swab) test,” said the Foreign Office.

“Passengers may also be contacted and required to undertake a PCR (swab) test at any point up to 48 hours after their arrival in Spain.”

British travellers are urged not to use the NHS testing service for travel purposes and should arrange to take a private test instead.

“Overland travellers to Spain and those transiting are exempt from the above-mentioned entry requirements, and are therefore not currently required to present a PCR test or Health Control Form on entry by road or rail,” the FCDO added.

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