Spain holidays: Latest FCDO update for Spain as Brexit looms & travel bans remain in place

Spain announce travel ban for UK flights amid coronavirus strain

Spain holidays have faced countless chopping and changing travel rules in 2020. This is the time of year when numerous British holidaymakers flock to the Canary Islands for the winter sun the archipelago offers – but, alas, not so this year. First mainland Spain, the Balearics and the Canaries were removed from the travel corridor list, then Spain issued a travel ban on UK flights after a new strain of covid was identified, and now Brexit rules mean imminent change, too.

Today the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued new travel advice for Spain.

The new update concerned entry requirements and in particular was directed at Britons who live in Spain.

“If you are resident in Spain, you should carry your residence document (the green paper EU residence certificate or the new TIE), as well as your valid passport when you travel,” said the FCDO.

“We have asked the Spanish authorities to clarify as a matter of urgency what other examples of proof of residency, such as evidence that you have started the registration process, will also be acceptable for entry to Spain whilst these additional COVID-19 travel restrictions are in place.”

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Travel to Spain from the UK remains severely restricted for another week.

The FCDO continued: “Spain have announced they will be restricting passenger travel from the UK (by air and sea) from December 22 until 6pm (GMT+1) on January 5 (5pm/GMT in the Canary Islands), with the exception of Spanish nationals and those legally resident in Spain.

“If you were due to travel to Spain please contact your travel operator before departure.”

Quarantine is not required on arrival in Spain but proof of a negative covid test is.

“All passengers (excluding children under the age of six years old) 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 FCDO detailed.

“From December 10, a TMA (Transcription-Mediated Amplification) swab test or a LAMP (Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification) test are also accepted by Spanish authorities, again taken within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival.

“While TMA and LAMP tests are not currently widely available in the UK, you should refer to testing facilities directly for specific information on the types of tests available to you, prior to booking an appointment.

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

Tourists, as well as those living in Spain, must follow these rules.

“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,” explained the FCDO.

A certain amount of admin is also required.

The FCDO said. “If you are travelling by air or sea to Spain, you must declare on the mandatory ‘Health Control Form’ … that you have undertaken a PCR, TMA or LAMP test within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival, have tested negative for COVID-19, and can show on request evidence certifying your results.”

“The document you provide must be the original, be written in Spanish or English, may be submitted in paper or electronic format and must contain the following information:

  • 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

“You will also be subject to the following additional requirements at the point of entry:

“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; and confirmation that you are able to provide evidence, certifying that you have undertaken a PCR (swab) test within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival and have tested negative for COVID-19.”

From January 1, 2021, Britons will be able to travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa as tourists.

What’s more, you must have at least six months left on your passport and it may be stamped on entry and exit.

At border control for Spain, you may need to:

  • show a return or onward ticket
  • show you have enough money for your stay, and
  • use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing

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