Along with its fellow EU member states, Spain is officially open for vaccinated tourists. Read below for everything to know before booking your Spanish vacation.
On June 7th, Spain reopened its borders to vaccinated travelers after a desolate year of strict regulations, nationwide quarantines, and surging COVID-19 cases. Thanks to effective vaccinations like Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca, higher rates of immunity offer a gateway for travel and tourism as well as the first indication of much-anticipated relief and recovery.
Upon arrival at any Spanish destination, travelers must present proof of vaccination through virtual documentation like a QR code generated through the Spain Travel Health portal, as well as a physical vaccine certificate such as those provided by the CDC. If any forms of vaccination verification are deemed invalid by Spanish border control, a COVID test may be issued at the airport which would require a negative result prior to entry into the country.
Those who have not been fully vaccinated are not permitted to enter Spain for tourism without obtaining special permission from the Spanish government. Unvaccinated travelers who meet the requirements to enter Spain must present a negative COVID test result within 48 hours before arrival or a medical certificate confirming recovery from the coronavirus. All unvaccinated passengers must also complete a Health Control Form before traveling to Spain and acquire a QR code with proper health documentation through the aforementioned health portal.
Throughout 2020, Madrid remained a major COVID hotspot with thousands of new cases each week, and other regions like Catalonia and Aragon also tallied high rates of infection. Though many major cities across Spain have reported the highest case numbers per capita, areas with large populations like Madrid and Barcelona have also administered the most coronavirus vaccinations. Travelers wishing to explore culturally rich and lively cities of Spain should follow the remaining regulations listed below and continue to track updated case numbers here.
For those wishing to steer clear of more populated Spanish destinations, Granada and the Canary Islands offer more secluded havens with similarly pristine views and tons of activities sure to please any traveler. From medieval fortresses and the stunning Sierra Nevada mountain range to volcanic isles and sunny beaches, Spain’s Andalusia region and renowned archipelago are excellent choices for COVID-cautious tourists.
In an effort to attract vacationers after losing millions of dollars in revenue for its national tourism industry, Spain kickstarted its travel season with cheap airfare and low rental costs. As more travelers book their trips, however, prices are steadily increasing with an inflation rate of 3.39% according to Statistica. Including the costs of COVID tests for airline passengers, tickets are expected to be 26 times higher than pre-crisis rates, so the sooner prospective travelers book, the better.
After a year of financial hardships brought on by the COVID-19 crisis, Spain hopes to make a full economic and employment recovery by increasing travel charges over the next five years. According to the Centre for Aviation, the contribution of travel and tourism to Spain’s national economy fell from 12% to just 4% during the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, hotel and airline prices will gradually rise to rebuild a struggling economy and a hospitality industry in desperate need of a quick revival.
Regulations aimed at curbing rising COVID cases remain in effect throughout Spain but vary widely by region, so travelers should stay informed about local requirements when moving within the country. Face mask coverings are still required in all Spanish destinations, and social distancing is also enforced in busy public spaces. Most restaurants, bars, and shops across Spain are operating at limited capacities to control crowd sizes, so lines can be expected, and tickets should be purchased in advance for popular attractions, museums, and other cultural sites.
As COVID cases across Spain slowly decrease, public transportation is ramping up with remaining mask ordinances and greater capacities. Evening curfews have also been lifted throughout the nation, marking yet another important step toward normalcy for tourists and locals alike. In order to maintain low case numbers, incoming travelers should stay up to date on regulations to ensure the health and safety of Spanish citizens and fellow visitors.
After a devastating year of rampant COVID infections, mass quarantine, and economic hardship, Spain has finally reopened its borders to eager international travelers who are fully vaccinated and ready to vacation. As formerly empty streets, shops, and restaurants fill with tourists from around the globe, Spain and its European counterparts look onward to brighter days filled with long-awaited adventure and relief.