Unlocking the World

Traveling to Spain during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go

CNN StaffUpdated 8th June 2021
Barcelona's unfinished architectural symphony -- the Sagrada Familia cathedral.
Editor's Note — Coronavirus cases remain high across the globe. Health officials caution that travel increases your chances of getting and spreading the virus. Staying home is the best way to stem transmission. Below is information on what to know if you still plan to travel, last updated on June 8.
(CNN) — If you're planning to travel to Spain, here's what you'll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The basics

Spain has suffered greatly from Covid-19, with a high number of cases and deaths. After one of Europe's strictest lockdowns in spring 2020, it reopened to visitors over the summer, but in November entered a state of emergency that ran until May 9, 2021. This has now been lifted, but some regional restrictions remain -- see more below.

What's on offer

One of Europe's biggest hitters for good reason, Spain pulls tourists in by the millions thanks to its warm weather, laidback vibe and excellent food and wine. Plus, of course, there are some of Europe's best beach resorts, mountains, and cultural cities such as Madrid, Seville and Barcelona.

Who can go

Travelers from most places in the European Union, alongside Australia, China, South Korea, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, Israel and Thailand are allowed to enter Spain without having to undergo quarantine.
Spain lifted restrictions on non-essential travel from the UK and Japan on May 24, with travelers from the two countries now able to enter Spain without a Covid test. But right now, Spain is still on the UK's "amber list" which means nonessential travel from the UK to Spain is not recommended.
As of June 7, anyone who has been fully vaccinated can enter Spain without proof of a negative Covid test, even if they are arriving from destinations categorized as 'risk' countries. South Africa, Brazil and India are exempt from this rule, however. See more below.
Flights and arrivals from Brazil and South Africa are restricted in Spain until at least June 22.
Visitors from India must undergo a 10 day quarantine upon arrival.
Visitors from other countries are not permitted to enter, unless they gain special permission from the Spanish government.

What are the restrictions?

All travelers must complete a Health Control Form (HCF), which can be completed via the Spain Travel Health website or app. It will generate a QR code which must be shown on arrival in the country.
Spain also now recognizes the European Union's Digital Covid Certificate -- which EU travelers can use to demonstrate if they have had Covid-19, recently tested negative and whether they've been vaccinated.
Since June 7, travelers from anywhere in the world -- bar South Africa, Brazil and India -- who have been fully vaccinated can enter Spain without providing proof of a negative Covid test.
This rule applies even if they are arriving from destinations categorized as 'risk' countries as based on guidelines from the European Center for Disease Control.
Travelers arriving from 'risk' countries who've not been fully vaccinated must undertake a PCR test within 72 hours of departure and show proof of a negative result on entry.
This list of 'risk' countries changes regularly and should be checked before travel.
Health assessments take place on arrival into Spain, with a temperature check and visual examination as standard.
Spain's health minister also announced that travelers arriving from Brazil and South Africa are being given an antigen test in the airport.
Additionally, all travelers to the Canary Islands, no matter where they're arriving from, require an antigen test taken within 72 hours of departure in order to check into their accommodation.

What's the Covid situation?

Spain's state of emergency was recently lifted, but some Covid-19-related restrictions remain -- individual states must now set their own restrictions and will need judicial approval to do so.
The country has seen over 3.7 million infections and over 80,200 deaths as of June 8, 2021.
January 2021 was reportedly the worst month for the pandemic in Spain since the summer, and on February 8, Spain recorded the biggest weekend rise in cases since the pandemic began.
A month later, case rates were falling -- on March 8, Spain reported the lowest weekend rise in cases since July last year -- but numbers rose again in late March and early April, with authorities urging caution amid fears of a third wave hitting Europe. Daily reported Covid-19 cases now appear to be falling again.
Over 30 million people have had their first vaccination in Spain and 23.37% of the population has been fully vaccinated as of June 8.

What can visitors expect?

Under the state of emergency, a national curfew was in place, masks had to be worn public at all times (children 5 and younger were exempt), while gatherings indoors and outdoors were limited to six people.
Face masks continue to be required in public places across the country.
Even before the state of emergency was lifted, the exact detail of the restrictions varied by region.
Spain recently approved a traffic light system for regional restrictions, categorizing areas into levels.
It's still best to check in advance what individual restrictions are in each region before planning a visit. Spain's official tourism website is a helpful resource.
Traveling between Spain's regions is now permitted.

Useful links

Our latest coverage

In Spain's Andalusia region, a Roman bath complex was recently discovered. Meanwhile, it wasn't long ago that the world's oldest restaurant, in Madrid, was trying to escape Covid's grasp, while the Balearic Islands were questioning whether a 40-year-old party was drawing to a close.
If you're after culture, Cordoba has more UNESCO-rated sights than anywhere else in the country, or if you want cool, Barcelona's Eixample neighborhood has been named the top spot in the world. Not far off, in Figueres, is Dali's bizarre self-curated museum.