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Entry Requirements into Spain from UK

Entry Requirements into Spain from UK

Entry Requirements into Spain from UK - General Information

Information updated 31st March 2021 - Spain has extended until 30th April the temporary restriction of non-essential travel from third countries to the European Union and Schengen partner countries for reasons of public policy and public health in the wake of the health crisis caused by COVID-19.

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

It is illegal to travel abroad from the UK for holidays. Follow current COVID-19 rules where you live: EnglandScotlandWales and Northern Ireland.

In England, you must have a permitted reason to travel abroad and complete the declaration form.

Some countries have closed borders, and any country may further restrict travel or bring in new social distancing rules with little warning. Check our advice for each country you will visit or transit through.

When you return, follow the rules to enter the UK from abroad (except from Ireland).

Entry Requirements into Spain from UK

Entry to Spain

Spain’s borders are open to European Union and Schengen-area countries, however specific entry restrictions and testing requirements may be in place depending on the country you are travelling from.

Some restrictions on travellers from outside the European Union and the Schengen free-travel area remain in place. You should refer to the Spanish Embassy in the country you are in for further advice.

Passenger travel from the UK to Spain is restricted to EU and Schengen associated state citizens, those who are legally resident in the EU or in Schengen associated states or those passengers who can demonstrate that their journey is essential. For further information on the permitted reasons to enter Spain and necessary documentation see Permitted reasons to enter Spain.

Some travel restrictions and testing requirements are in place for international transit through Spanish airports by passengers on flights departing from the UK. See Transiting Spain.

From the 23 November 2020, pre-travel COVID-19 testing requirements are in place for those travelling by air and sea from ‘risk’ countries (as determined by the European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control). Arrivals from the UK are currently subject to this requirement. See Testing requirements for details.

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. If you are not in possession of a residence document, see Additional Requirements for UK Nationals resident in Spain for further information.

Travellers should follow the advice of the local authorities on how best to protect themselves and others, including any measures that they bring in to control the virus. 

Mandatory pre-travel declaration form for all passengers

Before travel to Spain, all passengers travelling by air or sea must complete and sign an online Health Control Form no more than 48 hours prior to travel declaring any known history of exposure to COVID-19 and giving contact details.

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.

Entry Requirements into Spain from UK

Testing/screening on arrival

All passengers (excluding children under the age of 6 years old) travelling to Spanish airports and ports from ‘risk’ countries (as determined by the European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control) are required to present a negative PCR, TMA (Transcription-Mediated Amplification) or a LAMP (Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification) swab test taken within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival. Passengers arriving from the UK are currently subject to this requirement.

This requirement applies to all passengers arriving in Spain by air or sea, regardless of your residence status in Spain and the length of time you intend on staying. Property owners in Spain are subject to this requirement.

A minimum fine of €3000 may be issued to anyone who arrives in Spanish airports or ports from ‘risk’ countries without adequate evidence of a negative PCR, TMA or LAMP test.

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.

You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test and should confirm with the testing facility the type of tests available prior to booking an appointment.

All overland travellers (excluding children under the age of 6 years old) who wish to enter Spain by road or rail from France, are required to present a negative PCR, TMA or LAMP test taken within 72 hours prior to entry. The following groups are exempt from this requirement:

  • Haulage workers
  • Frontier workers
  • Residents of border regions within a radius of 30 km

While these testing requirements don’t apply to overland travellers from Portugal, Andorra and Gibraltar, travel into Spain from all locations is limited. See Permitted reasons to enter Spain.

Entry Requirements into Spain from UK

Additional requirements for UK nationals resident in Spain

The Spanish government has formally confirmed to the UK government that UK nationals who were legally residing in Spain before 1 January 2021, and as such are beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement, can use any of the following documents to prove their residence status when entering Spain:

Residence card issued under Article 18.4 of the Withdrawal Agreement (the TIE – Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero)

Temporary or permanent EU residence certificate (Certificado de Registro de Ciudadanos de la Unión)

Receipt of application for the TIE (Resgaurdo de presentación de la solicitud de la tarjeta de residencia)

Confirmation of the positive outcome of your residence application (Resolución favorable por la que se concede la tarjeta de residencia)

In the absence of any of the above, other documents that credibly evidence your legal residence in Spain before 1 January 2021, such as a padrón certificate (issued by your town hall), a work contract, a rental contract, or proof of property purchase may be presented. However, due to current travel restrictions, be aware that you may be questioned on arrival by Spanish border authorities to ensure you meet the legal entry requirements. Spanish border authorities will only grant entry if they are satisfied that you are returning to Spain to your habitual place of residence, and reserve the right to deny passage.

In the case of students, documentation must be presented that demonstrates enrolment in an on-site or in-person course that started prior to 1 January 2021 and proof of accommodation.

The Spanish government has confirmed that students enrolled in on-site or in-person courses starting after 1 January 2021 will not be permitted entry while the current restrictions on passenger travel from the UK by air and sea are in force. Once these restrictions are lifted, regular entry requirements will apply. See Regular entry requirements for further information including on visa requirements.

You must also show a valid passport when you travel and comply with the other documentation requirements, such as a negative COVID test within 72 hours of arrival, as set out in this travel advice.

The above list of documentation has also been communicated to airlines and other operators.

Entry Requirements into Spain from UK

Preparing for arrival

On arrival into Spanish ports and airports, you may be subject to the following requirements at the point of entry:

  • Present the QR code (hardcopy or digital) issued on completion of the online Health Control Form prior to travel. See Mandatory pre-travel declaration form for all passengers
  • Undergo a temperature check
  • Undergo a visual health assessment
  • If travelling from a ‘risk country’, be prepared to show evidence certifying you have undertaken a PCR, TMA or LAMP test within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival, and have tested negative for COVID-19. See Testing requirements
  • If travelling from a country where Spain has issued a travel ban, be prepared to show evidence of your residency. Due to current travel restrictions, be aware that you may be questioned on arrival by Spanish border authorities to ensure you meet the legal entry requirements. Spanish border authorities will only grant entry if they are satisfied that you are returning to Spain to your habitual place of residence or can demonstrate an essential reason to enter (see Permitted reasons to enter Spain), and reserve the right to deny passage.

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.

Passengers may also be contacted and required to undertake a PCR, TMA or LAMP test at any point up to 48 hours after their arrival in Spain.

Additional requirements for UK nationals resident in Spain

The Spanish government has formally confirmed to the UK government that UK nationals who were legally residing in Spain before 1 January 2021, and as such are beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement, can use any of the following documents to prove their residence status when entering Spain:

  • Residence card issued under Article 18.4 of the Withdrawal Agreement (the TIE – Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero)
  • Temporary or permanent EU residence certificate (Certificado de Registro de Ciudadanos de la Unión)
  • Receipt of application for the TIE (Resguardo de presentación de la solicitud de la tarjeta de residencia)
  • Confirmation of the positive outcome of your residence application (Resolución favorable por la que se concede la tarjeta de residencia)
  • In the absence of any of the above, other documents that credibly evidence your legal residence in Spain before 1 January 2021, such as a padrón certificate (issued by your town hall), a work contract, a rental contract, or proof of property purchase may be presented. However, due to current travel restrictions, be aware that you may be questioned on arrival by Spanish border authorities to ensure you meet the legal entry requirements. Spanish border authorities will only grant entry if they are satisfied that you are returning to Spain to your habitual place of residence or can demonstrate an essential reason to enter (see ‘Permitted reasons to enter Spain’), and reserve the right to deny passage.

The above list of documentation has also been communicated to airlines and other operators.

You must also show a valid passport when you travel and comply with the other documentation requirements, as set out in this travel advice. See Pre-travel declaration form and Testing requirements for arrivals from ‘risk countries’.

Permitted reasons to enter Spain 

Entry restrictions and testing requirements are currently in force for travel from the UK into Spain. Only EU and Schengen state citizens, those who are legally resident in EU and associated Schengen states, or those who can demonstrate through documentary evidence an essential need to enter Spain, will be allowed to enter the country. Permitted circumstances include:

  • Habitual residents of the European Union, Schengen States, Andorra, Monaco, The Vatican (Holy See) or San Marino; who are travelling to their country of residence and can duly accredit their residence status with documentary evidence.
  • Holders of a long-stay visa issued by a Member State or Schengen Associated State, who are travelling onto said country.
  • Health professionals, including health researchers, and elderly care professionals who are going to or returning from essential work.
  • Transport personnel, seafarers and aeronautical personnel.
  • Diplomatic, consular, international organizations, military, civil protection and members of humanitarian organizations.
  • Students enrolled in courses starting after 1 January 2021 who carry out their studies in an EU Member or Schengen state and who have the corresponding permit or visa and medical insurance, provided that they are travelling to the country where they are studying, and that entry occurs during the academic year or 15 days previous. Students who started an on-site or in-person course in Spain prior to 1 January 2021 will not require a permit or visa to enter, but should be prepared to provide evidence of this, such as a residence document or proof of enrolment and accommodation (dated prior to 1 January 2021).
  • Highly skilled essential workers whose work cannot be postponed or carried out remotely, including participants in high-level sports events due to take place in Spain.
  • People traveling for imperative family reasons who can demonstrate an essential need to travel.

All of the circumstances above must be justified by documentary evidence. You should be aware that you may be questioned on arrival by Spanish border authorities to ensure you meet the entry requirements. Spanish border authorities will only grant entry if they are satisfied that your journey to Spain is essential and reserve the right to deny passage.

Transiting Spain by air

Only citizens and residents of EU or Schengen states, Andorra, Monaco, the Vatican City (Holy See), or San Marino; or holders of a long-stay visa issued by an EU or Schengen state, may transit Spain in order to travel to their country of habitual residence.

Where permitted, transit times should be no more than 24 hours. Travellers must remain airside and must be able to present a negative PCR, TMA or LAMP test taken within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival into Spain.

Travellers due to transit through Spain on return to the UK are allowed to transit through Spanish airports. You should be prepared to show evidence of your connecting flight. Should your transit involve passing through Spanish border control into Spanish territory, you may be required to present a negative PCR, TMA or LAMP test. Please contact your travel operator before departure.

Entry Requirements into Spain from UK

Overland transit

All overland travellers (by road or rail) from France are required to present a negative PCR, TMA or LAMP test taken within 72 hours prior to entering Spain. See Testing requirements for further information and exemptions. While these testing requirements don’t apply to overland travellers from Portugal, Andorra and Gibraltar, travel into Spain from all locations is limited. See Permitted reasons to enter Spain.

Portuguese authorities are enforcing border control checks at the land border with Spain. Only cross border workers, goods traffic and those entering or exiting Portugal to return to their usual place of residence will be granted passage. Rail and ferry connections between Spain and Portugal have been suspended. See FCDO travel advice for Portugal.

If you are travelling to Spain via Gibraltar, check the latest entry requirements and FCDO travel advice for Gibraltar. Only EU and Schengen associated state citizens, those who are legally resident in the EU or Schengen associated state citizens, or those who can demonstrate an essential need to enter Spain, will be allowed to enter the country. See Permitted reasons to enter Spain.

Inter-regional travel is permitted, providing your point of origin and destination do not fall within a confined area where entry and exit restrictions are in place. Transiting confined areas to reach your final destination is permitted, however you should be prepared to show evidence of your onward journey such as train or flight tickets to your final destination. 

If travelling with people who are not from the same household, all passengers must wear a face mask covering the nose and mouth. Penalties may be imposed if you do not comply.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

The rules for travelling or working in European countries changed on 1st January 2021:

you can travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training

If you are travelling to Spain and other Schengen countries without a visa, make sure your whole visit is within the 90-day limit. Visits to Schengen countries within the previous 180 days before you travel count towards your 90 days

To stay longer, to work or study, for business travel or for other reasons, you will need to meet the Spanish government’s entry requirements. You should check with the Spanish consulate in the UK prior to travel regarding what type of visa and/or work permit you may need.

if you stay in Spain with a visa or permit, this does not count towards the 90-day visa-free limit

Any time you spent in Spain or other Schengen countries before 1 January 2021 does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit.

USE THE SCHENGEN VISA CALCULATOR HERE

At Spanish border control, you may need to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. You may also need to:

show a return or onward ticket

show you have enough money for your stay

There are separate requirements for those who are resident in Spain. If you are resident in Spain, you should carry proof of residence as well as your valid passport when you travel. 

Passport validity

Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip, and renew your passport if you do not have enough time left on it.

You must have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland). This applies to the whole of Spain, including the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands (Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera).

If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed.

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs)

UK ETDs are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Spain.

Travel between Spain and Gibraltar

Spanish border checks can cause delays when crossing between Spain and Gibraltar. If you are travelling to Spain via Gibraltar, check the latest entry requirements and FCDO travel advice for Gibraltar. Spain have extended current travel restrictions from the UK until 6pm (GMT+1) on 30 March 2021. While restrictions are in place you will only be able to enter Spain via Gibraltar if you are a Spanish national, you are legally resident in Spain or Gibraltar or a cross border worker. You will be asked to show documentation to prove you meet the criteria above.

There is no charge to enter or leave Gibraltar. Don’t hand over money if you’re approached by anyone claiming that there is a charge.

 

Comments  

0 # James Gaylard 2021-04-08 13:09
As a EU citizen can I fly from Manchester to Alicante
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # Tracy Ann 2021-04-08 19:58
If you can comply with the rules above then yes
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote

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