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Returning to the UK from Spain

Returning to the UK from Spain - official guidance

Returning to the UK Updated 22nd September 

Changes to international travel rules

Applies to England

From 4am Monday 4th October 2021, the rules for international travel to England will change from the red, amber, green traffic light system to a single red list of countries and simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world. The rules for travel from countries and territories not on the red list will depend on your vaccination status.

If you arrive in England before 4 October, you must follow the current rules. This means you must book and take any COVID-19 tests you need and follow the quarantine rules that are in place at the time you arrive in England.

Travel from the rest of the world if you are fully vaccinated

From 4am Monday 4th October, you will qualify as fully vaccinated if you are vaccinated either:

  • under an approved vaccination programme in the UK, Europe, USA or UK vaccine programme overseas
  • with a full course of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen vaccines from a relevant public health body in Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan or the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Formulations of the 4 listed vaccines, such as AstraZeneca Covishield, AstraZeneca Vaxzevria and Moderna Takeda, qualify as approved vaccines.

You must have had a complete course of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before you arrive in England.

Where 2 doses of a vaccine are required for a full course, you will be able to:

  • mix 2 different types of vaccine, for example Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna
  • have the 2 vaccinations under 2 different approved programmes, for example Australia and Japan, UK and USA, EU and Canada

Until 4th October, mixed vaccines are only permitted if you are vaccinated under the UK, Europe, USA or UK overseas vaccination programme.

The rules for fully vaccinated people will also apply if you are either:

  • under 18 and resident in the UK or one of the listed countries or territories with approved vaccination programmes
  • taking part in an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial in the UK, Australia, Canada or the USA

If you qualify as fully vaccinated you will have to:

  • book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test – to be taken after arrival in England - Starting at end of October, you will be able to replace the PCR on day 2 with a cheaper lateral flow test.
  • complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in England
  • take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after you arrive in England

Under the new rules, you will not need to:

  • take a pre-departure test
  • take a day 8 COVID-19 test
  • quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days after you arrive in England

You must be able to prove that you have been fully vaccinated (plus 14 days) with a document (digital or paper-based) from a national or state-level public health body that includes, as a minimum:

  • forename and surname(s)
  • date of birth
  • vaccine brand and manufacturer
  • date of vaccination for every dose
  • country or territory of vaccination and/or certificate issuer

If your document from a public health body does not include all of these, you must follow the non-vaccinated rules. If not, you may be denied boarding.

If you are fully vaccinated in the USA, you will also need to prove that you are a resident of the USA.

If you are fully vaccinated, but do not qualify under these fully vaccinated rules, you must follow the non-vaccinated rules.

Travel from the rest of the world if you are not fully vaccinated

From 4am Monday 4th October, you must follow these rules if you:

  • do not qualify under the fully vaccinated rules
  • are partially vaccinated
  • are not vaccinated

Before you travel to England you must:

After you arrive in England you must:

  • quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days
  • take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8

You may be able to end quarantine early if you pay for a private COVID-19 test through the Test to Release scheme.

Travel from red countries

From 4am Monday 4th October, you must follow these rules if you are:

  • fully vaccinated
  • partially vaccinated
  • not vaccinated

If you have been in a country or territory on the red list in the last 10 days, you will only be allowed to enter the UK if you are a British or Irish national or you have residence rights in the UK.

Before you travel to England, you must:

When you arrive in England, you must quarantine in a managed hotel, including 2 COVID-19 tests.

Returning to the UK from Spain - Updated 8th August - Red, amber and green list rules for entering England. The rules below are in place until 4am Monday 4th October

Applies to: England (see guidance for WalesScotland, and Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland)

What you must do when you arrive in England from abroad depends on where you have been in the 10 days before you arrive.

This page lists countries and territories as red, amber or green and tells you what you must do if you have been in those countries or territories.

Returning to the UK from Spain

The risk posed by individual countries and territories is continuously monitored and the green, amber and red lists are reviewed every 3 weeks.

14th August - UK holidaymakers will benefit from cheaper travel testing packages, with the price of some tests to fall by a fifth from today.

  • Cost of travel tests from NHS Test & Trace will be reduced from £88 to £68 for one test and from £170 to £136 for two.
  • List of private testing providers to be reviewed to ensure pricing is accurate and transparent.
  • Any misleading pricing will be clamped down on swiftly and we will urgently remove listings found to have misleading prices.

CURRENT RULES up to 4th October 

SPAIN is currently on the Amber list 

What you must do if you have been in a country or territory on the amber list in the 10 days before you arrive in England.

Before travel to England

Before you travel to England you must:

On arrival in England

If you are fully vaccinated

After arrival in England you must take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2.

This applies if you’re fully vaccinated under either:

  • the UK vaccination programme
  • the UK vaccine programme overseas
  • an approved vaccination programme in Europe or the USA - not all are recognised in England

Find out how to prove you are fully vaccinated, which European countries this applies to and approved vaccination programmes for Europe and the USA.

It also applies if you are:

  • taking part in an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial in the UK or the USA
  • under 18 and resident in the UK, a UK Overseas Territory, the USA or one of the specified European countries

If you will be in England for less than 2 days you still need to book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test. You only need to take the test if you are still in England on day 2.

Returning to the UK from Spain

If you are not fully vaccinated

If you do not qualify under the fully vaccinated rules, on arrival in England you must:

  • quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days
  • take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8

Read about the fully vaccinated rules, quarantine and taking COVID-19 tests after arrival in England.

If you are in England for less than 10 days, you need to quarantine for the time you are here. You need to book day 2 and day 8 travel tests. You only need to take the tests if you are still in England.

*Additional travel advice 13th August

Does COVID plus one dose of a vaccine counts as being “fully vaccinated” for entry into England on the basis that you will have natural immunity. Some countries relax their entry rules if you have natural immunity. England does not. You will need to follow the rules for those who are not fully vaccinated if you have natural immunity and haven’t had a full course of an approved vaccine. There is further information on what fully vaccinated means, as well as details on quarantine and testing when travelling from an amber list country at - Quarantine and testing if you've been in an amber list country

Testing for people travelling to England. If you have recently recovered from COVID, but are not longer infectious, you should use a lateral flow device test - Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing before you travel to England

Rules for travel to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are very similar, but please do make sure you check out their specific pages. Links to all three can be found here - Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.*

France

The amber list rules for France changed 4am Sunday 8th August. The normal amber list rules now apply to France, including the rules for people who are fully vaccinated. If you arrived in England before 4am on Sunday 8th August, you must follow the rules that applied when you arrived.

Test to Release scheme

If you need to quarantine, you may be able to end quarantine early if you pay for a private COVID-19 test through the Test to Release scheme.

If you have been in a country or territory on the red list

If you have also been in or through a country or territory on the red list in the 10 days before you arrive in England, you must follow the red list rules.

Read about making a transit stop in a red list country or territory.

Returning to the UK from Spain

Red list rules

What you must do if you have been in a country or territory on the red list in the 10 days before you arrive in England.

If you have been in a country or territory on the red list in the last 10 days you will only be allowed to enter the UK if you are a British or Irish National, or you have residence rights in the UK.

You must follow these rules even if you have been fully vaccinated.

Before travel to England

Before you travel to England you must:

On arrival in England

On arrival in England you must:

Returning to the UK from Spain

Green list rules

What you have to do if you travel to England from a country or territory on the green list. You must only have been in or travelled through a green list country or the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man in the previous 10 days.

You must follow these rules even if you have been fully vaccinated.

Before travel to England

Before you travel to England you must:

On arrival in England

You must take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after you arrive.

Children aged 4 and under do not need to take this test.

You do not need to quarantine unless the test result is positive.

You must quarantine if NHS Test & Trace informs you that you travelled to England with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

If you have been in a country or territory on the red or amber list

If you have also been in or through a country or territory on the red list in the 10 days before you arrive in England, you must follow the red list rules.

If you have also been in or through a country or territory on the amber list in the 10 days before you arrive in England, and have not visited a country on the red list, you must follow the amber list rules.

Read about making a transit stop in an amber or red list country or territory.

Ireland, the UK, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man

You do not need to take a COVID-19 test or quarantine on arrival in England if you are travelling within the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, (the Common Travel Area), and you have not been outside of the Common Travel Area in the previous 10 days.

Transit stops in amber or red list countries

When you arrive in England you need to follow the rules for the highest risk country or territory that you have been in or passed through in the previous 10 days. That can include transit stops.

A transit stop is a stop where passengers can get on or off the same part of the transport in which you are travelling. It can apply to ships, trains or flights. Your ticket should show if a stop is a transit stop.

The rules of a country or territory that you make a transit stop in could apply if:

  • new passengers get on and are able to mix with you
  • you or other passengers get off the transport you are on and mix with other people, then get on again

Making a transit stop would not affect what you have to do on arrival in England if, during the stop:

  • no new passengers, who are able to mix with you, get on
  • no-one on-board gets off and mixes with people outside
  • passengers get off but do not get back on

Private vehicles or coaches travelling through amber or red list countries and territories

If you are travelling to England in a private vehicle, the rules of the countries and territories you drive through apply. For example, if you drive through an amber list country, then you must follow the amber list rules when you arrive in England.

This applies whether you stop in the country or territory or not. You need to record the countries and territories you drive through on your passenger locator form.

Transiting through airports in England

See what you need to do if you are transiting ‘landside’ or transiting ‘airside’ through England.

Job and medical exemptions

Some people are exempt from some or all of the requirements:

Travelling abroad from England

Read an overview of all the things you need to do to:

You should not travel to red list countries or territories.

Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status when travelling abroad

An NHS COVID Pass shows your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination details or test results. This is your COVID-19 vaccination status.

You can use the NHS COVID Pass to prove your vaccination status when you:

  • enter another country while travelling abroad
  • return to England if you have been in an amber list country or territory

Find out:

The UK government is working with the British overseas territory governments to agree what form the proof of vaccination should take.

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office travel advice

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) travel advice continues to advise against all non-essential travel to some countries and territories. Many other countries have rules in place about who can enter and what you can do when you are there. These rules are not related to which colour list that country is on. Before you travel, you should read FCDO travel advice for the countries you will visit.

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