UK Passport entry requirements to Spain
Information provided by the Uk.Gov website so is correct at time of publishing.
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.
updates 18th June*
*Restrictions in response to coronavirus
COVID-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. This advice is being kept under constant review.
Re-opening of borders
The State of Emergency (“Estado de Alarma”) declared on 14 March, will end on June 21. From this date, Spain will re-open its borders to European Union and Schengen-area countries (with the exception of Portugal where the restrictions will continue to apply up until 1 July), and travellers from the UK. This means that British nationals will no longer need to present a residency certificate to enter Spain. The Spanish Government has said that it is possible that UK travellers will still need to quarantine on arrival in Spain, but that decision has not yet been taken.
Restrictions on travellers from outside the European Union and the Schengen free-travel area will be lifted from July 1 providing the countries they depart from have agreements with Spain.
Current entry rules
Until June 21, border restrictions remain in place and only Spanish citizens, those who are legally resident in Spain, frontier workers or those who can prove they need to enter Spain for essential reasons will be allowed to enter the country.
Only green residency certificates will be accepted as proof of residency in Spain and British travellers who are not resident and/or not in possession of this certificate should not attempt to enter the country. Padron certificates, utility bills and property deeds will not be accepted by Spanish authorities as proof of residency.
British travellers who are not resident in Spain or do not have a residency certificate with them should not travel to Gibraltar and then attempt to enter Spain via the land frontier.
From 15 May, all new international arrivals entering Spain, including Spanish nationals and residents, will be required to self-isolate in their residence or hotel for a period of 14 days.
During this time movement will be limited to essential trips to supermarkets or pharmacies and those affected will be required to wear a facemask at all times in public. They should be contactable by authorities and should report any coronavirus symptoms to regional authorities. Cross-border workers, cabin crew, lorry drivers and healthcare workers are exempt from this measure.
The Spanish authorities have confirmed that travellers transiting through Spain are also exempt as long as they travel home directly and do not spend the night in any establishment in Spain. All passengers should carry their passports, proof of onward travel (i.e. ferry or Eurotunnel tickets) and country of residency.
Air, land and sea borders
Until June 21 when Spain re-opens its borders, only Spanish citizens or those who can prove residency in Spain by presenting a green residency certificate, are allowed to enter Spain through airports, ports or land borders. British travellers who are not resident or are not in possession of this certificate should not attempt to enter the country. Padron certificates, utility bills and property deeds will not be accepted by Spanish authorities as proof of residency.
The following categories of people are also exempt from border restrictions:
- frontier workers
- health workers
- those who are transiting Spain to their country of residence in EU/Schengen area
- those with a Schengen visa who are transiting Spain to their country of residence in EU/Schengen area
- those who can prove that they need to enter Spain for essential reasons
These measures follow the restrictions on land borders which were introduced on Tuesday 17 March.
While inter-regional travel is not permitted, British travellers will continue to be allowed to leave Spain to return to their country of residence.
The land borders remain open for those leaving Spain. British nationals can still drive through France to return to the UK, but you will need to complete an ‘attestation’ (declaration) specifying the reason for being outside.
If you’re planning to use this route, check the latest FCO travel advice for France ahead of your journey. In addition to the required ‘attestation’ you may also find this letter explaining the reason for your journey useful in both France and Spain, see Return to UK.
For information on travel via Gibraltar, see Return to UK.*
Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you do not need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this. This applies to the whole of Spain, including the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands (Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera).
You can check your passport here.
The rules on travel will stay the same until 31 December 2020.
If you hold a British Citizen passport, you don’t need a visa to enter Spain. If you’re planning a stay of longer than 3 months, see our Living in Spain guide and contact the Spanish Embassy if you have further questions.
The rules on travel will stay the same until 31 December 2020.
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.
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.
https://www.visa-calculator.com/ a really good easy to use calculator, to find out allowed times for multiple trips from the uk after Brexit
Pet travel during the transition period
You can travel with your pet to the EU under the current pet travel rules using your current UK-issued EU pet passport.
If you’re travelling with your pet for the first time you’ll have to visit your vet to get a pet passport.
Visiting Europe from 1st January 2021
Travel to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein will change from 1 January 2021.
Things you may need to do before you go include:
- check your passport
- get travel insurance that covers your healthcare
- check you have the right driving documents
- organise pet travel - contact your vet at least 4 months before you go
There are more things to do if you’re travelling for business. For example, going to meetings and conferences, providing services (even with a charity), and touring art or music.
Passports: check if you need to renew
You may need to renew your British passport earlier if you’re travelling from 1st January 2021.
On the day you travel, you’ll need your passport to both:
- have at least 6 months left
- be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)
If you do not renew it, you may not be able to travel to most EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
It usually takes 3 weeks if you need to renew your passport. There’s a premium service if you need it sooner.
These rules do not apply to travel to Ireland. You can continue to use your passport as long as it’s valid for the length of your stay.
Pet travel from 1st January 2021
The UK will become a third country from 1 January 2021. Third countries can apply to the European Commission to be listed.
In the EU Pet Travel Scheme, there are 3 categorisations of third country:
- Part 1 listed
- Part 2 listed
Pet travel requirements will change depending on what category the UK becomes on 1 January 2021.
If the UK becomes an unlisted country
A current EU pet passport issued in the UK will not be valid for travel to the EU.