SHARE
COPY LINK

TRAVEL

Spain extends restrictions on non-essential travel from most non-EU countries until November

The Spanish government has again extended temporary restrictions for non-essential travel from most third countries until October 31st 2021, meaning that the majority of unvaccinated tourists from outside of the EU can still not visit Spain.

A passenger checks in for her flight at the Barajas airport in Madrid on June 20, 2020, a day before the country's state of emergency ends following a national lockdown to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. - With Spain's epidemic now well under control, the government has been cautiously easing out of its mid-March lockdown with travel restrictions soon to be lifted as well. (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP)
Spain has extended Covid restrictions for travellers from countries outside of the EU on several occasions already. Photo: Pierre Philippe Marcou/AFP

Spain’s Official State Gazette (BOE) confirmed this newest extension to the temporary restriction order for non-essential trips and unvaccinated travellers from outside the bloc, first approved on July 17th.

The measure affects unvaccinated people from most non-EU countries who want to travel to Spain, as those who can prove vaccination with one of the inoculations Spain accepts can visit the country for tourism or other non-essential reasons. 

Previous BOEs gave reasons for the extension, stating that “the epidemiological situation has not changed substantially”, but this edition simply confirmed the extension of the current rules in place now until midnight October 31st 2021.

Spain also has a list of low-risk third countries whose travellers wanting to visit Spain for non-essential reasons can come regardless of without having to present proof of Covid-19 testing or vaccination. Travellers from these nations are in effect exempt from Spain’s travel restrictions for third countries.

The current list of third countries which are exempt from the restrictions includes Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, China, Jordan, New Zealand, Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Singapore, Ukraine, Uruguay as well as Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

However, the BOE states that this list was amended on September 23rd to include Chile, Kuwait and Rwanda in the above list and remove Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as the Republic of Moldova, although this does not reflect on Spain’s Health Ministry website (check with your embassy).

Travellers from third countries on the list may be able to enter Spain without the need for a negative Covid test or a vaccination certificate, but they still need to fill out a health control form, which can be found here.

It’s also important to check whether you need a visa or any other documents to enter Spain first and, if so, contact your nearest Spanish embassy to find out if they’re currently issuing these documents. 

The other reasons that can be used for travel to Spain from third countries that fall under the non-essential travel restrictions are:

  • You are a resident in the EU or Schengen country.
  • You have a visa for a long duration stay in an EU or Schengen country.
  • You work in transport, such as airline staff or are in a maritime profession.
  • You work in diplomatic, consular, international organisations, military or civil protection or are a member of a humanitarian organisation.
  • You have a student visa for a country in the EU or Schengen zone.
  • You are a highly qualified worker or athlete whose work cannot be postponed or carried out remotely.
  • You are travelling for duly accredited imperative family reasons.
  • You are allowed entry due to force majeure or on humanitarian grounds.
  • And as mentioned earlier in the article, if you have a vaccination certificate that Spain’s Ministry of Health recognises, as well as their accompanying minors (unless they’re under 12 years of age).

Those travelling to Spain from the UK and the US

As stated by Spain’s Health Ministry, “For persons resident in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland coming directly from this country, in addition to the vaccination certificate, diagnostic certificates of NAAT tests (nucleic acid amplification tests, e.g.: RT-PCR, RT-LAMP, TMA, HAD, NEAR, CRISPR, SDA…..) will also be considered valid”.

READ ALSO: What travellers from Spain to England should know about the UK’s new Covid border rules in October

As for travellers from the US, On Friday September 3rd Spanish health authorities removed the United States from the list of third countries whose travellers do not have to meet Spain’s Covid travel restrictions.

READ MORE: What do Spain’s new Covid restrictions for the US mean for American travellers?

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

TRAVEL

TRAVEL: Tourists in Spain will also be eligible for free train tickets

In welcome news for tourists and travellers in Spain, holidaymakers will be eligible to take advantage of Spain's 100% discounts on train travel later in the year.

TRAVEL: Tourists in Spain will also be eligible for free train tickets

Tourists will be eligible for Spain’s free train ticket scheme that will be phased in later on this year, as confirmed to the Spanish press by sources in Spain’s Ministry of Transport this week.

“If a foreign tourist is a frequent user of the [train] network, he can make use of this subscription. If they want to complete the trips, they will not be asked for any type of card,” the source said.

Additionally, in further news of particular interest for British and American travellers, no differentiation will be made between tourists nor between EU and non-EU nationals for the discounts. Free train travel will be available to all tourists, regardless of where they’re from.

It is hoped that the free train travel will entice more visitors to Spain and continue the sector’s post-pandemic recovery, which for the first six months of the year exceeded pre-pandemic (2019) levels by 1.1 percent, according to figures from the association of Spanish tourism companies, Exceltur.

Tourism experts expect Spain to surpass the number of foreign visitors in the last four months of 2019 – over 20 million tourists – despite upwards inflationary pressures on the cost of flights and accommodation.

But like everything in life, there are terms and conditions. You won’t be able to waltz on any train in Spain for free, and it isn’t year-round.

When?

This eye-catching travel discount will be available from September 1st to December 31st 2022, during which multi-journey train tickets on the trains outlined below will be free.

Free train travel

The 100 percent discount scheme, which will cost public coffers a reported €200 million, will only be valid on certain lines and comes amid a series of measures put in place by the government to try and ease the pain of rising inflation and prices, but also to lower pressures on fuel following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and ensuing energy crisis. 

READ ALSO: How much can you save on public transport in Spain with the new state discount?

“The government will subsidise 100 percent of the public service of commuter trains operated by Renfe. We hope that the autonomous communities can complement this enormous effort made by the Spanish government,” Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said when announcing the scheme in the Spanish Congress.

But which trains will be free, when, and how can you take advantage of them?

Which trains are free?

Unfortunately, the Spanish government has not given everyone in Spain free train travel on every route and on every type of train.

There are rules.

Simply put, local and commuter trains will be free. Cercanías, Rodalies (Catalonia), and Media Distance (local and medium-distance journeys) will be 100 percent free of charge.

The policy is aimed at encouraging the use of trains as opposed to other fossil fuel intensive forms of transport, and it’s valid for journeys up to 300km.

That in mind, trips on long-distance or high-speed trains, such as AVE and Alvia, are not included in the plan.

Neither will the routes in Avlo, the low-cost AVE option established in 2021, nor the medium and high-speed Avants.

Avlo and Avants will instead have a 50 percent discount on the original price, as outlined by the government in June.

READ ALSO: Spain to offer free train trips: when, where and how?

The Spanish government are yet to announce in detail how exactly the discounts will work, or how to apply for them.

SHOW COMMENTS