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COVID-19 RULES

REMINDER: What are Spain’s mask rules for travel?

Do you still need to wear a mask on airplanes, trains and buses in Spain? And what about at airports, stations or on ferries? Here's what you need to know about when and where you need to wear a mask when it comes to travelling.

masks on the metro in Barcelona
Masks are still required on public transport in Spain. Photo: PAU BARRENA / AFP

On Wednesday April 20th 2022, the Spanish government officially dropped the requirement to wear masks indoors.

There a still a few places you need to wear them, but for the most part, it’s now up to citizens to decide whether they should wear a face mask or not in indoor public spaces.

READ ALSO: Where do you still need to wear a mask indoors in Spain? 

But what are the particular rules when it comes to travel? Do you still have to wear masks at Spanish airports and train stations and what about inside Uber or Cabify vehicles? Let’s take a look at exactly when masks are required when travelling and when they’re not.

The transport rules cover all modes of public transport including trains, metros, buses, planes, boats, ferries, trams, funiculars and cable cars, but let’s take focus on some of the most common ones. 

On May 11th, the EU recommended that Member States drop the mask rules for airports and airplanes from May 16th, but Spain has ruled out amending its regulations for now, and the mask rules for travel in the country are as follows:

Airports and planes

Masks are no longer required inside the airport terminals in Spain, such as when passing through security or passport control. However, once you leave the airport and board the plane itself, you must put your mask on and wear it for the duration of the flight, unless told otherwise by airline staff. 

The same rules apply to passengers and airport workers.

Stations and trains

Similarly, masks will not be required when entering train or metro stations or while waiting on the platform.

Once the train or metro arrives, you will be required to wear your mask to board and for the duration of the journey, before you can remove it again. The Official State Gazette (BOE) is very clear and states “It has been considered that the obligation to wear a mask should not be maintained for platforms and stations”.

Ports and ferries

In the case of boats and ferries, masks will not be required anywhere onboard, unless a safety distance of 1.5 metres cannot be maintained (except when you’re travelling alongside those you live with). It’s no longer necessary to wear a mask inside ports. 

Taxis

In this case, taxis are also considered to be public transport and therefore it’s mandatory for both the driver and the passenger to wear masks.

The same rule applies to ride services such as Uber and Cabify –  both parties must wear a mask while inside the vehicle at all times.

Private cars

Masks are no longer required in private vehicles when you’re travelling with others who you don’t live with. This means that there are now no more mask rules regarding your own private transportation.

But what about car sharing such as Blablacar or urban car rentals like Zity and Car2go? Masks will also no longer required on these methods of transport, whether travelling with those you live with or not. 

READ ALSO: Why you now need to book a rental car in advance in Spain

Are there still fines in place for not wearing a mask on public transport?

Yes, the fine for not wearing your mask on public transport continues to be the same at €100.

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TRAVEL NEWS

EXPLAINED: Spain’s new rules for unvaccinated non-EU tourists

Unvaccinated third-country nationals such as Americans and Britons are now allowed to go on holiday to Spain. Here are the requirements, documentation needed and other important information they should know before booking their flights to Spain. 

EXPLAINED: Spain's new rules for unvaccinated non-EU tourists

What’s the latest?

Spain has opened up to unvaccinated non-EU/Schengen tourists for the first time in more than two years.

Previously it was not possible for third-country nationals to visit Spain for non-essential reasons such as a holiday, seeing family or spending time in a second home in Spain unless they were fully vaccinated against Covid-19 (plus booster after 9 months) or recovered from the illness in the past six months. 

From May 21st 2022, unvaccinated tourists and other visitors from outside of the EU can travel to Spain if they show proof of a negative Covid-19 test, the Spanish government confirmed on Saturday. These are the same rules that apply to EU nationals and residents.

Spain’s testing requirements for non-EU/Schengen tourists apply to those aged 12 and older, children under that age are exempt from having to prove testing, vaccination or recovery.

What kind of Covid test do I need to get done to travel to Spain?

In scientific terms, Spain wants a diagnostic test that’s either a NAAT (nucleic acid amplification test, such as an RT-PCR, RT-LAMP, TMA) or a RAT (rapid antigen test).

In layman’s terms, that’s either a PCR test, which must be carried out in the 72 hours prior to departure to Spain, or an antigen test, 24 hours prior to departure.

Covid tests accepted are those authorised by the European Commission and must have been performed by healthcare professionals, therefore self-tests are not valid. 

What do I need to show to travel to Spain if I’m unvaccinated?

You need to show an official certificate or supporting document which shows the negative result of your Covid test. Your country may have a system in place that allows you to upload your negative result to an app. 

The document must be the original, in Spanish, English, French or German, and may be shown in paper or electronic format. If you can’t get it in these languages, it must be accompanied by a translation into Spanish by an official body.

The document that accredits the diagnostic test has to include the date the sample was taken, identification and contact details of the centre performing the analysis, technique used and negative result.

Spanish authorities recognise the UK’s NHS Covid Pass and others that fulfil the above criteria. 

Do I need to fill out a health control form?

This depends. Currently, 40 non-EU countries (and territories) have joined the EU Digital COVID Certificate system, based on EU equivalence decisions. 

That means that people from these nations who have a vaccination, testing or recovery certificate issued by the competent authorities of their country do not need to fill in Spain’s Travel Health form.

The countries with EU Digital Covid Certificate equivalence are Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Benin, Cabo Verde, Colombia, El Salvador, Faroe Islands, Georgia, Indonesia, Israel, Iceland, Jordan, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Panama, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Togo, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the Crown Dependencies (Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man), Uruguay, The Vatican and Vietnam.You can also double-check here in case more countries are added.

If your non-EU country isn’t on the list then you have to fill in the SPTH form and upload your test certificate, which gives you a QR Code you’ll be asked for at the airport. 

READ MORE: A step-by-step guide on how to fill out Spain’s Health Control Form

Do I have to wear a mask on the plane?

Yes, you will most likely be required to wear a mask on the planes to and from Spain, although you don’t have to wear one inside Spanish airports anymore.

READ MORE: What are Spain’s mask rules for travel?

Is there any other travel rule I need to know about?

If you’re not an EU citizen or resident, then you should check if you require a Schengen visa to travel to Spain, as this will depend on your nationality.

Keep in mind that you will also have to abide by other Schengen rules, such as not being able to spend more than 90 out of 180 days in Spain and other Schengen countries.

Does Spain still have domestic Covid-19 rules?

Spain has lifted the vast majority of its Covid-19 rules, so there are no longer curfews, forced closures, limits on the number of people per shop or restaurant or Covid pass requirements to gain entry to buildings. 

Masks are no longer required outdoors and there is no face covering mandate for the majority of indoor public settings, except for on public transport, in hospitals, pharmacies, other health clinics and care homes.

READ MORE: What happens when tourists get Covid-19 while on holiday in Spain?

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