CONFIRMED: Spain to welcome British tourists without PCRs or quarantine from Monday May 24th

Spanish authorities have confirmed that UK holidaymakers can visit Spain without the need to quarantine or present a negative PCR test from next Monday May 24th. 

CONFIRMED: Spain to welcome British tourists without PCRs or quarantine from Monday May 24th
CONFIRMED: Spain to welcome British tourists without PCRs orUK nationals who aren't residents in Spain can finally come for non-essential reasons from May 24th.Photo: Jaime Reina/AFP

In a matter of three days, UK nationals will be able to visit Spain for non-essential reasons such as holidays, the Spanish government has confirmed. 

British holidaymakers will not need to present a negative PCR test to enter Spain, nor will they need to quarantine when arriving in the country. 

However, they will have to factor in that Spain is currently on the UK’s amber list for travel, which requires 10 days of quarantine upon return to Britain and three PCR tests.

The announcement was published on Friday May 21st in Spain’s official state bulletin. 

News that Spain will finally allow Britons to travel to the country for non-essential reasons and without a PCR has been met with both joy and confusion. 

Many Brits have taken to forums and social media groups to ask if it was actually possible for them to travel to Spain without proof that they aren’t Covid-19 carriers or at least immune, especially in light of the increased prevalence of the Indian strain in the UK. 

Spain’s Foreign Office has since published the following statement confirming that PCR tests will not be required but British holidaymakers will need to fill in a health control form.

READ MORE: Spain clarifies – UK visitors will NOT need to show PCR test but will require health form

The document explains that Spain’s decision may soon be followed by a similar one by the European Union, in terms of confirming whether Britons as non-EU nationals will be able to travel to EU countries for non-essential reasons and without restrictions.

Visitors from Japan are now also able to visit Spain from Monday May 24th without a PCR or other travel restrictions. 

 “It is foreseeable” that the EU “will allow the inclusion of the United Kingdom and Japan among the countries exempted from restrictions. Several Member States already place them in that privileged position ”, writes the Spanish Government.

The United Kingdom and Japan join the list of countries whose travellers do not have any restrictions for travel to Spain, which already includes Israel, Northern Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and China , as well as residents of Hong Kong and Macao.

It isn’t clear yet what proof of vaccination, if any, British tourists will have to present to visit Spain. The Spanish government website still states that overseas visitors have to present a health control form.

Spain is currently working on its own ‘vaccine passport’ scheme which is due to be launched in June and will be incorporated into the EU’s vaccine certificate scheme, due to be active in July. 

The UK government officially advises against non-essential travel to all amber list countries including Spain, but there have been conflicting messages from British authorities over whether this means Britons should travel abroad or not.

“I think it’s very important for people to grasp what an amber list country is: it is not somewhere where you should be going on holiday, let me be very clear about that,”  UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

“And if people do go to an amber list country, they absolutely have to for some pressing family or urgent business reason, then please bear in mind that you will have to self-isolate, you’ll have to take tests and do your passenger locator form and all the rest of it.”

There is an important consequence to the type of official advice being given by the UK government relating to insurance.

The UK government’s official travel page states that the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office position is “you should not travel to amber list countries” and this official advice will likely invalidate most travel insurance, so check your policy carefully.

Invalid travel insurance means you won’t be covered for things like cancellation costs but also, potentially more seriously, for health costs in case you become ill or have an accident while you are away.

The EHIC card, or its replacement GHIC, covers only some emergency medical care while travelling and there are many things that it does not cover, including repatriation costs if this is required. People who have travelled abroad against government advice could therefore be faced with a large bill for medical costs if they fall ill or have an accident while abroad.


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‘Painful’ – is Paris Charles de Gaulle airport really that bad?

Following a survey that said Paris Charles de Gaulle airport was the best in Europe, we asked Local readers what they thought...

'Painful' - is Paris Charles de Gaulle airport really that bad?

Recently, Paris Charles de Gaulle was voted the best airport in Europe by passengers.

The 2022 World Airport Awards, based on customer satisfaction surveys between September 2021 and May 2022, listed the best airport on the planet as Doha, while Paris’s main airport came in at number 6 – the highest entry for a European airport – one place above Munich. 

READ ALSO Paris Charles de Gaulle voted best airport in Europe by passengers

Given CDG’s long-standing reputation doesn’t quite match what the World Airport Awards survey said – in 2009 it was rated the second-worst airport in the world, while in 2011 US site CNN judged it “the most hated airport in the world” – we wondered how accurate the survey could be.

So we asked readers of The Local for their opinion on their experience of Europe’s ‘best’ airport. 

Contrary to the World Airport Awards study, users erred towards the negative about the airport. A total 30.8 percent of Local readers – who had travelled through the airport in recent months – thought it was ‘terrible’, while another 33.3 percent agreed that it was ‘not great’ and had ‘some problems’.

But in total 12.8 percent of those who responded to our survey thought the airport was ‘brilliant’, and another 23.1 percent thought it ‘fine’, with ‘no major problems’.

So what are the problems with it?


One respondent asked a simple – and obvious – question: “Why are there so many terminal twos?”

Barney Lehrer added: “They should change the terminal number system.”

In fact, signage and directions – not to mention the sheer size of the place – were common complaints, as were onward travel options. 

Christine Charaudeau told us: “The signage is terrible. I’ve often followed signs that led to nowhere. Thankfully, I speak French and am familiar with the airport but for first time travellers … yikes!”

Edwin Walley added that it was, “impossible to get from point A to point B,”  as he described the logistics at the airport as the “worst in the world”.

And James Patterson had a piece of advice taken from another airport. “The signage could be better – they could take a cue from Heathrow in that regard.”

Anthony Schofield said: “Arriving by car/taxi is painful due to congestion and the walk from the skytrain to baggage claim seems interminable.”

Border control

Border control, too, was a cause for complaint. “The wait at the frontière is shameful,” Linda, who preferred to use just her first name, told us. “I waited one and a half hours standing, with a lot of old people.”

Sharon Dubble agreed. She wrote: “The wait time to navigate passport control and customs is abysmal!”

Deborah Mur, too, bemoaned the issue of, “the long, long wait to pass border control in Terminal E, especially at 6am after an overnight flight.”

Beth Van Hulst, meanwhile, pulled no punches with her estimation of border staff and the airport in general. “[It] takes forever to go through immigration, and staff deserve their grumpy reputation. Also, queuing is very unclear and people get blocked because the airport layout is not well designed.”

Jeff VanderWolk highlighted the, “inadequate staffing of immigration counters and security checkpoints”, while Karel Prinsloo had no time for the brusque attitudes among security and border personnel. “Officers at customs are so rude. I once confronted the commander about their terrible behaviour.  His response said it all: ‘We are not here to be nice’. Also the security personnel.”


One of the most-complained-about aspects is one that is not actually within the airport’s control – public transport connections.  

Mahesh Chaturvedula was just one of those to wonder about integrated travel systems in France, noting problems with the reliability of onward RER rail services, and access to the RER network from the terminal.

The airport is connected to the city via RER B, one of the capital’s notoriously slow and crowded suburban trains. Although there are plans to create a new high-speed service to the airport, this now won’t begin until after the 2024 Olympics.

Sekhar also called for, “more frequent trains from SNCF to different cities across France with respect to the international flight schedules.”

The good news

But it wasn’t all bad news for the airport, 35 percent of survey respondents said the airport had more positives than negatives, while a Twitter poll of local readers came out in favour of Charles de Gaulle.

Conceding that the airport is “too spread out”, Jim Lockard said it, “generally operates well; [and has] decent amenities for food and shopping”.

Declan Murphy was one of a number of respondents to praise the, “good services and hotels in terminals”, while Dean Millar – who last passed through Charles de Gaulle in October – said the, “signage is very good. [It is] easy to find my way around”.

He added: “Considering the size (very large) [of the airport] it is very well done.  So no complaints at all.”