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Can I travel to Spain if I’ve only had one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine?

In short yes, you may be able to travel to Spain if you’ve only had one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, but it depends on where you’re travelling from. Read on to find out if it's possible from where you are?

Can I travel to Spain if I’ve only had one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine?
Can I travel to Spain even if I've only had one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine? Photo: JAIME REINA / AFP

Obviously, you are not fully protected if you’ve only had a single dose – unless it’s the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) Covid-19 vaccine, so you still need to take precautions while travelling, as well as when in Spain.

From the EU or an EEA country

Those travelling to Spain from the EU can use their Digital Covid Certificates to make travel within the bloc easier. This shows whether a person has been fully vaccinated, has a negative Covid-19 test or has recovered from the virus.

READ ALSO: TRAVEL: How does the new EU Covid certificate work and how do I get one?

Therefore, if you’ve not been fully vaccinated yet and have only received one dose, you can still travel to Spain by showing a negative Covid-19 test result or a recovery certificate. The Spanish authorities state that you can do this by showing your Digital Covid Certificate or one of the following:

Diagnostic certificate: You must show a negative COVID-19 test, carried out within 48 hours prior to your arrival in Spain. Accepted tests include PCR or antigen tests (NAAT).

Recovery certificate: People who have recovered from the virus may show a certificate proving this. The recovery certificate must be dated at least 11 days previously and a maximum of 180 days from the date on which you had your positive COVID-19 test result.

Note: If travelling from certain regions in some EU countries, you may not need to provide proof of either of these. Check here and click on your country to find out which regions are included.

From the UK

Those travelling to Spain from the UK are also allowed to enter, even if they’ve only had one jab. They must however show proof of:

Negative Covid-19 test: Documentation issued within 48 hours prior to arrival in Spain, certifying that you have undertaken a COVID-19 test, e.g. PCR, TMA, LAMP or NEAR, and tested negative. Antigen tests are not currently accepted, unless you are an EU citizen or family member of one, or are resident in Spain.

READ ALSO: Do Brits in Spain still have to quarantine on return to the UK?

Can I travel to Spain even if I’ve had only one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine? Photo: Leon LORD / AFP

Other travellers from outside the EU/EEA

Currently, travellers from outside the EU/EEA, with the exception of certain countries (see below), cannot travel to Spain if they’ve only had one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. In order to be able to travel, they need to wait until at least 14 days after they are fully vaccinated and be able to present a Covid-19 vaccination certificate.

Spain currently only accepts vaccine proof from those who have been inoculated with those Covid-19 vaccines authorised by the European Medicines Agency or those that have completed the World Health Organisation’s emergency use process. 

The only countries where even those who are fully vaccinated cannot travel from are Brazil, South Africa and India. According to the Spanish authorities, if you are travelling from Brazil or South Africa and are in transit to a non-Schengen country, with a stopover of less than 24 hours, then this is allowed (provided you don’t leave the transit zone of the airport).

Exceptions

Only July 1st, the EU added 11 more countries to its list of epidemiologically safe third countries, meaning that travellers from these destinations can now travel to Spain if they’ve only received one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and do not need to show any health certificates or negative tests (provided they haven’t travelled to a country in the risk zone within 14 days).

Currently, this includes the following countries: Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Montenegro, New Zealand, Qatar, Moldova, North Macedonia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, United States of American and China, as well as Hong Kong and Macau. 

Spanish authorities have said, “If you are travelling from a country or territory included in the list of countries with low incidence [see above], excluded from the risk zone, you will be able to travel without the need for a diagnostic test or a certificate of vaccination or immunity”.

All travellers:

The Spanish authorities have said that: “Regardless of your country of origin, all passengers arriving in Spain, including those in transit and children under 6 years of age, must complete a health control form before their departure”.

You can find the health control form here or on the Spain Travel Health app. When you fill in the form, a QR code will be generated, which you must show before boarding your transportation and upon arrival at the border checks in Spain. Find out more about the health control form here

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TRAVEL NEWS

When will Spain lift all its Covid-19 travel restrictions?

Spain has dropped almost all its domestic Covid restrictions, but entry requirements for travel are still in force. When will Spanish authorities allow unvaccinated tourists in, remove mask rules for transport and scrap the Covid certificate and testing requirements?

When will Spain lift all its Covid-19 travel restrictions?

Over the past couple of months, the Spanish government has gradually adapted legislation to its plans to treat Covid-19 like the flu. 

They’ve stopped counting and reporting each and every Covid-19 case in the country, lifted quarantine for mild or asymptomatic cases and scrapped mask wearing rules for most indoor public spaces. 

And yet when it comes to Covid-19 travel rules, many still remain in place. 

Most travellers need to show proof of vaccination, testing or recovery either in the form of a Covid Digital Certificate or another certificate from an official body, many still need to fill in a health control form.

Unvaccinated EU tourists who haven’t had Covid in the past six months have to get a test before visiting Spain, and unvaccinated non-EU tourists still cannot come. 

Those who did get vaccinated but did so more than 9 months ago, have to get a booster shot to be considered immunised again.

Even though the EU has urged Member States to implement similar Covid travel legislation throughout the pandemic, they are free to ease or tighten restrictions as they see fit based on their epidemiological situation.

Other EU/Schengen countries have already lifted all their Covid-19 travel restrictions, including Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland.

Greece is the latest country added to this list, a direct competitor of Spain in the tourism stakes.

France, Portugal and Italy still have some of the requirements Spain has, but crucially they allow unvaccinated non-EU nationals such as Britons and Americans to visit their countries if they present a negative PCR test, whereas Spain does not.

France has also just followed EU advice and removed the requirement of wearing a mask on public transport, whereas Spain has decided to keep the rule for inside airplanes, trains, taxis and buses but not airports or stations. 

When will Spain lift all its Covid-19 travel restrictions?

The Spanish government has given no indication of when it will, nor if it will keep some rules and scrap others.

There had been hopes that the shorter two-week extension to the ban on non-essential travel issued on April 30th, as well as talk of the “orderly and progressive reopening” of the country’s borders, would mean that unvaccinated third-country nationals would be allowed into Spain in mid-May, even if with a negative Covid test as is the case elsewhere.

But Spain has extended the ban for unvaccinated non-EU tourists for another month until June 15th. 

It’s hard to understand why Spain isn’t adapting its travel regulations to the more lenient approach of domestic rules as the country looks to put the pandemic behind it and recover the full force of its tourism industry.

Perhaps Spanish authorities don’t consider that the added income unvaccinated tourists could bring is worth the potential health risk of allowing them in, even as the summer season fast approaches. 

There’s also the 270-day validity of Covid vaccine passports, which means that those who haven’t had a booster shot have to either pay for a test or cannot travel to Spain full stop. Another potential factor dissuading visitors.

In early May, the European Parliament did back a one-year extension for the EU Digital COVID Certificate framework to be kept in place, but MEPs have stressed Covid travel rules should be limited and proportionate, and based on the latest scientific advice from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Covid-19 infection rate data from across the EU as of May 12th 2022. Map: ECDC

The ECDC’s latest epidemiological map of the EU shows far less infection data than previously, which showcases the changing attitudes of EU nations that have lifted all travel restrictions, although the map does show how Spain’s fortnightly Covid infection rate continues for the most part above 300 cases per 100,000 people, the highest risk category.

“The European Commission (EC) strongly supports the decisions of the Member States to lift these restrictions when possible “, EC sources are quoted as saying in Spanish daily 20 minutos.

With previous Covid rules, the Spanish government has often waited to see what neighbours Italy and France did first, or for an official announcement from the EU, before executing a decision. 

This may be what Spain needs to ease the country’s travel rules, until then Spanish health authorities may continue to play it safe.

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