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TRAVEL NEWS

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

10 percent of Spain’s free train travel tickets are used fraudulently

Spain's state-owned railway has offered free train travel on certain lines but some commuters are taking advantage of the rules.

10 percent of Spain's free train travel tickets are used fraudulently

Around a tenth of the free Media Distancia train tickets offered by Spain’s state-owned rail operator Renfe are being used fraudulently, according to Raquel Sánchez, Spain’s Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda.

Speaking at the EU Council of Ministers in Brussels, Sánchez explained that some cheeky travellers are reserving a place that they then do not use, filling up carriages, reducing the number of available seats and leaving other commuters without a way of travelling. In total, the Minister suggested that this fraudulent practice has only affected 3 percent of the total 2.2 million free tickets issued so far (including all the different lines) because Cercanías trains don’t require specific seat reservations.

Spain’s free train travel offer came into force on September 1st and was originally due to end on December 31st 2022, but it has now been confirmed it will be extended until at least December 2023 when the measure’s economic and environmental impact will be evaluated. 

The offer is available on trains operated by the state-owned train network Renfe, including Cercanías, Rodalies (in Catalonia), and Media Distancia (local and medium-distance journeys).

Crucially, it’s only offered on special multi-journey tickets, not on single journeys or high-speed AVE trains. 

GUIDE: How to get free train tickets in Spain

But according to Sánchez around 640,000 Media Distancia free passes have been issued so far, which means around 64,000 people have been reserving seats that they ultimately do not use, and some even do it on several trains to give themselves greater travel flexibility.

READ ALSO: Spain’s free train tickets to continue throughout 2023

Now, it seems, the Spanish government have had enough of commuters taking advantage of their kindness and are introducing sanctions for fraudulent use of their free tickets. Punishments, something Sánchez told her European colleagues were a “necessary measure,” will now be levied against repeat offenders.

Sanctions

Crafty commuters who are caught making multiple reservations and not using them could have their free travel withdrawn or their deposit taken.

These punishments have been brought in, according to the Spanish government’s Official State Gazette, to discourage certain users who on “at least three occasions have not cancelled the formalised trip at least two hours in advance and do not make the trip.”

Standing room only?

As you might expect, the offer of free train travel has proven extremely popular across Spain, and in order to keep up with demand, Renfe are set to introduce limited standing space quotas of 10 percent on high-demand routes where specific seat reservations will not be available.

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