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UPDATE: When will it be possible to travel to the US from Spain in 2021?

UPDATE: When will it be possible to travel to the US from Spain in 2021?
The White House believes travel from Spain to the US will open up to vaccinated travellers in “early November”. Photo: Cooper NEILL / AFP
Although Spain has been open to some American visitors for a while, the United States’ entry rules for arrivals from Spain have been far stricter for the last 18 months. This, however, will soon change.

What are the current rules for travel from Spain to the US?

The White House announced on Monday September 20th it was lifting its international travel ban after a long 18 months where mostly only US residents and nationals have been able to enter the United States.

This will remain the case during October, but everything points to the situation drastically changing in November 2021.

On September 20th, the White House announced the US would lift Covid travel bans on all passengers for all 22 Schengen Zone members (most EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) as well as the UK, Ireland, Iran, South Africa, Brazil and India.

Spain is of course a member of the Schengen Area and is included in these latest travel changes.

Although exact details of the requirements are yet to be published, it is expected that travellers arriving in the US from these countries will have to show proof they are fully vaccinated AND a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of travel to the US.

White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients told reporters the new “consistent approach” would take effect in “early November”.

Quarantine will not be required on arrival.

US authorities currently accept Pfizer/BioNtech, AstraZeneca, Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), Moderna, Sinovac/Coronavac and Sinopharm inoculations.

Even though the vaccination requirement will have to be met by most travellers, unvaccinated US nationals in Spain who want to fly back will be able to do so if they present a negative Covid-19 test.

The travel restrictions were brought in by Donald Trump in 2020 when Presidential Proclamation 10143 suspended entry to the United States for foreign nationals who have been present in the 26 countries that comprise the Schengen zone, including Spain, up to 14 days prior to their arrival at the United States port of entry. 

Some immediate family members of US citizens, and other individuals specifically identified here have been able to travel to the States during this time, but so far other people living in Spain have not, causing misery and problems for many. 

READ ALSO: Where can tourists and visitors in Spain get a PCR test and how much does it cost?

What about the rules and restrictions for travel from the US to Spain?

On Friday, September 3rd Spanish health authorities removed the United States from the list of third countries whose travellers are exempt from Spain’s Covid travel restrictions.

In late September, Spain extended these restrictions for travellers from third countries until November, meaning unvaccinated Americans cannot currently travel to Spain in October 2021. 

This came just days after the EU recommended Member States introduce tighter restrictions for travellers from the US and a handful of other third countries with worsening Covid figures.

To find out what these new requirements mean for vaccinated and unvaccinated American travellers who want to visit Spain, click here.


Member comments

  1. We arrived in Spain on 28 September 2021. We accessed the Spain Health App within the 48 hour window, answered the required questions and immediately received the Spain Admission QR Code. We were required to show the Spain QR code and our US Covid-19 vaccination record prior to receiving our boarding passes in the US. We transferred @ CDG Paris and were required to show the US & Spain documents prior to receiving our boarding passes to Spain. Upon arrival in Spain, we were directed to a station for review of our documents. The process was very fast and we were swiftly moved through the area and on to secure our luggage. We had applied for the France Health Certificate online on 3 September 2021. Today (1 October) we received the approve France Health Pass with the QR codes. The delay from France was unexpected but thankfully we now have them.

  2. Just correcting your article where you say “The travel restrictions were brought in by Donald Trump in January 2021”, please note that President Trump lifted the ban on EU travel to the USA on 18 January 2021, effective date of 26 January 2021. President Biden rescinded the lifting of the ban upon taking office. From the NYT per https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/18/us/coronavirus-travel-ban-europe-brazil.html: Trump lifted coronavirus travel restrictions from Europe and Brazil; Biden team says it won’t last… Published Jan. 18, 2021…President Trump on Monday ordered an end to the ban on travelers from Europe and Brazil that had been aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus to the United States, a move that was quickly rejected by aides to President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., who said Mr. Biden will rescind the move when he takes office on Wednesday. In a proclamation issued late Monday, Mr. Trump said that the travel restrictions, which applied to noncitizens trying to come to the United States after spending time in those areas, would no longer be needed on Jan. 26, the date on which those passengers will be required to present proof of a negative coronavirus test before boarding a flight.

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