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Spain further eases restrictions, allows unvaccinated travelers with a negative test

May 27, 2022
4 min read
Barcelona Cathedral
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Editor’s note: This story is continually updated.


Spanish officials backtracked on last week's extension of COVID-19 protocols to allow unvaccinated tourists to resume travel to the country if they agree to take a predeparture test.

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People linger on the beach of Arenal at dusk on May 13 in Mallorca, Spain. (Photo by Clara Margais/picture alliance/Getty Images)

Unvaccinated tourists can enter by taking a predeparture test

Visitors from non-European Union countries, including the United States, can now go to Spain by submitting results of a negative COVID-19 test taken ahead of travel.

Travelers are able to take a PCR test within 72 hours of departure or a rapid antigen test within one day (or 24 hours) of departure for Spain.

"This is good news, expected by the tourism sector, which facilitates the arrival of tourists from outside the EU for the high season, guaranteeing safe mobility," Spanish Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism Reyes Maroto said in a statement on May 21. "The new phase of the pandemic allows us to relax the health requirements for entry to Spain, equating non-EU travelers with those from the EU and associated Schengen countries."

Passengers who have recovered from COVID-19 in the previous 180 days can also provide proof that they have successfully recovered from COVID-19 at least 11 days prior to travel.

The news from the Spanish Interior Ministry follows the agency's quiet extension of previous policies through June 15, requiring all tourists to be vaccinated and boosted if a certain amount of time has elapsed since a traveler’s final vaccine dose.

The extension coincided with the country recording 400,000 new cases of COVID-19 in April alone, before case numbers dropped to just under 10,000 cases the first week of May, according to data from the World Health Organization.

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Protocols for vaccinated travelers

Since February, vaccinated adults have been able to travel to Spain by showing proof of full vaccination to enter Spain.

Per Spanish officials, travelers are only considered “fully vaccinated” if they have received a booster shot within or at the nine-month mark following one’s final vaccine dose.

“If more than 270 days (9 months) have passed since receiving the last required dose of their COVID-19 vaccine, U.S. citizens must show proof of having received a booster shot at least 14 days prior to arrival in Spain,” the U.S. Embassy in Spain confirmed.

Spanish vaccination requirements do not apply to travelers age 12 or below.

Read more: The 13 European countries that still require masks on flights despite EU dropping rules

Face masks are required on flights to Spain

Although Spain dropped its previous indoor and outdoor mask mandate in April, masks remain required on flights to and from Spain, per the country’s health minister.

This rule applies to flights through June 15. It directly conflicts with broader mask rules for European flights, as the mask mandate previously enforced by both the European Union Aviation Safety Agency and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control is no longer in place.

However, several other European countries have maintained their own policies to continue compulsory mask-wearing for passengers on board flights to and from their respective countries, including Germany, Greece and Italy.

Non-EU air passengers to Spain, including those who are just transiting, must complete an online health form. After completing the form, you should receive a QR code to present at boarding and upon arrival when passing through airport health controls.

Bottom line

The latest news shifting entry protocols means all Americans, regardless of vaccination status, are once again able to visit Spain.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

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  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more