You now need to show proof of vaccination to enter Spain

Sep 13, 2021

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Several countries have added travel restrictions on tourists from the United States following the European Union’s recommendation to reimplement restrictions due to the continued spread of COVID-19. Now, you can add Spain to that list.

The new rule effectively bans unvaccinated American travelers from entering Spain. The country will require proof of vaccination to enter the country — and there are almost no exceptions.

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Madrid, Spain (Photo courtesy of Sven-Hansche/EyeEm/Getty Images)

According to the Spanish government, U.S. travelers must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter the country. Vaccinations approved by Spain’s Ministry of Health, including Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson, are accepted. Children under 12 are the only exemption from the rule.

This mandate replaces a recent rule that allowed travelers to enter with proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before arrival.

The U.S. is on Spain’s list of “high-risk” countries, though the list also includes most of the world. According to the Spanish government, the list of high-risk countries is reviewed every seven days.

In addition to proof of vaccination, travelers headed to Spain from the U.S. must present a QR code generated through the Spain Travel Health portal. The health form details your name, email, passport number and flight details. Travelers then receive a QR code that’s must be presented at boarding and upon arrival in Spain. Alternatively, the EU digital certificate is acceptable if you’re coming from other EU countries.

When Spain first reopened its borders earlier this summer, COVID-19 tests and proof of vaccination weren’t mandated. However, in light of rising coronavirus cases and the EU’s recommendation, countries are implementing new restrictions on travel. This is a general trend we’ve seen worldwide, and it’s getting increasingly difficult to travel internationally if you’re not fully vaccinated.

The highly transmissible delta variant has forced countries to reevaluate their international travel strategy. According to Reuters, the U.S. averages 313 cases per 100,000 residents daily, while Spain averages 59 cases per 100,000 residents daily. Nearly 75% of Spaniards are fully vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

While Spain’s new restrictions mainly affect the unvaccinated, some countries are implementing requirements that also impact fully vaccinated travelers. For instance, the Netherlands reimposed a 10-day quarantine on top of proof of vaccination or a recent negative test — and we may see other countries develop similar restrictions soon.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classifies Spain as Level 4: “Very High Level of COVID-19″ and recommends Americans avoid traveling to the country. The U.S. State Department also lists Spain under its own Level 4 “Do Not Travel” designation due to COVID-19 cases.

Additional reporting by Victoria Walker.

Featured photo by Prasit Photo/Getty Images.

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