Spain backtracks on plans to ease rules for unvaccinated travelers

Apr 7, 2022

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

This article has been updated.

Spain is backtracking on loosened travel restrictions for unvaccinated visitors ahead of the busy Easter break,

Earlier this week, Spanish officials said they were allowing anyone without a COVID-19 vaccine to enter the country provided they could show either a negative PCR or a rapid antigen test.

The development was hailed by the Spanish Tourist Office in the U.K. as a “step in the right direction.”

However, less than 10 hours after the initial announcement, Spanish officials did a jumbo jet-sized U-turn, saying the previous rules for unvaccinated travelers were still in place after all.

Sign up for our daily newsletter for more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox.

Pedro Medina, the director of Spain’s tourist office in the U.K, said: “We apologize unreservedly for the miscommunication earlier today which was due to a misunderstanding of the new entry requirements.”

As of April 7, Americans can visit Spain by showing proof of full vaccination or recent recovery from COVID-19.

You are considered fully vaccinated if you’ve got both shots and have been boosted within 270 days of receiving your final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Unvaccinated travelers can visit Spain, but they must take a pre-departure PCR test within 72 hours of departure for Spain. Testing and vaccination rules do not apply to travelers under age 12.

All passengers (regardless of age) arriving in Spain must also complete an online Health Control Form. That includes transit passengers.

Related: We flew four major European airlines and their mask policies confused the hell out of us

One upside is that this figure of 270 days was previously only 180 days. This had led many to worry that even those who’ve had the jabs much earlier than most — particularly older or more vulnerable visitors — would find themselves categorized as unvaccinated going into Easter and towards the summer.

Playa Papagayo, Canary Islands. (Photo by Zu Sanchez Photography / Getty Images)

Related: Here’s what to do if your flight is canceled or delayed 

Despite Spanish officials being keen to keep restrictions tight, COVID-19 rates are falling faster than they have done in the past two years. Since the start of the pandemic, Spain has seen over 11 million infections and 102,747 COVID-19-related deaths. Right now, infections are only 5% of what they were at the peak of the crisis, with 98 infections reported per 100,000 people.

(Photo courtesy of the Ritz Carlton Abama Tenerife/Facebook)

In light of the falling rates, travel workers have been critical of Spain for its reluctance to drop its restrictions as fast as other EU countries. Let’s just hope they don’t implement another ban on dancing in the Canary Islands.

Featured image by Shutterstock.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

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

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.