Spain recently announced they’d be letting Brits back on holiday, but unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to freely go away there just yet. A destination’s entry requirements is just one of the three main boxes you need to tick before going away.
To go on holiday, the FCDO’s travel advice, the traffic light system, and the entry requirements for your destination all need to align. There also can’t be any government lockdowns or travel bans. So, what’s the situation in Spain right now?
1. FCDO advice
The FCDO set out travel advice based on the risk each country represents. Most recently, a lot of the focus has been around how coronavirus impacts each country, but the FCDO also look at other risks like terrorism and natural disasters.
Two levels of travel advice can be offered by the FCDO when they think travelling isn’t safe: ‘against all but essential travel’ and ‘against all travel’. Many travel providers make decisions based upon FCDO advice, so if there is any against where you want to go, you should keep this in mind.
When it comes to Spain, the FCDO no longer advise against all but essential travel, based on the current COVID-19 risks. But this can change at short notice, so make sure to check the FCDO website before you travel and while you’re away.
2. Entry requirements
A dilemma that a lot of people might face as travel starts to open up again is that where you want to visit might not be letting tourists in.
Countries will be trying to protect their citizens while coronavirus is still an ongoing pandemic. This means they’ll put entry requirements in place to lower the risk of letting in tourists, especially from countries where there is a greater risk of COVID-19.
At the moment, Spain is allowing British tourists in, but there are entry requirements. As of July, UK holidaymakers travelling to Spain, the Balearic Islands, and the Canary Islands from the UK need to provide proof of a negative PCR test or be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at least 14 days before they travel.
Anyone travelling to Spain, the Balearics, or the Canaries also needs to fill out a health control form before they depart.
When you get there, you’ll need to wear a mask everywhere – even outdoors – except for sunbathing in a quiet area and in the sea.
3. Traffic light system
The ‘traffic light system’, or the red, amber, and green lists, are used to tell people from the UK what they need to do when they get back home from international travel. Everyone needs to take a PCR test within 72 hours before travelling back to the UK, but there are levels to the other requirements.
Self-isolation or quarantine is not compulsory for green list countries. You just need to take a PCR test on day two of being back. But if it’s positive you’ll need to self-isolate as instructed.
If you’re travelling from an amber list country, you’ll need to self-isolate at home for 10 days if you’re not fully vaccinated. You need to take a PCR test on day two and day eight. You can choose to use the ‘Test to Release’ scheme from day five. Fully vaccinated travellers can return from amber list countries without needing to self-isolate from 19 July 2021.
When you get back from a red list country, you need to quarantine in a pre-booked hotel for 10 days and take PCR tests on day two and day eight. You can’t use Test to Release. It’ll also cost up to £1,750 per person to stay in a quarantine hotel.
What does all of this mean?
So, can you go on holiday to Spain right now? Technically, yes.
You can travel to Spain: based on FCDO advice, entry requirements, and the traffic light system. You’ll need to follow some restrictions to do so, though.
Travel to the Balearic Islands is allowed, since there’s no advice against travelling there from the FCDO, although they were recently added to the traffic light system’s amber list.
There is no travel advice against going to the Canary Islands from the FCDO, but they also remain on the amber list as well.
If you do decide to go to Spain, the Balearics, or the Canaries try to book an ATOL-protected package holiday or through a travel provider with flexible booking policies. That means you’ll have the best chance of getting your money back, or being able to change the dates of your trip should the situation change.
What’s there left to do?
Now that we’ve left the EU, you’ll also need to make sure you have an EHIC that’s still valid or a new GHIC card. You’ll also need at least six months on your passport.
We even offer a European FCDO Travel Advice Extension add-on, which means you can go away if you feel safe to travel, even when the FCDO advise against ‘all but essential’ travel.