Announced by the BOE (Office State Bulletin in Spain) on the 15 September 2022, Covid travel restrictions for travellers from third countries, so the UK, USA, and anywhere outside of the EU or Schengen Zone entering Spain remain in place.  However, this Spain travel update leaves questions unanswered.

Entry Restrictions to Spain from Third Countries

This means that ONLY travellers from the EU and Schengen zone and children under 12 years old can arrive freely into Spain without the requirement to show proof of a Covid vaccination, recovery certificate or a negative Covid test.

If you would like to know more about what you need to travel from a third country, then click here

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How serious is Covid in Spain in Autumn 2022?

Every day, hundreds of thousands of passengers from all over the world are traveling to Spain.

Thousands of these are arriving with colds, illnesses bugs. 

However, in Spain Covid is no longer considered a risk to public health. Life has pretty much gone back to normal.

Social distancing is no longer required in public places. And schools are back to how they were pre-Covid without any of the strict measures in place.

If you are visiting Mallorca you will still see some shop owners wearing facemasks, or maybe a waiter in a restaurant, but otherwise, most people are mask free.

So these entry restrictions are still in place for third country travellers add inconvenience not just to holidaymakers, but also to returning unvaccinated residents who now have to find time to seek out a test.

This is made harder by the fact many Covid testing centres have closed in the regional airports and in major cities (and I’m referring to the UK here), meaning visiting residents will lose precious time with their families or friends.

The Spanish Health website states:

There is currently no list of risk countries/territories or areas. 

So it’s fair to assume that there is no actual risk from any country whose visitors may be visiting Spain.

It’s difficult to understand why these Covid entry requirements have not changed.

So why, are Covid entry restrictions to Spain still in place? 

As you will have seen in my September Travel Update video, the authorities at the airport have clamped down on flights arriving from the UK and ensuring arriving passengers are still arriving with Covid paperwork.

Now since the UK and possibly other countries’ airlines are not checking paperwork before boarding, some passengers are arriving in Spain without a vaccination certificate, recovery certificate or negative test and are then being made to have a test in the Spanish Health Check area.  

And this appears that this will continue

Now I have several questions about this, not just to understand why these Covid restrictions are still in place, and also what happens if you arrive in Spain without your Covid paperwork.

So I contacted the Health Ministry myself and was put through to the Support Team at Spain Travel Health to ask a few questions. 

My first response was an automated email outlining the Covid Restrictions coming from Third Countries. 

So I emailed them back asking about what I had witnessed at the airport – tourists from Third Countries without Covid paperwork, being made to take a test before leaving the airport.

What happens if you arrive in Spain without Covid paperwork?

I asked how much passengers from Third Countries would be charged for a test if they arrive in Spain without a vaccination certificate, recovery certificate or test.  

The last time I travelled into Spain from the UK was just a few weeks ago, and previously in the Summer, airports are not checking Covid paperwork before passengers board the flights.

So I asked in the Health check area how much they were charging for these tests. They couldn’t tell me.

I then asked the Spain Travel Health support team.  They couldn’t tell me either.

They said it was up to the testing team in the airport to price tests.

So next I asked them what would happen if these tourists being tested actually tested positive.   And how this would affect their holiday.  

The only response I had was that they would be unable to fly.

So what does this mean?  

I asked how this would impact their return journey home if they were only staying for 7 days, since 11 days is the official time period when is when someone here in Spain is considered to have recovered from Covid.

I was only told they wouldn’t be able to fly.

So again, if you are arriving in Spain without Covid paperwork, and you are made to take a test, and this test is positive, it’s possible you will not be able to fly home if you are flying in the next 7 days.

I haven’t heard of anyone being denied entry to Spain after testing positive.

So the assumption is that they are released and allowed to continue with their holiday, even if testing positive.

Will any kind of checks be made on you when you leave the airport? I have absolutely no idea.

The advice here is to remember to bring your Covid paperwork and get a test prior to travel if you need to.

And it is your responsibility to check official government sources before travelling.

Here is a list of sources to check.

Travel Safe Spain

Spain Travel Health (UPDATE 20 September 2020: The passenger locator health control form is no longer required. This website has been deactivated, but I’ll leave the link here in case it returns).

Spain Travel Update Leaves Questions Unanswered tourists getting covid tests
Tourists arriving without Covid paperwork from the UK being tested at Palma airport

Why is Spain continuing to impose Entry Restrictions on Third Countries?

And when I asked Spain Travel Health about the decision to extend the entry restrictions, I was told, 

“Desconocemos los motivos detrás de las decisiones que toma la UE,” which means they are unsure of the EU motives to do this.

So I asked again if this decision was made by the EU and not by Spain, and they said this was correct.

So again apparently, the decision to extend restrictions was made by the European Union and not by Spain itself. 

This leads me to why it’s possible to travel to other European countries without Covid paperwork.

Now I would love to give you all the right information so if anyone reading this article has arrived in Spain without Covid paperwork and had to get tested at the airport on arrival, please comment below so I can get in touch with you.  

I’d love to hear about your experience.   How much you were charged, and what restrictions were placed on your holiday if any at all?  

I would also love to know how rigorous these checks will be after 31 October when the season ends. 

And if the same huge team employed to make these checks will still be in place at the airport, do let me know.  

These Entry Restrictions to Spain will remain in place for Third Countries until 15 November, so let’s see what happens then.

For me, it’s important that visitors to this country know exactly what to expect when they arrive in Spain, especially if airlines are not checking covid paperwork when leaving third countries.  

The news today again is another blow to tourism and to the reputation that Spain is a country that is welcoming to visitors.  

If there is any information in this article that is incorrect that the Spanish Health Support would like to correct please get in touch. 

Other Covid entry restrictions in Spain Autumn 2022

I just want to point out too that the other Covid measures here in Mallorca and Spain that remain in place are wearing masks on public transport, so getting the bus, train or taxi, as well as in medical centres (doctors, dentists and pharmacies).  

Buses are being delayed with passengers trying to get on without wearing masks and being denied entry.  So please do not forget your face mask.

Finally, if you want to know more about what the weather is like in Mallorca or Spain this Autumn, then please check out this article here.

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