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Travel to Spain 2021: What you need to know... part 2

While the number of new coronavirus cases in Spain’s fifth wave had been on a downward trend since July 28, I've been waiting until there was a drop in new coronavirus hospitalisations as a sign that things are trending in the right direction to restart this thread.

We've seen this pattern throughout the pandemic: first cases fall, then hospitalization, followed by intensive care unit (ICU) admissions and finally the number of fatalities. These last two statistics are, however, continuing to rise, which signals that there may be a few more weeks before the fifth wave is totally over in Spain. You can read more here - https://english.elpais.com/society/2021-08-10/spain-records-drop-in-hospital-admissions-as-coronavirus-cases-fall.html

Vaccinations: Spain has reached 70% fully vaccinated population.

Entry requirements: As of September 6, Spain now requires travelers coming from the US to be fully vaccinated if they wish to travel to Spain for tourism or leisure. US travelers must present a certificate of vaccination with one of the vaccines approved by the Spanish authorities and fill out a Health Control Form beforehand - https://www.spth.gob.es/

Covid restrictions: Due to the devolved nature of the pandemic response in Spain, there is a patchwork of Covid restrictions amongst the various regions, mostly night curfews, have stayed in place thus far. Spain is in its fifth wave of the pandemic but according to El País. As of August 30, the wave is peaking and the country has reported a downward trend in infection rates and hospitalizations in the last two weeks, which has resulted in many restrictions, like night time curfews being lifted.

Masks are no longer legally required outdoors, provided people can keep 1.5 meters (5 feet) apart. But it's a good idea to always take a mask with you as they're still required in crowded outdoor spaces, on public transport and in taxis, and in indoor spaces such as restaurants, airports, supermarkets, shops and museums.

Across Spain, restaurants, cinemas, theaters, cultural attractions and museums are open with capacity limits. Amusement and water parks are open with enhanced health and safety protocols. Beaches are open with social distancing guidelines in place and in some tourist resorts a curfew applies, such as Mallorca, where beaches are closed from 9pm until 6am.

COVID-19 testing in Spain: Many countries, including the US, require passengers to present a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding their flight home from an international trip. Antigen tests cost about €30, while PCR tests cost about €120 from a private medical facility. You can see a partial list of testing locations here: https://es.usembassy.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/260/COVID19_Testing_Labs_Spain_January_2021.pdf

Covid health pass: Nationally there are no plans to enact a "pass sanitaire" type covid health pass to access bars and restaurants in Spain. It is up to the individual regions to decide, the only region who has done so thus far is Galicia, which requires a Covid health pass or proof of vaccination to access bars and restaurants. (UPDATE: Covid health pass no longer required in Galicia as of Aug 12)

Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can rapidly change. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Please keep personal rantings and ravings to yourselves, the rules are the rules, complaining will only serve to get this topic shut down again.

Please feel free to post personal experiences here about recent travels to Spain during this pandemic transition phase and what your experiences have been. I will try to update this topic as new info comes in.

(UPDATED September 7, 2021)

Posted by
762 posts

Thank You!! We are heading to Mallorca in September and I need to keep up with the latest info.

Posted by
14 posts

Thank you for the update. We are following events in Spain very closely as we are scheduled to visit Andalucia in October. We are both fully vaccinated and very cautious about our daily interactions. Your updates are very welcome! A note: acquaintances of my wife are currently in Valencia and report many venues still tourist-friendly but COVID rules about mask wearing, etc are strictly enforced (good to hear).

Again, thanks for the updates, we will keep watching!

Posted by
1766 posts

Our plans are to be in Costa Brava early October, then 3 days in Barcelona before returning home. I am watching several US sites warning AGAINST travel to Spain...level RED. It's so hard to decide if we go or not. Still waiting for our tour company to get the OK from their Spain partner. KN95 masks purchased and ready, Covid testing appointments in Barcelona before returning home confirmed. Downloaded the CLEAR Health app, and have our vaccination records there, and will take our laminated cards with.

It's still day to day...we haven't paid for our trip yet, not until one month before we are schedule to leave...that will be Aug 29 to get the "go- no go".

Really look forward to your updates here, so helpful. Thank you !

Posted by
3 posts

On the ground report: half way through our multi-stop trip through Spain and we have found things to be very accessible (worth noting that we’re not into the club scene and we aren’t staying out super late in the evening). It’s 100% recommended to get tickets in advance for anything you’d like to make sure you see/do, as there are admission limitations due to Covid. Same goes for restaurant reservations, and breakfast at your hotel, because capacity limitations are in place. Masks are widely used as far as we’ve observed, and people are respectful of giving/making space.

We had a lot of trouble getting the Spain health control form to go through on the app; it was much better on the actual website.

We are driving, so no insight on how things are on trains, busses etc. Will find out more when we ditch the car in Barcelona in a couple days!

Over all our trip has been great! The exception is the current heat dome covering most of the country, but what can you do? We had to skip Granada (108F today) and head south to Valencia for a couple days. Can’t complain!

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks for all updates . I am finally going to Barcelona for 32 days Oct/Nov and keeping my eyes open for updates . By the way , this forum is amazing !

Posted by
2207 posts

UPDATE (19 Aug 2021) - Curfew lifted in Barcelona

The nightly curfew in Barcelona and most of Catalonia has been lifted today, due to improving covid situation in the region. However a ban on public or private gatherings of more than 10 people throughout Catalonia has been kept in place for one more week

Catalonia's infection rate stands at 328 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over a 14-day period, below the national average of 378 cases. But the region still has 42% of its intensive care unit beds occupied by Covid-19 patients, the highest rate among Spain's 17 regions.

As of today, Spain has fully vaccinated 64.1% of its population against the virus, one of the highest rates in Europe.

Source (In Spanish): https://www.lavanguardia.com/vida/20210819/7670332/tsjc-toque-de-queda-cataluna-restricciones.html

Posted by
2207 posts

Las Fallas 2021 update

la Cremà de las Fallas (held on September 5) in València will be under curfew and behind closed doors this year, as to avoid Covid outbreaks.

Posted by
2493 posts

Carlos, this is great!

What do you know about the land border? If a US traveler arrives in Portugal with the required negative test (and vaccine), could they use their Portuguese rental car and drive into Spain? Assuming the rental agreement allows it, I am mostly interested in Spanish regulations on this point. Would there be checks or need to provide a negative test? Happy to do so but this would need to be timed depending on the test requirements.

Posted by
2207 posts

@Mira - I haven't heard anything to that affect for Portugal.

If you are coming from France, on the other hand (like these high risk regions: Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Burgundy-Franche-Comté, Bretagne, Center— Val de Loire, Corsica, Grand Est, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Hauts-de-France, Ile-de-France, Reunion, Martinique, Normandy, New Aquitaine, Occitania, Pays de la Loire, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur) you are obliged to present a certificate that proves they have either been vaccinated with one of the vaccines accepted by the Spanish authorities as valid proof of immunity for travel, recovered from COVID-19, or tested negative for the virus.

Here's the full list of high risk EU regions: https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/spains-list-of-high-risk-countries-expands/

Posted by
2 posts

Carlos, Do you know anything about arriving in Spain from France via train? I have used the entry requirement link you gave but you HAVE to have the name of the airline you are arriving on. Otherwise, the form will not submit. So, we do not have an airline.

Any help from anyone would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by
2 posts

Carlos, sorry. I did not read your post of today. I assume the restrictions you posted for entry from France apply to my question about arriving by train. Do you know if they will accept our CDC card? We should also have the French Health QR code by then. Thanks again.

Posted by
2207 posts

CDC vax card is acceptable in Spain.

Digital health passes are not required in Spain currently.

Posted by
145 posts

Are there any restrictions for a day trip coming in via land (car) to Gibraltar from Seville?

Posted by
2207 posts

UPDATE - Germany takes Spain off high-risk COVID-19 list from Sunday Aug. 29

In a sign of the continually improving coronavirus situation in Spain, Germany will remove Spain from its list of high-risk areas for COVID-19 from Sunday, meaning that incoming travellers from Spain who are not fully vaccinated will not longer have to quarantine, the German Foreign Ministry said. Spain has been a high risk area since the end of July.

Neighbouring Portugal is also being downgraded and no longer classified as a high-risk area. However, the Algarve region will remain a high-risk area.

Here's hoping the Americans will soon follow suit...

Posted by
41 posts

Carlos, curious if you have an opinion on if Spain will follow what looks like will be revised EU guidelines recommending reimposing travel restrictions on visitors from the US (and 5 other countries)
https://www.forbes.com/sites/suzannerowankelleher/2021/08/28/europe-to-remove-the-us-from-the-safe-travel-list/

I know they are just recommendations and each member country is free to impose their own rules, but wondering if you have a read on how likely it would be that Spain would actually restrict US visitors again? Thanks for keeping us up to date with info from the ground.

Posted by
2207 posts

Of course, we will have to wait until the official pronouncement, which may come as early as tomorrow, but my educated guess is that Americans will not be totally banned (like what happened last year) from entering Spain for tourism purposes. Instead, I think it's more possible that a negative COVID-19 test result carried out within 72 hours prior to arrival will be required for both vaccinated and unvaccinated US travellers.

Worst case is that Americans will have to undergo a 10-day quarantine upon arrival in Spain, like what is currently required for travellers from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia etc.

We will see...

Posted by
20 posts

I have a trip to spain end of September and personally am hoping for some more countermeasures against covid spread. Since Spain is not enforcing any kind of digital vaccination check like Italy or France it could at least have some entry requirements. I would hate to see it become the first choice destination for anti-vaxxers/maskers in a time when every other country is being more cautious.

Posted by
398 posts

Carlos, are you aware if there has been any controversy or discussion in Spain that for the last two months or so US travellers have only had to fill out the entry form and thats it, no covid test, no vaccine proof or anything else required. From what I can gather Spain has had the easiest entry rules of the bigger European countries.

Posted by
2207 posts

Rob, so far no major controversy on entry restrictions or covid measures in Spain, unlike France/Germany etc.. Spain is currently one of the leaders in vaccinations in the EU (70% fully vax), there has been little vaccine hesitancy or anti-mask sentiment in Spain.

Posted by
2207 posts

UPDATE - (30 Aug. 2021) The EU removes the United States and Israel from the list of safe destinations

Today the EU voted to officially recommend restrictions on non-essential travel from the USA. While this is a recommendation, most countries have largely followed EU guidelines, but there have been times when individual nations have deviated from them.

Travel between the EU and the US has been a point of political controversy. The Biden administration has maintained border restrictions despite pressure to allow visitors from allies like the EU who have eased their own limits. US officials have cited the rise in delta infections as one reason for that stance.

The new EU rules specify that for non-essential third country travel is to be allowed only if the trend of new cases is stable or on downward trend and that no more than 4% of those tested for the virus are positive.

The EU recommendation made no distinction between vaccinated or unvaccinated travellers from third-countries. The guidelines also take into account whether variants of concern have been detected in a particular nation and whether it has been reciprocated on opening trips. Other countries that have also been removed from the list are Kosovo, Montenegro, Lebanon and North Macedonia.

The recommendation of the Council of the EU is not binding on the Member States, but the institution warns that a Member State should not decide to lift travel restrictions on countries that are not on the list without making a coordinated decision in the Union.

No official word from the Spanish central government at this point, but there could be an official pronouncement by the end of the week.

Source: https://www.lavanguardia.com/vida/20210830/7689792/union-europea-recomienda-volver-poner-restricciones-vuelos-estados-unidos-covid.html

Posted by
45 posts

https://www.mscbs.gob.es/en/profesionales/saludPublica/ccayes/alertasActual/nCov/spth.htm
Looks like as of today, we could still go to Spain?

However the current notice is only valid til 23:59 9/5. We will be flying from SFO on 9/5 morning and arriving in Barcelona on 9/6 at 9am. What if they change the rules by the time we arrive on 9/6? They review this every 7 days. Would they still consider that when we left US, we followed the "older rules" and technically we are still able to enter Spain? We are afraid of being denied entry, as they could literally ban non essential travel next time they update this.

Posted by
2207 posts

This recommendation was just made today by the EU, it could take several days before the wheels of Spanish bureaucracy churn out any updated rules. For now we can only wait and see.

Posted by
45 posts

Nick and Carlos,

Thank you. I am just feeling very say now..we have been preparing for this trip since they reopened in June, and really could not go to Spain earlier due to my friend's work and also trying to catch a good airfare using our flight credit from last year. We all have been following rules religiously and protecting ourselves and others, and hoping that US will maintain good stats with low Covid cases count so we could all travel. We really want to be able to go on this trip (2weeks) but it is totally out of our control. We will be patiently waiting and hopefully we will get some good news in the next few days.

Posted by
24 posts

Thanks so much Carlos. Your updates are great. I also have a trip to Bilbao from JFK on the 11th of Sept, arriving on the 12th. I am not going to cancel, hoping for the best and trying to stay positive.

Posted by
2207 posts

While we continue to wait for updated guidance from the Spanish central government regarding non essential travel from the US, I thought it would be helpful to post the current state of play as of September 1st 2021:

Who can travel to Spain?
Spain, in line with EU recommendations, permits restriction-free entry for people traveling from non-EU countries and regions with good epidemiological situations. This includes the Australia, South Korea, Israel, Japan, Lebanon and Rwanda among others. Visitors from these places do not need to show proof of testing, vaccination or recovery to enter Spain.

Until this week, that list included the US, however the EU has recommended reimposing restrictions on US visitors due to surging coronavirus case numbers there. Spain has yet to determine if it will follow the EU recommendations, so for now the situation remains unchanged for American visitors.

Travelers coming to Spain from the UK will need to present a negative COVID-19 test result or proof of vaccination/recovery.

Visitors from "high-risk" non-EU countries coming to Spain must show proof of vaccination with one of the vaccines authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or the World Health Organization (WHO), with the second dose administered at least 14 days before travel. Non-vaccinated travelers from these countries will not be allowed into Spain for tourism, even if they get tested.

What else is required before traveling to Spain?
All travelers must fill out a Health Control Form (HCF) through the Spain Travel Health website or app. It will generate a QR code which must be shown upon arrival on your mobile phone or printed on paper.

What vaccines does Spain recognize?
Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac and Sinopharm.

Do children face restrictions when traveling to Spain?
No, children under 12 years old are exempt from the testing or quarantine requirements.

Where can I get a COVID-19 test in Spain?
Many countries, including the US, require passengers to present a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding their flight home from an international trip. Antigen tests cost about €30, while PCR tests cost about €120 from a private medical facility. You can see a partial list of testing locations here: https://es.usembassy.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/260/COVID19_Testing_Labs_Spain_January_2021.pdf

What are the current restrictions in Spain?
Spain is in its fifth wave of the pandemic but according to El País. As of August 30, the wave is peaking and the country has reported a downward trend in infection rates and hospitalizations in the last two weeks, which has resulted in many restrictions, like night time curfews being lifted.

Masks are no longer legally required outdoors, provided people can keep 1.5 meters (5 feet) apart. But it's a good idea to always take a mask with you as they're still required in crowded outdoor spaces, on public transport and in taxis, and in indoor spaces such as restaurants, airports, supermarkets, shops and museums.

Across Spain, restaurants, cinemas, theaters, cultural attractions and museums are open with capacity limits. Amusement and water parks are open with enhanced health and safety protocols. Beaches are open with social distancing guidelines in place and in some tourist resorts a curfew applies, such as Mallorca, where beaches are closed from 9pm until 6am.

There are still no plans for a national covid health pass in Spain.

You can read more here: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/articles/travel-to-spain-during-covid

Posted by
205 posts

I don't know if this is helpful, but when I traveled to Spain in late June, as a traveler from the USA, I needed to provide proof that I was vaccinated, as well as a health control form that I completed online (Spain Travel Health App - "SpTH"). When it came time to fill out the form on the SpTH app, I wasn't able to complete it because it asked for a seat number on my flight and I hadn't yet checked in. Once I checked in, the Iberia Airlines rep told me to show proof that I filled out the form on the app. I told her that I couldn't do it prior to checking in because I hadn't yet been assigned a seat, and the app asked for a seat number. She told me I could've put any seat number on the app and then updated it once I checked in.

This would've been good to know before I got to the airport. So, I'm passing it on.
-Marc

Posted by
369 posts

@Carlos "There are still no plans for a national covid health pass in Spain." But, as I understand it, maybe I'm missing something here, but Spanish nationals and Spanish residents (i.e. with a N.I.E. or T.I.E.) can use the EU Digital Certificate and/or the certificate issued by their local health system — in my case, CatSalut. Am I completely wrong on this?
Thanks for all your efforts on keeping us all up to date.

Posted by
2207 posts

Hi Bill, no problem, to clarify there are currently no plans that I know of to nationally mandate a "pass sanitaire" type digital covid health pass to access bars and restaurants etc. in Spain. While it is up to the individual regions to decide if they need a regional covid pass, the only region who has done so thus far is Galicia, but that was quickly struck down by the Galician regional courts.

Posted by
369 posts

@Marc Thanks for the info — we had a similar problem after downloading the SpTh app when organizing our return from the UK.

Posted by
2207 posts

Revised original post with updated info as of Sept 2, 2021.

Posted by
2207 posts

UPDATE - New Travel Restrictions for US Visitors to Spain

As of September 6, Spain now requires travelers coming from the US to be fully vaccinated if they wish to travel to Spain for tourism or leisure. US travelers must present a certificate of vaccination with one of the vaccines approved by the Spanish authorities as proof of immunity for travel.

The certificates should hold the name and surname of the holder, vaccination date of each administered dose, type of vaccine, issuing country. Acceptable vaccines include Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sinopharm, Sinovac and Covishield.

In addition, all international travelers, regardless of where they're departing from, must register their details through the Spain Travel Health portal. Once completed, the website will generate a QR code which must be shown upon arrival on your mobile phone or printed on paper. The form can be obtained through the Spain Travel Health portal, or downloaded as the ‘SpTH’ via Google Play or the App Store.

Unvaccinated children under 12 traveling with vaccinated adults are allowed to travel to Spain without any additional requirements. However, children between the ages of 12 and 18 must present proof of vaccination.

Travelers coming from the US who are not vaccinated can present a negative PCR test (taken no more than 72 hours before arriving in Spain) or antigen test (taken no more than 48 hours before arriving in Spain) if they are traveling for essential reasons.

Spain has also announced that now all travelers from France and Italy are obliged to present a certificate that proves they have been vaccinated, were previously infected with the virus, or negative COVID-19 test results. Previously, only travelers from particular regions of these two countries were subject to such requirements.

You can read more here: https://www.mscbs.gob.es/en/profesionales/saludPublica/ccayes/alertasActual/nCov/spth.htm?fbclid=IwAR3R4poHS1-kK0PW7pbIY70Oe-lnos5hz4ODyEqHa9MJIq5SiXGq01QLVNE

and

https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/spain-has-banned-non-vaccinated-us-travellers-from-entering-its-territory/

Posted by
2207 posts

Current regional restrictions across Spain (as of 13 SEP 2021):

Andalusia
The regional government is expecting measures to soon be relaxed if the cumulative incidence falls below 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over 14 days. The majority of municipalities are on level one of four. This means capacity is limited to 75% in hospitality venues indoors, with a maximum of eight people per table, while outside areas have no limits. Restaurants and bars can open until 2am and nightclubs until 3.30am. Consumption at bar counters inside and outside is permitted at level one, while at level two this is only permitted outdoors.

Aragón
The health department in the region is considering loosening restrictions “very soon,” according to an announcement made on Thursday. For now, the measures remain in place. Meetings in private and public are limited to 10 people, bars and restaurants can open until 12.30am, but new customers are not allowed in from midnight. The capacity indoors in these areas is limited to 50%, with up to six people per table, and outdoor areas have no capacity limits but the maximum number of people per table is 10. Consumption at bar counters is not permitted and there is no smoking in outdoor areas. The same measures apply to nightlife venues.

Asturias
The regional government on Friday presented the new restrictions in place from Saturday onward. The measures affect hospitality venues, which can now open according to their license and with a maximum of 10 people per table both inside and outside. The use of bar counters is permitted as well as consumption at bars. As for nightlife, venues can open until 4am and dancing is permitted when the dance floor is outdoors. Inside, nighttime bars and nightclubs can open but patrons can only stand or sit in groups of six.

Balearic Islands
New restrictions went into place on Thursday and will stay in place until September 27. In Ibiza, the closing time for social, cultural and leisure activities has been extended from 1am to 2am, meaning that all the islands are now subject to the same timings. Restaurants can have eight people per table inside and 12 outside. The Balearics is allowing nighttime bars to open subject to the same capacity limits as for hospitality venues. Nightclubs remain closed. Beaches are closed from 10pm to 6am on all of the islands.

Basque Country
Restrictions put in place on September 1 remain in force. Indoors, capacity is limited to 50% in bars and restaurants, with no limits outside. Up to eight people per table are permitted, both inside and outside. No consumption at bar counters or when standing is allowed. Closure for all commercial, cultural and social activities remains at 1am. Pubs and nightclubs are still closed.

Canary Islands
The regional government put new restrictions in place last Monday, and there are still restrictions according to the four different alert levels. The majority of the islands are on level one, apart from Gran Canaria, on two, and Tenerife and Fuerteventura, on three. Social meetings among those who don’t live together are limited according to the level: 12 people for level one, eight for two, and six for levels three and four. For restaurants on level one, outdoor areas can open with no limits and indoors the capacity is 75% with a 3am closing time. For level two, the capacity falls to 75% outside and 50% inside with closing at 2am. At level three, 75% capacity outside is permitted and 40% inside with a 1am closing time. Nighttime bars, nightclubs and karaoke bars can open on all the islands, but only for hospitality activities – i.e. food and bar services – and with no dance floors. The closing time for these businesses also depends on the level.

-continued below-

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2207 posts

Cantabria
The region is keeping its restrictions in place, depending on the risk level in each municipality. The whole territory is between level one and two. For hospitality, capacity is set at 75% for level one with tables of up to six people indoors, and 100% capacity with a maximum of 10 people outdoors. At level two, the capacity inside falls to 50% with six people per table and the same capacity outdoors as at level one. Nighttime venues can only open in level one, with the same limits as for the hospitality sector, and a 3am closing time.

Castilla-La Mancha
Restrictions for hospitality and nightlife remain in place. For restaurants, the capacity inside is 75% and 100% outside, with a 2am closing time. Consumption at bar counters is prohibited and tables are limited to 10 people. Nightlife opens until 3am with a capacity of 75% inside and 100% outside. No dancing is allowed inside, nor is consumption at bar counters.

Castilla y León
The regional government announced last Thursday that it will not extend restrictions further, and that from Tuesday the whole region will return to risk level one. Limits on nightlife will be eliminated and consumption at bar counters will be permitted. Bars and restaurants will be able to allow consumption at the bar and standing, with a limit of 75% capacity and a maximum of 25 people per table. Outdoor areas will have no capacity limits, while the inside of nightclubs and other nighttime venues will reopen with a capacity of 50%. No closing times will be mandated.

Catalonia
New restrictions came into force on Wednesday. The limit of 10 people for social and family meetings was scrapped, while hospitality and nightlife venues must close at 12.30am. Capacity in bars and restaurants is limited to 50% inside, with a maximum of six people per table. There are no limits outdoors, and there can be as many as 10 to a table. Nightlife venues still cannot open their indoor areas.

Extremadura
The regional government of Extremadura announced on Friday that it intends to enter the new normality on September 27. To reach this point, the region is expected to enter level two on September 15, and start to relax restrictions on the hospitality and nightlife sectors. From this date on, bars and restaurants will be able to open until 3am (up from 2am), and capacity indoors will increase from 30% to 40%. With respect to nightlife venues, opening hours will also be extended an hour and capacity indoors set at 30%.

Galicia
From September 15, restrictions on the hospitality sector will not be linked to the risk level of each municipality. There will be two options on how to open and it will be up to business owners to decide between the two. In the first, restaurants and bars can open with a capacity of 50% inside and 75% outside. While in the second, capacity is set at 75% and 100%, respectively, and people can consume at the bar counter if alone or with one other person from their household. In municipalities at extreme and high risk, nighttime venues must keep their indoor areas close, but can open outdoor space at 75% capacity. In medium-risk areas, these venues can open at 50% capacity indoors and 75% outdoors. In low-medium risk municipalities, this is set at 50% and 100%, respectively. Beaches must close between 12 and 6am.

La Rioja
The regional government extended the restrictions in place on Wednesday. This means that bars and restaurants still have 75% capacity limits inside and 100% outside. The recommendation is six diners per table. Closing time depends on each venue’s license but 2am is the limit. Nighttime bars and nightclubs have a six-person limit at tables too, while consumption at bars is permitted. The capacity limit inside is 75%.

-continued below-

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2207 posts

Madrid
The regional government is going to relax restrictions for hospitality, nightlife and culture at the end of September. For now, the current measures will stay in place. Hospitality venues can open until 1am with capacity limited to 50% inside and 75% outside. Six diners per table are permitted inside and eight outside. Nightlife venues can open until 3am with the same capacity limits as hospitality. Consumption at bar counters is not permitted, nor is dancing indoors.

Murcia
In the hospitality sector, outdoor areas can open at 100% capacity with tables of up to 10 people. Indoors, the capacity is at 30% for municipalities at level three, 50% for level two, and 75% for level one. Tables indoors are limited to six people and consumption at bar counters is prohibited. The interiors of pubs and nightclubs have been closed since July 10, but outside these businesses can operate with no limits. Social meetings are not permitted between members of different households between 2 and 4am and are limited to 10 people in general.

Navarre
The government will relax all restrictions for the hospitality sector from September 17, but for now, restrictions remain in place. Bars and restaurants can open inside with capacity of 60%, but there is no such limit if the venue has a CO2 monitor and a system to locate patrons in the case of a confirmed infection. There can be up to six people per table provided there is a distance of 70 centimeters between them. There are no limits for outdoor tables and there can be up to 10 people per table. Closing time is 1am. Nightclubs and other nighttime venues are limited to 50% capacity with tables of six people. Dance floors are not permitted and closing time is 1am.

Valencia
A series of new measures came into force on September 7 and will remain in place until September 27. The nighttime curfew was scrapped on September 7, and new limits on capacity were introduced. Capacity in bars and restaurants is now set at 50% with a limit of eight people to a table. In outdoor areas, there are no restrictions on capacity, and up to 10 people can be seated at a table. Bars and restaurants must close at 12.30, and consumption at bar counters remains prohibited. Nighttime venues can open until 3am at 50% capacity in indoor areas. Eight people are allowed at a table inside and 10 outdoors. Dancing is also banned.

source: https://english.elpais.com/society/2021-09-13/coronavirus-restrictions-in-spain-all-the-latest-news-region-by-region.html

Posted by
123 posts

@carlos: According to The Points Guy yesterday (9/13), Spain now requires travelers from the US to be fully vaccinated, with very few exceptions. I have not been able to confirm this elsewhere yet.

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2207 posts

Spain now requires travelers from the US to be fully vaccinated, with very few exceptions.

That is true, Spain requires travelers coming from the US to be fully vaccinated if they wish to travel to Spain for tourism or leisure. Travelers coming from the US who are not vaccinated can enter Spain with a negative PCR test or antigen test only if they are traveling for essential (non-tourism) reasons.

You can read more here: https://www.mscbs.gob.es/en/profesionales/saludPublica/ccayes/alertasActual/nCov/spth.htm?fbclid=IwAR3R4poHS1-kK0PW7pbIY70Oe-lnos5hz4ODyEqHa9MJIq5SiXGq01QLVNE

and

https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/spain-has-banned-non-vaccinated-us-travellers-from-entering-its-territory/

Posted by
20 posts

Hi Carlos
Will the FRENCH QR Pass work for flights from France to Spain (for vaccinated Americans)? I signed up for the Spanish info and registered but they only issue 48hr before arrival in Spain specifically Barcelona (which will be half way through my trip while in France).
Thanks much for keeping us all informed on the latests in Spain.

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2207 posts

Hi, currently Spain requires proof of vaccination or a negative test for flights coming in from France, if you are an American I would be prepared to show your CDC Vaccination Card also just in case.

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24 posts

Just came from CDG to Madrid Spain. Needed the QR code for Spain and they also asked for the CDC card. There was a lady in front of us that did not have her QR code, and she was not allowed to board.

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20 posts

Hi @tsnclr
Did you use the French QR code or one from the Spanish Gov Website?
Also - curious which Airline too if you dont mine sharing?

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20 posts

Hi Carlos
One more question - for the flights TO SPAIN - just incase in addition to my French QR code - I filled in the Spanish application form. But for the flight I used the second-leg of my 2-part flight from within France (BIQ-to-CDG and then CDG-to-BCN)
I used the CDG-BCN flight info since that is the one going TO Barcelona. It only lets you apply one application for one day so I hope thats the logical flight (not the internal France local first flight!)

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2207 posts

All I can say is be prepared to show your QR code via the SPtH app (https://www.spth.gob.es/) and your CDC Vax card when entering Spain, I cannot speak for France.

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20 posts

Ok thanks Carlos
I updated my info on the Spanish APP (as well as the website direct).
BTW I was able to load my FR Pass Sanitare QR code into the Spanish Health App as an EU pass (in either english or spanish) - and it also allowed to add THAT to my apple wallet. Likewise just to check - it also let me scan the QR into the SWISS Health APP.

Will also have plenty of hard-copies with my CDC and Passport! :)

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7908 posts

Just spent a week in Spain, flying to Barcelona from Frankfurt. Uploaded the Spanish health certificate that Lufthansa sent to me and printed it out. I think I only had to show it a couple of times, at departure, at an exhibit in City Hall in Barcelona, and at the Sagrada Familia. I have the QR code on my phone too, that shows the dates and kinds of vaccines I had. I think I showed that a couple of times too, but restaurants didn't seem to be too interested in this like they are in Germany.
People wore their masks when entering restaurants, buildings, riding trains, or in churches, but not on the street.

Flights were fully booked both ways and everyone wore medical masks. No cloth, but both kinds of medical masks were fine.

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2207 posts

UPDATE (SEP 29, 2021) - Spain lifts more coronavirus restrictions on sporting events and dinning as new cases continue to fall

In response to the Health Ministry reporting 2,290 new infections on Tuesday, the lowest daily figure since July 2020, there will be no coronavirus restrictions on outdoor stadiums in Spain starting this weekend. Until now, capacity at stadiums was restricted to 60% and 40% in outdoor and indoor stadiums, respectively.

What’s more, 76.9% of the population is fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to the latest figure released on Tuesday. Nearly 74% of the 30-39 age group are completely immunized, a figure that rises to 75.3% for the 12-19 demographic. Some 95.1% of the over-40 population has had at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

The decision to ease restrictions on Wednesday was backed by all the regions, which are responsible for the vaccination drive and controlling the pandemic in their territories, as well as the Health Ministry. Under the agreement, non-pharmaceutical measures, such as face masks, will remain in place. Eating, drinking, smoking and the consumption of other related products will be banned in the stadium.

The decision to lift the capacity limits on outdoor sporting events comes as several Spanish regions move to ease other coronavirus restrictions. On Tuesday, the premier of Andalusia, Juan Manuel Moreno said that half the southern region is set to enter level zero on the coronavirus alert system on Friday, meaning restrictions on capacity and opening hours in bars and restaurants will be lifted. In municipalities on level one, hospitality establishments must close at 2am and nightlife venues at 3.30am, and the maximum number of people allowed to a table is 10 for outdoor spaces and eight indoors.

Meanwhile in Catalonia, authorities have agreed to ease coronavirus restrictions starting Thursday. Under the new rules, 10 people will be allowed to be seated at a table in indoor spaces, up from six. The Catalan regional government also said it was “closer” to reopening nighttime venues, indicating that it could take place in “the coming weeks.”

source: https://english.elpais.com/society/2021-09-29/spain-lifts-capacity-restrictions-on-outdoor-sporting-events-as-coronavirus-cases-fall.html

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388 posts

Great news. Thank you, Carlos, for all the updates!

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1766 posts

We leave for Spain in just a few hours. This is fantastic news. We are both boosted with Pfizer vaccine, have plenty of KN95 masks and are ready to ride our bike in the Costa Brava !

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2207 posts

No problem, the good vaccination progress is especially welcome news 👍

Have fun on the Costa Brava!

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2207 posts

UPDATE (September 29, 2021) - Spain Adds Poland, Czechia, & Hungary to List of High-Risk Areas

Travellers reaching Spain from Poland are now subject to the requirement of additional entry rules, as the Spanish Ministry of Health has added the country to its list of high-risk areas. At the same time, Czechia’s regions of Moravian-Silesian and Prague, as well as Hungary’s regions of Pest and Northern Hungary, are now part of the same list.

Travellers reaching Spain from these countries and regions in the high-risk list are subject to the requirement of proof of vaccination against COVID-19, recovery from the virus in the recent months, or negative test results for Coronavirus, in case the traveller holds neither of the two first.

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3888 posts

Interesting, Carlos. I wonder how the decision was made in regards to Poland? The U.S. CDC still has Poland as a level 1 in terms of risk. Poland's cases have been increasing, but their numbers are still low, at least based on reported data. Not saying I disagree, but interesting. I read a press release from their government. They are continuing quarantines for unvaccinated people coming into the country and masks are still required indoors. Umm, yeah, about that. . . .

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2207 posts

Hi Jules, yes I though it was an interesting coincidence too, as we were just talking about Poland in the other thread, my understanding was that it was a preemptive move due to the exponentially rising number of new daily coronavirus cases in Poland, coupled with the appalling low vaccination rates.

As for the CDC, they seem a bit slow on updating their lists, I find it farcical that Spain is still on the level 4.

The trend line appears like Poland is at the threshold of the 4th wave now, which Spain and most of Western Europe is just now coming out of.

"We said that by the end of September we would reach this average level of about 1,000 infections (daily), so for the time being this fourth wave is developing in line with our predictions," Polish health minister Adam Niedzielski said.

source: https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/polands-new-covid-cases-surpass-1000-first-time-since-may-2021-09-29/

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9 posts

Hi Carlos, and thanks for this helpful information. Re the earlier post with info from the US Embassy on "where to get a COVID test", can you explain how complicated vs convenient this process is? How far might you have to travel, say in Barcelona or Madrid, to get a test? How flexible are the operating hours for these places?

Thank you!

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145 posts

The Basque Country will enter tomorrow into "normality" after 481 days of Sanitary Emergency. The Basque Government has lifted all restrictions (except for the obligation of wearing mask indoors, which is a national restriction by the Spanish Government applicable to all of Spain) and we can now enter bars and restaurants with no limits in number of persons inside, we can stand at the counter and we can enjoy our wines and pintxos as we did before. Concerts, public attendance at events and schools will also have total freedom (except for attendances over 5000, limited to 80% of total capacity). No limits either on number of persons seated at a table, either indoors or outdoors. 90% of total population over 12% have been fully vaccinated, 95% on persons over 40. It seems promising.

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2207 posts

@Suzanne - that list of testing sites provided by the US Embassy is fairly limited, testing locations in Spain are much more numerous, especially in the big cities. When in Spain, I'd probably ask the concierge of a notable hotel chain which testing location they recommend for foreigners.

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41 posts

@Carlos re:CDC being slow, it’s a bit true, but if you didn’t know or if anyone else was curious, the reason Spain is still on level 4 is that the CDC adjusts their levels based on the incidence rate per 100k for the last 28 days. To fall from level 4 I believe the incidence rate has to be below 500 per 100k for the previous 28 days. So I expect Spain to fall off the level 4 warning probably next week or so.

Re: COVID tests for returns to the US, the TripAdvisor forum has some posters who have shared their experience of where they went. It sounds relatively simply. I am actually looking for one myself as I will be returning in less than a week. I think I will do mine 2 days before just because I am worried that although the rapid antigen test should give results in 30 minutes I don’t want to leave it for the last minute and since I am leaving on the 12th, a holiday, that makes me even more nervous if something goes wrong. I will report back my experience if it helps others.

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369 posts

@Suzanne. Just to back up, and expand on, what Carlos says—try to find a clinic or testing facility which is NOT on any 'official' U.S. state department list. Reason being it will likely be less busy and easier to get an appointment which fits with your schedule. If in Barcelona for example, I recommend Clínica Nostra Senyora del Remei—not only do you get a test at a very reasonable price, (35€, or 27€ for socis of CE Europa!) with results supplied within 15-20 minutes—but there's no lining up and no faffing about . You'll likely be the only people there. AND, if , immediately after your test, you do as the staff suggest and go to the top floor cafeteria to have a coffee or drink as you wait for your test results, you'll experience one of the most interesting views of the city from the balcony of the cafeteria.

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2207 posts

@James, thank you for illuminating of the CDC process, I know it affects American tourists' decision making, who may be hesitant to visit Spain.

In Spain we use the 14-day cumulative number of cases, rather than 28 day as you mention for the CDC, the current 14-day incidence rate in Spain now stands at 54.12 cases per 100,000, down from 57.91 from Friday. This is much lower than Italy (90.38), France (132.57), and Germany (139.78) current 100k incidence rates.

Source: https://english.elpais.com/society/2021-10-05/spains-coronavirus-incidence-rate-falls-below-100-cases-per-100000-among-all-age-groups.html

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41 posts

I just read Spain just entered "bajo riesgo" or low risk for first time since june of 2020 with a 14 day incidence of 48.92 cases per 100k. Way to go Spain!

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3174 posts

Thanks for posting this, considering buying tickets later today and wondered what the current procedure was. The official Spanish Health website keeps talking about “third countries”but I’m flying directly from US to Madrid, so I can ignore that I think.

Anyway if a CDC paper card showing a completed Moderna series if enough, I have that.

How is Iberia premium economy?

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406 posts

@Tom_MN -- I flew Iberia premium economy round-trip JFK-MAD in August and was very happy with my decision. I don't want to derail this thread too much since it is very useful and I don't want to get it off track, but happy to answer any questions you might have! (either here or perhaps somewhere else)

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1250 posts

"The official Spanish Health website keeps talking about “third countries”but I’m flying directly from US to Madrid, so I can ignore that I think."

Depends on the context, but usually in euro-speak "third country" just means one not in the EU/EFTA, so it would include the USA.

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3174 posts

Nick: I wondered if that were the case. One interpretation is that a third country is one transited, like flying to Madrid via a third county like via Paris. You are right though that in this case Spain in the first county, the EU/Schengen States are the second countries, and every other country is a "third country."

Anyway the vaccination exception is buried all the way at the bottom under item K (after clicking the third countries button). https://www.mscbs.gob.es/en/profesionales/saludPublica/ccayes/alertasActual/nCov/spth.htm

Andrew: thanks, just got a notification that the airfare dropped another $100.

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41 posts

Just to update for those wondering about tests to return to the US, I did mine this morning with a company called Democratest. I booked an antigen test online for 25 euros.

I went there this morning and was early but they did not mind. One other woman also was there early, they took her first and then me. The whole process was maybe about 1 minute to collect the sample. Super easy. They emailed the results in 30 minutes and I already uploaded them to Delta and they accepted them.

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41 posts

Awesome! You will have a great time. I just got back from spending two weeks there and it was great. Covid cases are really low right now (lower than a level 3 warning would have you believe). Of course you still must take precautions like wearing masks indoors and on transports but all the cities I was in were really alive and buzzing. Gran Via was a little crazy actually with the number of people.

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2207 posts

CDC (finally) revised its travel advisory for Spain from Level 4 to Level 3

On Spain's National Day too, no less... very nice 😉

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145 posts

Just to update for those wondering about tests to return to the US, I did mine this morning with a company called Democratest. I booked an antigen test online for 25 euros.

I went there this morning and was early but they did not mind. One other woman also was there early, they took her first and then me. The whole process was maybe about 1 minute to collect the sample. Super easy. They emailed the results in 30 minutes and I already uploaded them to Delta and they accepted them.

@James ...what city did you go to for the test?

I'm curious because we're planning on doing this as well, but we'll be in Barcelona for our outbound back to the states. Just wanted to know where the location for planning purposes. Thanks!

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41 posts

@knhellesky

This was Madrid, but you can check Democratest's website as they have centers all over Spain.

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1766 posts

I’m in Spain in Barcelona. Spain has been wonderful. Everyone is wearing masks indoors, and in crowded conditions outdoors. We had a Covid test scheduled through a website, but we would have had to walk 20 minutes to the clinic. Just so happened one block from our hotel there was a testing site. We passed by at 9 am yesterday and stopped in to inquire about getting a test and they got us in right then and there. We took a PCR test for 50 euro each and had our results and paperwork with QR code in 10 minutes.

What I want to say is, from our experience, it’s not a difficult thing to do to find a testing site and get it done before traveling home. We were so lucky to find a closer location. No disruption to our day plans at all.

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145 posts

Thanks for that info @Ellen....I'll keep that in mind for our trip soon.