The Spanish flag flying in front of a building in Madrid. (photo via iStock/Getty Images Plus/robertcicchetti)
Spain has lifted all of its COVID-related entry requirements, being among the last European nations to rescind pandemic-era travel restrictions.
Starting Friday, October 21, international travelers coming from outside the European Union or affiliated Schengen Area (also called “third country” travelers) are no longer required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination, recovery or a negative test in order to enter Spanish borders.
With this move, Spain aligns itself with the policies of almost all other E.U. nations, which have already removed all COVID-related obstacles to entry.
Before today, international visitors over the age of 12 were required to provide that they’d received a full course of COVID-19 vaccines within the previous 9 months; or a recovery certificate, issued at least 11 days after the first positive test, but no more than six months old. Alternatively, they could present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of their travel departure or a negative rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours of the same.
The decision was made, “Once the acute phase of the pandemic has been overcome, surveillance and control measures have been updated at the national level…justified, in large part, by the high levels of immunization achieved in the Spanish population and in neighboring countries, which have led to a significant decrease in severe cases and mortality from SARS-CoV-2,” the Spanish government explained in an announcement.
Earlier this year, as vaccination numbers rose and incidents of severe illness declined, other popular tourist destinations in Europe, such as the United Kingdom, Greece, Italy, France and Iceland, did away with their COVID-related entry requirements altogether. Elsewhere in the world, countries that had maintained especially strict protocols throughout the pandemic, including Australia, New Zealand and Canada did away with their own restrictions more recently, fully reopening themselves to foreign tourism markets.
Spain might be a little late to capitalize on its busiest tourism season, which runs from summer through early fall. Still, many of its most important source markets are within Europe, so the country must have seen a fair number of visitors during the warmest months of 2022. Travel + Leisure reported that more than 8.5 million international travelers visited Spain during the month of September, an impressive 87-percent increase over the same period in 2019.
To view the current entry rules and restrictions for travel around the world, check out our interactive COVID-19 map:
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