Spain eases Covid entry for unvaccinated tourists
Spain relaxed Covid entry rules for unvaccinated tourists from outside the European Union on Saturday, in a boost for the key tourism sector ahead of the peak of the summer holidays.
Until now, travelers from outside the bloc – including Spain’s main tourist market, Britain – could only enter with proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid-19.
But from Saturday visitors from outside the EU will also be allowed to enter Spain with a negative Covid test result, the Department for Transport said in a statement.
PCR tests must be carried out within 72 hours prior to departure to Spain or an antigen test 24 hours prior to departure.
Tourism Minister Maria Reyes Maroto said the “new phase of the pandemic” meant the country was able to relax the rules by equating non-European travelers with those from the bloc.
“This is excellent news, eagerly awaited by the tourism sector, which will make it easier for tourists from outside Europe to come to us during the high season,” she added in the press release.
Children under 12 are exempt from presenting any type of certificate.
With sunny beaches and a rich architectural heritage, Spain was the second most visited country in the world before the pandemic, with 83.5 million foreign visitors in 2019.
But pandemic-related restrictions on international travel brought Spain’s tourism sector to its knees in 2020, as it welcomed just 19 million tourists.
The figure rose to 31.1 million in 2021, well below government forecasts of 45 million arrivals.