What do I need to go on a summer vacation to Spain or Portugal this year? Complete Guide for Irish Tourists
Thousands of Irish passengers will be flying out over the next few months in search of sun, sea and sand after lengthy travel restrictions throughout 2020 and 2021.
Travel experts predict a full return to travel as the summer months approach and vaccination rates hit new highs.
Whether you travel to Spain or Portugal this year, it seems likely that most regions will continue to welcome tourists in a bid to revive their hard-hit tourism industries.
So if you’re wondering how easily you’ll be able to enter each country, we’ve listed everything we currently know about travel rules and restrictions on the ground.
Here’s everything you need to know:
Although vaccinated travelers do not have to show proof of a negative Covid test on arrival in Ireland, you will still need to take a test before traveling to any Spanish region – although this may be subject to change as the summer months approach.
At this point you must also complete a Passenger Locator Form and obtain a “FAST CONTROL QR Code” to show before boarding at the Irish airport you are departing from.
Once you have a European Covid digital certificate, you will not be subject to any isolation or quarantine upon arrival.
However, you should note that each certificate will have a validity period and an expiry date for the vaccinations that passengers will need to adhere to, which means they will be:
- valid for nine months with the vaccine
- valid for six months for those with proof of recovery
Restrictions vary depending on the region in which you are currently traveling. However, some areas have little or no measures in place aside from wearing masks and social distancing.
The Balearic Islands, which include Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera, are all currently under tier three restrictions.
Other Canary Islands, including Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, La Palma and La Graciosa, are also subject to Tier Three rules.
These include beaches operating at just 50% capacity, while many people need to reserve to enter.
Bars and restaurants can stay open until 1 a.m. on level three, but you can still only meet in groups of up to six people.
Meanwhile, Tenerife in the Canary Islands was recently placed under the toughest set of rules – tier four.
This means stricter rules are in place, including a midnight curfew for pubs and restaurants while public transport is limited to 75% capacity.
A maximum of six people are allowed to meet (indoors or outdoors) in these areas, nightclubs are capped at 25% capacity and vaccination passports must be presented to enter certain indoor venues .
However, at the other end of the scale are La Gomera and El Hierro which remain at level two.
If you are traveling to Portugal, you will need to complete a Passenger Locator Form and have your valid European digital Covid certificate to hand.
Since December 1, 2021, passengers arriving in Portugal by air must have proof of a negative Covid-19 test result – even if they are fully vaccinated.
However, the following passengers are exempt from this negative test result requirement:
- Holders of a valid European Covid digital Covid-19 recovery certificate (issued less than 180 days before travel)
- Children under 12
- Essential workers (defined by Portugal as transport, emergency and security service workers)
- Frontier workers (working within 30 km of the Portuguese border)
Face masks are mandatory in indoor venues and on public transport.
Covid certificates are required for most tourist attractions, restaurants, cultural performances, events with reserved seating and gymnasiums.
If you have not received the booster shot you will need a recovery certificate or a negative Covid test to enter bars, clubs and large events.
In addition to these strict rules, social distancing must be maintained in crowded spaces and frequent hand washing/sanitizing.