Spain and the Canary Islands now require a negative Covid test from all UK visitors

Spain will soon introduce a new rule for visiting UK residents, requiring people to present a negative Covid-19 test on arrival.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

The coronavirus test must be taken within 72 hours of travel to Spain, and previous regulations are also still in place.

New rule

The new rule, which will come into place from 23 November, was confirmed by Spain's Ministry of Health in an official statement, which said, "Spain will require international travellers from risk countries to have a negative PCR in the 72 hours prior to arrival in Spain in order to enter the country.

"This measure is in addition to the health controls that are currently being carried out on all international passengers at the points of entry. Thus, temperature control and visual control are maintained.

"The document must be the original, written in Spanish or English and may be submitted in paper or electronic format."

A similar rule will come into effect prior to this for Spain’s Canary Islands, with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) explaining that, “From 14 November, travellers to the Canary Islands will need to provide a negative Covid-19 test when checking-in to regulated tourist accommodation.

“Do not use the NHS testing service for a test to travel to the Canary Islands. You should arrange to take a private test.”

On arrival to Spain, travellers from the UK will also be subject to the following three requirements:

  • Fill out and sign an online form 48 hours prior to travel, providing the Spanish Ministry of Health with contact information and details of any known history of exposure to Covid-19. You can do this on the Spain Travel Health website or downloadable app. On completion, you will be issued a personal and non-transferable QR code which you must show (electronically or hardcopy) at airport health controls on arrival
  • Temperature check
  • Undergo a visual health assessment

What is the current Foreign Office travel advice for Spain?

The FCDO is currently advising against all but essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic Islands but excluding the Canary Islands, based on the current assessment of Covid-19 risks.

The requirement to self-isolate on return to the UK from the Canary Islands was lifted on 25 October, but you must still self-isolate if returning to the UK from any other part of Spain.

However, in England, which is currently in a second lockdown, restrictions mean that you can only travel abroad for work, education or other legally permitted reasons.