Spain travel advice: latest FCO guidance on flights, holidays and lockdowns - and quarantine rules for visitors returning to the UK
What rules are in place for travellers returning to the UK from Spain?
While international travel to and from Scotland is not banned per se, travellers arriving from certain countries overseas may be required, by law, to quarantine by self-isolation for 14 days after arrival.
In England, travelling away from home, including internationally, is restricted due to the ongoing national lockdown that is due to last until at least 2 December. Under the lockdown, you must stay at home, and must not travel in the UK or overseas.
So how does that affect travel to Spain?
Here’s everything you need to know:
What are the lockdown restrictions in Spain?
Many of Spain’s municipal authorities and regional governments have issued advice to visitors and residents, and have imposed controls on opening hours for bars and nightclubs.
The use of face coverings is mandatory for anyone over the age of 6 years old on all forms of public transport in Spain and in many other indoor and outdoor public spaces.
Most regions in Spain have now made the use of face masks obligatory in both indoor and outdoor public spaces, even when social distancing of 1.5 metres is observed. Penalties may be imposed if you do not comply.
Social distancing measures and other safety precautions should continue to be observed at all times in Spain.
For more information on Spain’s social distancing measures, head to the FCO’s website
Have there been any local lockdowns?
A number of local outbreaks of COVID-19 have been identified since the end of the country’s ‘State of Alarm’ of 21 June (Spain is now in the ‘new normal’ phase of its de-escalation strategy).
You can consult this Ministry of Health map for information on their locations, and if you are staying in any of the affected areas, the FCO advise that you “follow the advice of the local authorities.”
One of those outbreaks in Catalonia has affected parts of the Barcelona metropolitan area, where local authorities have asked residents only to leave their accommodation for essential activities.
Meetings of more than 10 people in public or private are prohibited, and the authorities have ordered the closures of nightclubs, gyms, and restrictions to the capacity and opening hours of bars and restaurants.
Do I have to quarantine when I arrive in Spain?
Travellers arriving from the United Kingdom are not required to self-isolate on arrival in Spain. However, from 23 November, there will be some requirements for testing on arrival.
All passengers (including children) travelling to Spanish airports and ports will be required to present a negative PCR (swab) test taken within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in order to enter the country.
The UK is included on the list of ‘risk’ countries as determined by the European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control, and so passengers from there must abide by these regulations.
This requirement applies to all passengers arriving in Spain by air or sea, regardless of your residency status in Spain and the length of time you intend on staying.
From 14 November, if you’re travelling to the Canary Islands and are booked into regulated tourist accommodation, you will be obliged to produce an official, negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours earlier, when checking in to your accommodation, and download and activate the Radar COVID notification app throughout your stay on the islands, and for 15 days after your return home.
These measures apply to all guests aged 6 years and over.
Do I have to self-isolate when I return to the UK?
On 3 July, the FCO updated its global advisory against ‘all but essential’ travel, exempting destinations that no longer pose an unacceptably high risk for British travellers.
Spain has been reintroduced to the UK Government’s so-called ‘red list’, meaning travellers returning to Britain from the country once again have to self-isolate for 14 days.
One of the most popular holiday destinations among British tourists, Spain had been included on the travel corridors list since the roster of countries was first made public early in July, but the UK Government removed the country from its exemptions list on 26 July.
This means travellers once again have to undergo a 14-day mandatory self-isolation period on their return to the UK.