Spain loosens rules for younger UK travellers
Spain has updated its Covid-19 entry requirements after seemingly being caught out by a rapid reopening elsewhere.
From February 14th, UK children and teenagers aged between 12 and 17 can present a negative Covid-19 PCR test, taken within 72 hours of arrival to Spain, as an alternative to having been fully vaccinated.
All other UK travellers, excluding children under 12, will need to present a Covid-19 certificate showing proof of being fully vaccinated, administered at least 14 days prior to arrival in Spain.
If more than 270 days have passed since the last dose was administered, proof of a booster jab is also required.
Prior to travelling to Spain, all passengers must also present a QR code which is obtained from filling in the Health Control Form available via Spain Travel Health.
This new entry criteria is for all travellers (unless exempt) from the UK and outside of the European Union for arrival to the whole of Spain, including the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands.
Spain minister for trade, industry and tourism, Reyes Maroto, said: “As one of the world’s favourite tourism destinations, we are committed to making travel to Spain a safe and easy experience for our visitors, especially for families travelling with children.
“We hope that with these changes, many families will choose Spain to enjoy safe and memorable holidays together.”
At the moment everyone over 12 has to be double-jabbed to enter the country.
The rapid rule change comes after reports Spain was losing visitors to rival destinations as complex rules meant families were unable to travel together.
The news has been warmly welcomed by the UK travel industry.
Steve Heapy, chief executive of Jet2.com, said: “This is very welcome news for families who want nothing more than to holiday in their favourite Spanish destinations.
“We are pleased to see the Spanish government taking positive action to welcome more arrivals from the UK and we know that this will lead to an increase in bookings.”
He added: “The removal of the requirement for 12–17-year-olds to be double-vaccinated tells families that travelling to Spain is returning to normal, and after two years of missing out we know how much everyone wants to experience that famous Spanish sunshine again.
“Our teams and colleagues are excited about welcoming millions of happy holidaymakers to their favourite Spanish destinations this year, and we look forward to more positive updates from the Spanish government.”
ABTA also responded positively to the change.
A spokesperson said: “This, along with the UK also relaxing its travel requirements, means it is getting easier for people to set off on their long-awaited holidays abroad.
“With two thirds of families saying their holidays are more important to them now than before the pandemic, the latest changes should give more people confidence to book their much-missed foreign holiday and many are expected to enlist the help of a travel agent or tour operator to do so.”