Spain insists on tests for unvaccinated British travellers

Cheap and quick lateral flow Covid tests are not acceptable

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Friday 02 July 2021 10:48
'Complicated' policy to allow fully vaccinated to travel without quarantine, says Shapps

Just 44 hours after the Balearic islands were added to the UK’s quarantine-free list, unvaccinated British visitors will have to present evidence of a negative test before travel to Spain.

Previously there were no requirements beyond completing a “health control form”.

The government in Madrid says the prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, personally announced the rule change “in order to protect both residents and visitors, given the rising infection rates in the United Kingdom”.

New coronavirus cases in the UK are running at about twice the rate of Spain.

From 2 July, vaccinated travellers who wish to avoid testing must present “a vaccination certificate issued by the competent authorities in the UK (either electronically or in print) at least 14 days from the last vaccination dose”.

The certificate must include the type of vaccine and the date the last dose was administered, as well as “the issuing body of the vaccination certificate”.

The NHS Covid pass that is widely available for people in England is acceptable, either in digital form or downloaded and printed out. Travellers from Wales and Scotland have similar options, but those from Northern Ireland face delays.

The government site NI Direct, says: “In Northern Ireland, work has now started on a certificate production system, which will give you internationally accepted proof that you have had both vaccine doses.

“This will initially be a paper-based format and will be available here by early to mid-July.”

The testing requirements are stringent: a negative NAAT test, such as PCR or Lamp, with the results issued within 48 hours of arrival. Cheap and quick lateral flow (antigen) tests are not acceptable.

Since 4am on 30 June, Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca have been on the UK’s “green watchlist,” meaning quarantine on return may be introduced at short notice.

Most of Spain remains on the “amber list,” requiring 10 days of self-isolation on arrival to the UK.

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