Following the latest measure announced for travelling to Spain whereby a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arriving in Spain must be provided, some people interested in travelling to Spain who had been aware of the tourism restrictions until now may have some doubts although they may think that this has changed if they provide a negative test result:

Does this mean that any tourists can travel to Spain if they provide a negative PCR test on arrival?

No, it does not. Order 657/2020 of 17 July, extended once again on 28 November, maintains the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel from countries outside the European Union or Schengen area, except for people whose point of departure is one of the following countries (point of departure means those who can accredit their residence in that country and have not only made, for example, a stopover there, provided that they come directly from there, have been in transit solely through other countries included in the list or have only been in international transits in airports located in other countries not stated in the list):

  • Australia
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Rwanda
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • Uruguay
  • China (both mainland and the administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao).

To clarify the matter, we could say that there is a double control, in a manner of speaking, if we come from a country not on the preceding list:

  • firstly, we must make sure that our trip is part of those considered essential, and
  • subsequently, we must check to see if our point of departure requires a PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival and accredit a negative test result.

First control

Regarding the first control, the following can travel to Spain:

  • Habitual residents of Spain or another country of the European Union, Schengen Associated States, Andorra, Monaco, The Vatican (Holy See) or San Marino, and travel to Spain to head to that country.
  • Holders of a long-term visa (not a tourist visa) issued by Spain or a Member State or a Schengen Associated State who are going to that country.
  • Healthcare workers, including health researchers, and elderly care professionals travelling to or from their place of work.
  • Personnel working in transport, crews of ships and flight personnel necessary for carrying out air transport activities.
  • Diplomatic, consular, international organisations, military and civil protection personnel and members of humanitarian organisations carrying out their professional duties.
  • Students who study in Spain or EU Member States or Schengen Associated States and have the appropriate permit or visa and medical insurance, provided that they go to the country where they study and the entry occurs during the academic year or the previous 15 days.
  • Highly qualified workers whose work is necessary and cannot be postponed or performed remotely, including participants in high-level sporting events that take place in Spain. Such circumstances must be documented.
  • People travelling for duly accredited imperative family reasons.
  • People travelling for duly accredited reasons of force majeure or situations of need, or whose entry is permitted for humanitarian reasons.

This list of countries and trips considered to be essential are in force until 31 December 2020. For the time being, we do not have any information on whether it will be modified, extended or cancelled.

Second control

After confirming that the trip falls within one of those reasons, there is a second control: the PCR test. The fact that you can travel to Spain does not exempt you from providing a negative PCR test result; likewise, the fact that you carry out the test is not enough in order to travel to Spain, you do need a reason for such travel.

Travellers to Spain by sea or air from one of those countries must provide, when boarding at departure and on arrival, a negative PCR test, in addition to completing the form.

EU/EEA Member States: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark (except the Faeroe Islands and Greenland), Slovenia, Estonia, France, Greece (except Kitri, Ionia Nisia, Dytiki Ellada and Sterea Ellada regions), Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway (except Rogaland, Møre og Romsdal, Nordland, Viken, Innlandet, Vestfold og Telemark, Agder, Vestland, Trøndelag and Troms og Finnmark regions), Netherlands, Poland, Portugal (except the autonomous region of the Azores Island), Romania, Sweden, Liechtenstein and Slovakia.

Third countries: Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Bahrain, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cape Verde, Colombia, Costa Rica, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Russian Federation, Georgia, Gibraltar (UK), Guam, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, North Macedonia, Morocco, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Palestine, Panama, French Polynesia (France), Puerto Rico, United Kingdom, San Marino, San Martin, Serbia, Switzerland, Tunisia and Ukraine.

Remember that AGM Abogados can help you process your long-term visas as students, highly qualified professionals, non-lucrative residents, or any other types that will enable you to enter Spain with the only control requirement of a PCR test. Contact AGM.

Mª Eugenia Blasco Rodellar

Partner Immigration Area

AGM Abogados