On 24 July, the Spanish Health Ministry decreed a further amendment to Order INT/657/2020 of 17 July, modifying the criteria applied to the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel from third countries to the European Union and Schengen countries for reasons of public order and public health as a result of the health crisis due to COVID-19.
Firstly, we must clearly differentiate between non-risk countries, risk countries and high-risk countries.
. Non-risk countries: Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Montenegro, New Zealand, Qatar, Moldova, North Macedonia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Ukraine, USA, China, special administrativer Regions of the People’s Republic of China: Hong Kong SAR, Macao SAR; and entities and territorial authorities not recognised as states by at least one Member State of the European Union: Kosovo.
. High-risk countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia and Namibia.
. Risk countries: The other countries not mentioned.
** The list is periodically updated, so it may change over time
Foreigners travelling from high-risk countries
This new Order is very important for foreigners coming from high-risk countries. Specifically, this new amendment denies entry into Spain of any national person from a third country who does NOT belong to one of the following groups:
1. Residents of the European Union, Schengen states, Andorra, Monaco, The Vatican and San Marino, travelling to that country.
2. Holders of a long-term visa issued by a Member State or a Schengen state who are going to that country.
3. Healthcare workers and elderly care professionals travelling to or from their place of work.
4. Crews of ships and flight personnel necessary for carrying out air transport activities (pilots, air stewards).
5. Diplomatic, international organisation, military and humanitarian organisation personnel carrying out their professional duties.
6. Students who study in any Member State or Schengen state and have the appropriate permit or visa, provided that they go to the country where they study and the entry occurs during the academic year or 15 days prior to the start of the academic year.
7. Highly qualified workers.
8. People travelling for family reasons that are duly accredited and for situations of need.
9. People who accredit reasons of force majeure, situations of need or humanitarian reasons.
10. Residents of the following countries (considered as non-risk), provided that they come directly from them: Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Montenegro, New Zealand, Qatar, Moldova, North Macedonia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Ukraine, USA and China.
11. Persons with a vaccination certificate recognised by the Spanish Ministry.
We must highlight that only the exceptions stated in sections a), b), d), e) and i) are applicable to people travelling from an airport located in a high-risk country, i.e. Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia and Namibia, who must quarantine.
This last section is especially relevant for students since the restrictions affect them directly as they will be denied direct entry during the term of the Order (until 31 August, for the time being), even if the students are studying in Spain and have a valid permit or re-entry authorisation.
Likewise, people who are fully vaccinated and come from the high-risk countries are also restricted entry during the term of the Order.
Frequently asked questions
Based on this, we will now answer some frequently asked questions:
I study in Spain and have a study permit but I am currently in one of the high-risk countries. Can I return to Spain before 31 August?
No. If you have a valid residence permit or study visa and come from a high-risk country, you cannot return to Spain, even if you have been fully vaccinated. You will have to wait until the Order is amended or expires on 31 August 2021.
I am a student and have a Spanish study permit and am travelling from a non-risk country. Can I return to Spain before 31 August?
Yes. Since you are coming from a non-risk country and, therefore, not affected by the restrictions, you can enter Spain without a vaccination certificate, PCR or quarantine. Moreover, if you stop over in a high-risk or risk country (without leaving the airport), this will not affect your right to enter.
I am a student and have a Spanish study permit and am travelling from a risk country. Can I return to Spain before 31 August?
Yes, you can return to Spain without the need to quarantine but you can only enter during the academic year or 15 days prior to the start of the academic year. You will also have to show your vaccination certificate or a negative PCR.
I am travelling from a high-risk country for tourism and have a vaccination certificate.
Your entry into Spain will be restricted because you are coming from a high-risk country subject to quarantine, so you will not be able to enter even if you have been fully vaccinated.
I have a Spanish residence (not study) permit and am travelling from a high-risk country. Can I return to Spain before 31 August?
Since you have a Spanish residence permit, you can enter the country but will need to quarantine for 10 days. You must also have a vaccination certificate or negative PCR.
I am travelling to Spain from a high-risk country for a situation of need.
In this case, the regulations allow you to enter Spain, provided that you accredit the situation of need in a document (for very exceptional reasons) and have a vaccination certificate or negative PCR and you must quarantine.
In any case, you must complete the health control form before entering Spain on the Spain Travel Health website.
The Order decreeing the entry restrictions is effective until 31 August 2021; nevertheless, it may be amended before then or extended.
AGM will pay close attention to any news so that they can inform you immediately. For more information, please contact AGM.
Judith Ribó Mañas
Paralegal Immigration Area