Spain has not been on the travel corridor for many months but Spanish holidays faced a further blow this week when it was revealed the country is banning UK flights until January. Spain is just one of a huge swathe of countries blocking the UK amid fears concerning a new strain of coronavirus. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) today updated its travel advice for Spain and the Canary Islands as well as neighbouring Gibraltar.
Spain travel advice
The FCDO updated its information on passenger travel from the UK to Spain.
“Spain have announced they will be restricting passenger travel from the UK (by air and sea) from 6pm (GMT+1) on 22 December until 6pm (GMT+1) on 5 January, with the exception of Spanish nationals and those legally resident in Spain,” explained the FCDO.
“This includes flights from the UK to the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands. If you were due to travel to Spain please contact your travel operator before departure.”
The authority also issued a new warning on entry restrictions travelling to Spain via Gibraltar.
“If you are travelling to Spain via Gibraltar, check the latest entry requirements and FCDO travel advice for Gibraltar,” the FCDO cautioned.
“Spain has announced that from 6pm (GMT+1) on 22 December until 6pm (GMT+1) on 5 January, you will only be able to enter Spain via Gibraltar if you are a Spanish national, you are legally resident in Spain or Gibraltar or a cross border worker.”
The country has a strict stance when it comes to covid testing, for those who do enter Spain.
No matter where you go in Spain, proof of a negative test is required.
“All passengers (excluding children under the age of six years old) travelling to Spanish airports and ports from ‘risk’ countries (as determined by the European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control) 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,” said the FCDO.
It continued: “From 10 December, a TMA (Transcription-Mediated Amplification) swab test or a LAMP (Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification) test are also accepted by Spanish authorities, again taken within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival.
“While TMA and LAMP tests are not currently widely available in the UK, you should refer to testing facilities directly for specific information on the types of tests available to you, prior to booking an appointment.
“The UK is currently on the ‘risk’ countries list and passengers arriving from the UK are therefore subject to this requirement.”
Further admin is also required.
“If you are travelling by air or sea to Spain, you must declare on the mandatory ‘Health Control Form’… that you have undertaken a PCR, TMA or LAMP test within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival, have tested negative for COVID-19, and can show on request evidence certifying your results.
“The document you provide must be the original, be written in Spanish or English, may be submitted in paper or electronic format and must contain the following information:
- name of passenger
- passport number or ID card number (the number provided must match the one provided on the Health Control Form)
- test date
- name and contact details of the testing centre
- testing method applied (i.e. PCR)
- test results
“You can do this on the Spain Travel Health website or downloadable app,” the FCDO added.
“On completion, you will be issued a personal and non-transferable QR code which you must show (electronically or hardcopy) at airport health controls on arrival.”
The FCDO warned that vigilant checks are being carried out.
“Checks will be carried out on arrival to confirm travellers have undergone a COVID-19 PCR, TMA or LAMP test and have tested negative,” the authority said.
“A minimum fine of €3,000 may be issued to anyone who arrives in Spanish airports and ports from ‘risk’ countries without adequate evidence of a negative PCR, TMA or LAMP test.”
However, the NHS should not be used for covid tests for travel purposes – you should arrange to take a private test.
Following the travel ban news, TUI announced their flights the Canaries were axed.
“We have currently cancelled Canary Islands holidays from England up to and including January 5 2021,” said TUI. “We’re in the process of proactively contacting impacted customers by departure date order.”
The airline added: “Customers due to travel to the Canary Islands from January 6 up to and including January 31 2021… are able to amend their holiday for free, with holidays currently on sale until October 2022.
Jet2 flights to Spain have also been axed due to the travel bans. The airline states on its website: “We are sorry, but due to local government travel restrictions, all outbound flights to Spain have been cancelled.
“If you were due to travel to Spain on Tuesday 22nd December 2020, there is no need to contact us, we will automatically refund the total cost of your booking. This will be credited to the card you paid with within the next 28 days, in the same number of instalments you paid in. We apologise for this cancellation which was beyond our control.”