Looking for some late sun this year? With average daily temperatures topping 20oC well into October, Spain remains a perfect destination for Brits looking to extend their summer by a few more weeks.
After all the uncertainty around travel caused by the COVID-19 pandemic this year, a lot of people have pushed back their holiday plans a lot later than usual, waiting for a clearer picture.
Domestic COVID restrictions in the UK have now, of course, been lifted. But does that mean you have the all-clear to finally book that long-awaited holiday? Here are the key things you need to know.
There have been no legal restrictions on travelling from the UK to any country for leisure purposes since May. However, when the government lifted its non-essential travel ban and introduced its traffic light system of travel advice, Spain was placed on the amber list, meaning anyone holidaying there would have to self-isolate for 10 days on their return to the UK.
That requirement no longer applies for anyone who has had both doses of the vaccine jab. So if you are fully vaccinated and planning on travelling to Spain this autumn, you can leave and return to the UK without any restrictions.
Spain took a relaxed stance on allowing British holidaymakers back into the country relatively early, waiving any quarantine requirements on arrival as long as you can present one of the following:
- A vaccination certificate proving you have had a full course of a recognised vaccine (i.e. both jabs). If you have the NHS app, all the required information will automatically be uploaded ready for you to present. If not, you will need to speak to your GP about how to get hold of a certificate.
- If you haven’t been fully vaccinated, you can also enter Spain with a diagnostic test certificate showing you are negative for COVID-19. This must be a recognised lab test (e.g. PCR), not a home-administered antigen test like the lateral flow. The test must be taken within 72 hours of arriving in Spain.
You will also need to complete a special Health Control Form providing details of your trip before you arrive. The form must be completed online. Once done, you will be given a QR code which you can either print out to take with you or download onto your smartphone. You may be asked to present your QR code by your airline prior to boarding as well as at border control in Spain.
Despite the relaxing of the quarantine requirements for any UK holidaymakers who are fully vaccinated, Spain remains on the government’s amber list. As such, the official travel advice is against all but necessary travel.
In normal circumstances, whenever the FCDO advises against travelling to a country, it becomes very, very difficult to get travel insurance to the country. If the advice changes after you have already bought insurance, your policy automatically becomes void. This is technically still the case for travelling to amber list countries – a provider may well not pay out on a standard policy unless you have specified where you are going and they have expressly told you that destination is covered.
To get round this confusing grey area, some providers have started to offer special extensions which cover all amber list countries, giving you peace of mind that if you do have to make a claim, it won’t be refused on the grounds that you travelled against FCDO advice. Click here for more information.