Spain holidays: Latest FCDO update for Spain and Canary Islands as covid test rules change

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Spain holidays have faced a wild rollercoaster ride in 2020. Mainland Spain has long been absent from the travel corridor list, along with the Balearic Islands, but the Canary Islands are deemed safe enough to visit. However, the country is now clamping down on its own travel rules.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has issued an update to its Spanish travel advice today.

The new guidance concerned coronavirus testing on the mainland as well as in the Canaries.


From November 23, all passengers (including children of all ages) travelling to Spanish airports and ports from ‘risk’ countries – of which the UK is one – must have proof of a negative PCR test.

The covid test must be taken within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival.

Travellers must declare on the mandatory ‘Health Control Form’ they have tested negative for the virus and can show original evidence, whether electronic or paper.

This form must be filled out and signed 48 hours prior to travel.

You can do this on the Spain Travel Health website or downloadable app.

Travellers may also need to undergo a temperature check and a visual health assessment.

Anyone who flouts the rules risks facing punishments.

The FCDO stated: “Anyone who presents symptoms or fails to meet one of the above requirements will be required to undergo a test on arrival and will be obliged to observe the COVID-19 protocols in place as determined by the local authorities of your destination in Spain.”

What’s more, those who arrive in Spanish airports and ports from ‘risk’ countries without adequate evidence of a negative PCR (swab) test may be fined.

The Foreign Office also cautioned that passengers may also be contacted and required to undertake a PCR (swab) test at any point up to 48 hours after their arrival in Spain.

Canary Islands

As with Spain, travellers to the Canaries will need to provide a negative covid test.

The FCDO explained: “If you’re travelling to the Canary Islands and are booked into regulated tourist accommodation, you will be obliged to:

– present an official, negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours earlier, when checking in to your accommodation

– download and activate the Radar COVID notification app throughout your stay on the islands, and for 15 days after your return home.

“These measures are specific to the Canary Islands and apply to all guests aged six years and over unless they have proof of travel confirming their uninterrupted presence on the islands for the previous 15 days.”

Britons are urged not to turn to the NHS for tests ahead of holidays.

Jet-setters should arrange to take a private test instead.

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