Spain has become one of the latest nations to allow unvaccinated Americans to visit this summer.
The European nation has some of the strictest COVID-19 entry requirements in Europe. However, as cases continue to fall, Spain will allow unvaccinated tourists from outside the EU—including Americans—to visit the nation.
Currently, Spain has banned unvaccinated non-EU citizens from visiting for tourism purposes.
Spanish tourism minister, Reyes Maroto, told Spanish radio station Onda Cero: “It’s a matter of days before we eliminate a restriction that could be discouraging tourists from outside the European Union from visiting us,”
“And that is that we are going to stop requiring the vaccination certificate and allow them to enter with a negative test”.
The news comes after Spain decided to extend its current travel restrictions on unvaccinated non-EU citizens until June 15. However, this news is a significant U-turn from the Spanish government in only a matter of days.
Spain is a very popular European destination because of its food, sun, beaches, and incredible cities like Madrid and Barcelona.
Spain’s New Entry Requirements
Reyes Maroto said that unvaccinated tourists would need a PDIA test, which refers to both PCR tests and antigen tests.
- If tourists use a negative PCR, it must have been issued less than 72 hours before arrival in Spain.
- If it’s a negative antigen test, it must have been issued less than 24 hours before arriving in Spain.
Spain’s current entry requirements only permit non-EU citizens, including Brits, Canadians, and Americans, to enter for tourism purposes if they’ve been fully vaccinated, but this requirement will be discontinued within the next few days.
Spain’s Current Vaccination-Requirement For Tourists
As of today, Spain requires all non-EU travelers to be fully vaccinated and to have received a booster shot if their initial vaccine dose was over nine months ago.
Alternatively, unvaccinated travelers can enter if they have proof of recovery from COVID-19 in the last 6 months.
Spain has made some exemptions. For example, the Spanish authorities started allowing unvaccinated non-EU citizens to enter if they’re aged between 12-17 and have provided a negative PCR test.
Spain also continues to have a list of low-risk third countries, whereby travelers can visit without having to present proof of Covid-19 testing, recovery, or vaccination. The United States isn’t on this list.
Spain’s Internal COVID-19 Restrictions
Many European nations have scrapped all internal COVID-19 restrictions, including testing, proof of vaccination, social distancing, and mandatory masks.
Spain, however, is lagging behind most of Europe.
- Masks are still mandatory on public transport, in care homes, medical centers, and pharmacies
- Specific hotels, bars, shops, and restaurants may issue their own social distancing measures
- The Spanish government also recommends all travelers wear masks in public spaces, such as cinemas, shops, bars, and restaurants. However, this isn’t mandatory by law.
- The Spanish government also requests all travelers to wear face masks at large-scale public events where travelers can’t maintain a social distance of 1.5 meters.
However, the Spanish government doesn’t require people who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 to self-isolate. Instead, they must wear masks and avoid crowded spaces.
When asked about ending all COVID-19 restrictions, Reyes Maroto said: “There’s a degree of safety with travel that we have to preserve. We’re still co-existing with the pandemic but that doesn’t mean that we haven’t been gradually lifting restrictions,”
The current 7-day case average in Spain is 17,192. However, this is a sharp decrease from the 7-day case average of 144,009 in January.
Various EU nations have lifted all COVID-19 travel restrictions. These include:
- Czech Republic
As a result, Europe is a fantastic content for Americans to explore in 2022, as nations continue to further reopen for tourism.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com