Spain relaxes rules for unvaccinated – but is it too late for summer bookings?

By Lisa James
Home » Spain relaxes rules for unvaccinated – but is it too late for summer bookings?

The Spanish Tourist Office has updated its website after the country relaxed entry rules for unvaccinated UK visitors but there are warnings the move has come too late for this summer.

Unvaccinated Brits can now travel to Spain with a negative PCR test after health requirements for visitors from the UK and elsewhere outside the EU were aligned with those from inside the Schengen area.

Visitors will need to show a COVID vaccination certificate, negative PCR test or certificate of recovery within the last 180 days.

Under-12s are exempt from having to show any certificates.

The new rule came in on Saturday, just ahead of the May school half term and in time for summer.

But many customers have already booked other destinations, according to agent David Gregg, who runs Different Corners Travel in Torquay.

David said: “I think it’s too late for this summer and I think Spain has missed out as we’ve had a very busy July and August already, with people booking to Greece and Turkey.

“It seems like Spain’s move is more of a financial move than a health one.

“If the rules stay in place for winter, then it will be good, as Spain in the winter is always very busy for us.”

Many members of the public have posted on social media to say they’ve either booked elsewhere already or have opted to go to destinations where entry rules are even more relaxed.

One said: “Too late Spain, you had your chances,” while another posted on Twitter to say: “Spain has missed out on my custom – Mexico and Jamaica bound this year no fuss, no nonsensical restrictions.”

And ABTA warned tourists they still need to be aware of entry requirements when travelling to Spain.

An ABTA spokesperson said: “Spain is the most popular holiday destination for UK holidaymakers, so it’s great that this relaxation of its travel rules will enable all travellers, regardless of their vaccination status, to enjoy a break there this summer.

“There are still COVID-19 entry requirements in place, so we’d encourage anyone who is thinking of booking a trip to Spain to book with an ABTA travel agent or tour operator who can help them get their documentation together.”

But Andy Tomlinson, Director of Sutton Travel in Sutton Coldfield, said: “We are still booking plenty of summer 2022 holidays so yes, many people have already booked who are not vaccinated but I think Spain will still benefit from a certain level of late bookings for this summer, given the relaxing of rules announced at the weekend.”

The full details have been updated on the STO site here.

The Foreign Office has now updated its advice on travel to Spain. See separate story here.

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