where and how Spaniards can travel

Improving pandemic indicators and high levels of vaccination have led many countries to review travel restrictions in recent weeks and ease entry requirements for tourists. Most of them have gradually opened their international borders, others have chosen to remove the obligation to present additional diagnostic tests, and still others have chosen to remove any conditions of access.

Restrictions change almost daily and doubts hang over Spanish travellers. What do I need to enter Portugal? Will they need a negative PCR when they arrive in Italy? Can I go to the United States? And in Australia? Is there a country that keeps its borders closed?

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European countries without entry restrictions

Can you imagine traveling without needing to show any documents when crossing the border? As spring break approaches, more and more countries have opted to lift entry restrictions altogether and allow travelers free access.

This is the case of some European Union states such as Ireland, Hungary, Romania and Slovenia, although the latter still requires some tourists to complete the passenger locator form.

After these four countries – the first to free their borders – other states have joined the list. These are Sweden, Denmark, Lithuania, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic. For their part, those wishing to enter the Netherlands only need to complete a health declaration form before flying, which indicates whether the traveler has symptoms of coronavirus infection.

Heathrow Airport

Hollie Adams/Getty

Spaniards can enter freely without having to present health documents in other countries of the Old Continent, beyond the European Union, such as Great Britain, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein.

European countries that require documentation

A majority of states, despite having abandoned strict border controls that once included quarantines, require Spaniards – and other Europeans – to meet certain requirements. They are fully vaccinated, have passed covid-19 or provide negative test results taken before travelling.

In this sense, in general, all the other countries of the European Union require some of the following documents at the entrance: the presentation of the valid European certificate of vaccination -called passport covid-, in which it is indicated that ‘they received the full guideline; an official document attesting to having overcome the disease, or being in possession of an official certificate attesting to the negative result of a test carried out before the start of the trip.

Those traveling beyond Europe in the coming weeks will find notable country differences

Italy, France and Austria require those who do not have either of the first two documents to present a negative PCR carried out within 72 hours prior to arrival, or an antigen test carried out within the previous 48 hours.

Portugal, Belgium, Greece, Cyprus and Croatia, which also require PCR, reduce the duration of the antigen test to 24 hours. Those traveling to Cyprus must additionally obtain the CYprusFlightPass two days before the start of the trip – if using the airways -, and those intending to enter Croatia are advised to complete the Entercroatica before departure .

The proof of covid or the vaccination passport are two essential elements to travel again

The proof of covid or the vaccination passport are two essential elements to travel again

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Germany and Finland, on the other hand, require one of two diagnostic tests performed 48 hours in advance.

Four states only allow PCR tests: Latvia, Poland (48 hours in advance), Malta and Slovakia (both 72 hours in advance). The last three also ask to complete the traveler locator form.

intercontinental travel

Those planning to travel beyond Europe in the coming weeks will find notable differences between countries. In the Americas, Mexico, for example, does not have any type of entry restriction for foreigners, while the United States requires anyone wishing to enter the country to have the full accredited vaccination schedule. Accepts the European Union Covid Certificate as a document

Japan remains closed to foreign tourists. Only admits travelers for study, work or business

Similarly, it is essential to have a negative result of a PCR or antigen test carried out one day before the flight, and to present the contact details of the air passengers, in order to be located in the event of positives on the plane.

The requirements of Morocco are similar to those of North America: to be vaccinated and show the corresponding certificate, to fill out a form and to undergo a PCR within 48 hours before boarding.

After two years virtually isolated from the outside world, Australia reopened its international borders in February to all tourists with visas vaccinated against the coronavirus. The European digital certificate is valid, i.e. the international QR code. The Australia Travel Declaration and a Digital Passenger Declaration must be completed within 72 hours of departure.


A family is reunited at Brisbane airport after the country allowed foreign tourists entry after being closed for two years

STRINGER / Reuters

Japan remains closed to foreign tourists. Since the beginning of March, border restrictions have been removed for those traveling to the country for study, work or business reasons, in which case they must have, among other documents, company certificates.

China, for its part, remains de facto isolated. The country’s requirements, including those to fly a direct route from Spain to China and the high demands, which include quarantine, make travel virtually unfeasible.

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Lydia Bernaus


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