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Practical information for tourists in the Covid-19 crisis

(Updated 01 June 2020)

On 23 May, the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, announced the opening up of the Spanish territory to overseas tourists in July and the lifting of quarantine for travellers from the start of this same month. Furthermore, the government is working to ensure that tourists arrive in Spain with the strictest conditions of safety in place, both for locals as well as for the foreign visitors.

The following restrictions will remain in place until this date.

Travellers walking through an airport
Travellers walking through an airport

Who can enter Spanish territory?

Due to the official state of alarm declared by the Government of Spain on 14 March 2020, establishing controls on land borders as well as at ports and airports, entering Spain by land will only be permitted for:

• Spanish citizens;

• people normally resident in Spanish territory;

• cross-border workers and others with documents accrediting force majeure or other situations justifying entrance;

• diplomatic staff and consular agents accredited in Spain, travelling in the course of their duties.

• This measure does not affect cargo transport.

 

Quarantine requirement for travellers

Travellers arriving in Spain from other countries must observe a 14-day quarantine. This restriction will be lifted on 1 July.

During the quarantine period, the people specified above must remain in their home or accommodation, leaving only for the following activities:

a) Obtaining food, pharmaceutical products and other basic necessities.

b) Going to medical centres and getting healthcare services.

c) Evacuation due to force majeure or other exceptional situations.

They will be required to wear face masks in all such movements.

These measures do not apply to cross-border workers, couriers and goods carriers, transport crews, and healthcare workers going to work, as long as they have not been in contact with diagnosed cases of COVID-19.

Travel agencies, tour operators and transport companies must inform travellers of these measures at the start of the process of selling tickets to destinations in Spanish territory.

Additionally, the European Union has declared the closure of the EU’s external borders for at least 30 days, (extended until 15 June), with some exceptions, restricting non-essential travel from non-EU countries via ports and airports, as agreed on 17 March by the member countries of the European Council to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Tourist at the airport
Tourist at the airport

Who is exempt from the travel restrictions?

• Spanish citizens returning home,

• people from a European Union or Schengen area country, or spouses or registered civil partners of European Union citizens, or their dependent ascendant relatives or descendants, and residents of the associated Schengen states or Andorra, who are going directly to their place of residence.

• freight transporters

• flight crews

• tourists returning home

• medical or senior care professionals travelling for work

• diplomatic personnel or persons accrediting force majeure

• holders of visas issued in a European Union or Schengen country, travelling to their residence or to the country where the visa was issued.

Young woman washing hands
Young woman washing hands

What protective measures can I take to avoid the disease?

The Government will guarantee the supply of the products needed for public health, and has issued a series of general indications and protective measures against this disease, including:

• Clean your hands often, washing them with soap and water or sanitising them using alcohol-based hand sanitisers, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment

• Cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow, covering your mouth and nose

• Use disposable tissues and throw them away after use

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, as the disease can be transmitted by hand-to-face contact

• Anyone with the symptoms of the disease must self-isolate

• There is no need to take special care with animals or food in Spain to avoid infection

Map by province of the COVID-19 phases
Map by province of the COVID-19 phases

Phases of the transition to normality

The Government has prepared a transition plan for returning to normality in four phases. The switch from one phase to another will take place over about 2 weeks and should end in June. These periods may vary, depending on a set of indicators, including the situation of the pandemic in each province and island of Spain, the capacity of the healthcare system, and other socio-economic data. During these de-escalation phases travel is not allowed between provinces, between mainland Spain and the islands, or between islands, with certain exceptions.

These are some of the activities which can be undertaken in each phase. Almost all of Spain is now in Phases 1 or 2, and the islands of La Gomera, El Hierro, La Graciosa, and Formentera are in Phase 3.

PHASE 1

• Bars and restaurants may open their terraces, with maximum occupancy of 50%
• Small shops and outdoor markets may open
• Social gatherings of up to 10 people are permitted
• Active tourism and nature activities can be carried out in groups of up to 10 people
• Hotels and tourist establishments may open, with restrictions on maximum occupancy in public areas. Restaurant services on terraces may resume, limited to 50% of their maximum capacity
• Museums may reopen with a limit of one third of their capacity
• Premises and establishments for cultural events and performances may be opened to the public with a limitation of 30% of the capacity
• Travel to second residences is permitted
• Houses of worship may open, with maximum occupancy of 30%
• Professional sports training and amateur sports are permitted, without contact, and without using changing rooms

PHASE 2

• Restaurants may open with limited capacity
• Beaches will open under conditions of safety and distancing
• Swimming pools will open, restricted to 30% of their maximum capacity
• Cinemas, theatres, and museums may admit up to a third of their capacity
• Cultural activities with fewer than 50 people
• Shopping malls may open with restrictions on common areas and leisure activity areas
• Natural parks will open, admitting up to 20% of normal visitor numbers

PHASE 3

• Travel will be allowed within the province, island or territorial unit
• Tourist activities with groups of up to 30 people
• Restaurant capacity will be less restricted but customers must be kept apart
• Shops can admit up to 50% of their capacity
• Bullfights with restricted audience numbers (1 person per 9 square metres)