Tourists arriving at Palma airport. | EFE

Balearic holidays are being snapped up in the UK for this year on the back of travel testing requirements and restrictions having been eased in the UK, however, Spain is tightening its demands for UK visitors from Tuesday, February 1, just in time for the half term holidays.

Starting from next week, UK nationals who have received the full course of vaccination will not be permitted to enter Spain, as the country has reduced the vaccination validity period to 270 days. This means that Britons with vaccination certificates older than 270 days will be considered unvaccinated, thus undergoing more stringent entry rules. The decision will affect all travellers aged over 12. On the other hand, travellers with booster shots will be allowed to travel to Spain only if 14 days have passed since the vaccination occurred.

“From February 1, 2022, in order to travel to Spain with a vaccination certificate, the certificate must have been issued by the competent authorities of the country of origin at least 14 days after the date of administration of the last dose of the full course of vaccination, as long as the final dose of that course of vaccination was no more than 270 days ago,” the statement of Spain’s official travel website, Safe Spain, explains.

The decision was based on European Commission new rules, which aim to establish a unified standard for all EU Member States to apply regarding the EU Digital Covid Certificate. According to data published by the authority, 807 million EU Digital Covid Certificates have been issued in the EU, while over 60 countries and territories worldwide have joined the gateway for verification.

At present, countries in Spain are divided into two categories, risk list and high-risk list.
The first one includes all EU member states, and travellers from these countries are required to present a vaccination or recovery certificate in order to enter Spain.
On the other hand, high-risk list arrivals are required to present a pre-entry test, even if they are holders of vaccination or recovery certificates.

In addition to the vaccination certificate, all travellers over 12 years old are required to fill out a health control form before they enter Spain.

Once the form is completed, travellers will receive a unique QR code, which can be presented to the competent authorities upon arrival.

According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Spain is listed amongst the countries with the highest vaccination rates in the EU as 81.1 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated and over 21 million inhabitants (44.8 per cent) have received the booster shot.

Also, Britons may also be subject to additional checks at the point of entry including a temperature check, visual health assessment, or testing on arrival. Passengers may also be contacted and required to undertake a PCR, TMA or LAMP test at any point up to 48 hours after their arrival in Spain.