You Can't Travel Here Without a Booster, Effective Through June 15
This change in official plans could affect your summer vacation.
Demand for travel is hotter than ever as passengers make up for lost time. And with many countries around the world having lifted their pandemic-related restrictions, it will be easier to travel abroad this summer than it was last year. Many countries have eased requirements for testing, quarantining upon arrival, and vaccination—or even removed restrictions altogether. But amid virus surges around the world, some nations are keeping stricter control over their borders than they'd originally planned. Read on to find out which country is beefing up instead of winding down its entry rules.
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Spain quietly extended its COVID entry protocols for visitors coming from abroad.
Without fanfare, the Spanish Ministry of the Interior extended the COVID entry protocols for travelers through June 15. And that could affect the summer vacation plans of would-be travelers who aren't fully vaccinated.
Spain "extends all the restrictions that are currently applied to the Spanish external land, sea, and air borders by virtue of the recommendations of the Council of the European Union due to the health crisis caused by COVID-19 until 12:00 p.m. on June 15, 2022," the country's Interior Ministry said in a press statement on May 12. Previously, the order had been set to expire on May 15.
The Points Guy noted Spain's news of the extended mandate comes in the form of an "under-the-radar announcement," as some people (and economies) are eager to move past pandemic restrictions.
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"Fully vaccinated" means boosted, too, according to Spain's protocols.
To meet Spain's entry requirements, American visitors age 18 and older must be fully vaccinated—and that includes a booster shot if a period of nine months has passed since the initial course of vaccinations, according to the official guidelines.
"If more than 270 days (nine months) have passed since receiving the last required dose of their COVID-19 vaccine, U.S. citizens must show proof of having received a booster shot at least 14 days prior to arrival in Spain," as clarified by the U.S. Embassy in Spain.
In addition to showing proof of vaccination, travelers arriving to the country by air or sea (even those just passing through) are required to fill out a digital health form before departure. Once completed, travelers will get a QR code to show upon boarding and arrival.
Travelers under 12 aren't held to the same requirements. And visitors between the ages of 12 and 18 must only submit a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departing for Spain, or may instead present proof of recovery from the illness.
Spain still requires masks on flights (although other European countries don't).
Spain had previously lifted its requirement for indoor masking last month. But it hadn't lifted the requirement for masking on flights, which applies through June 15. In this regard, Spain's protocols differ from those for flights across the rest of Europe, as the mask mandate previously enforced by both the European Union Aviation Safety Agency and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control no longer holds, The Points Guy notes. (Still, several other countries in Europe, including Italy and Greece, maintain such a policy.)
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The extended mandate comes on the heels of the latest surge.
Spain extended its entry protocols after a spring surge saw the country record 400,000 new cases of COVID-19 just in the month of April, according to World Health Organization (WHO) data. Since that peak, numbers have dropped significantly: Spain recorded fewer than 10,000 cases in the first week of this month.
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