Will I Need A Covid Vaccine To Travel To Spain?
The Covid-19 virus, first identified in the Chinese provenance of Wuhan in December of 2019, rapidly spread through the populations of various different countries, causing interruptions and economic destruction everywhere that it went. Finally, in December of 2020, the Pfizer vaccine was manufactured and granted emergency use authorisation from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a means to limit the impact of the virus.
However, post-pandemic, the vaccine has grown to have many different uses, one of which is a key to international travel. This has led many to wonder whether or not the Covid vaccine is needed to travel to different countries, but more specifically, has led people to ask, “will I need a Covid vaccine to travel to Spain?”.
Studies suggest that Spain was one of the hardest hit countries, with over 13,400,000 cases and over 114,000 fatalities. That’s why so many countries, including Spain, created strong travel restrictions to try and stop the spread and limit the impact of the virus.
In this article, we will address whether or not a Covid vaccine is necessary to travel to Spain, and what you can do to make your entrance smoother and easier. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about Covid’s impact on Spain, Spain’s entry requirements and vaccines.
Why Was Spain Impacted So Badly By Covid?
During the pandemic, Spain was one of the countries most impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Even now, during the post-pandemic period, they are one of the countries that require the most rebuilding and assistance in coping with the backlog of healthcare patients and economic strains. The reason that Covid impacted Spain so significantly is down to a number of factors, varying from social factors, behavioural factors and the structural positioning of the country’s people and their customers.
Studies show that many Spanish residents were willing to comply with the lockdown measures, with some only leaving their housing for essential and basic needs such as food, water and medicine. Whilst this helped to limit the spread to some degree, it also exaggerated the economic impact that the virus was having on the people - most tourist-orientated small businesses or stalls were prevented from working, leaving many to struggle significantly during these uncertain times.
Once people were somewhat allowed to operate once more, tourism resumed and face-to-face contact became normalised once again. However, research suggests that close contacts play an important role in the transmission of the disease and that 28% of people lacked the necessary resources to properly isolate themselves. With so many returning to the streets without the necessary protection against the virus, it was inevitable that many would lose their incomes once more to infection, and some even their lives.
The spread was made even worse by an inherent lack of testing by government officials and local businesses. Further research into the field found that only 1% of the population tested at all, and 6% of people were unable to be tested despite their doctor’s recommendation. Focusing on this statistic alone tells us that the spread of the disease was catalysed by a lack of testing, leading to many super-spreaders developing within the general population that unknowingly infected tens of hundreds of others by close contact interactions.
Lastly, the economic impact of Covid-19 was driven by the design structure of the Spanish economy. Our wider studies concluded that 44.6% of all Spanish companies were micro-companies (employing 1-9 people) or small companies (employing 10-49 people) and 54.4% were self-employed (1 employee). Because smaller companies were much more unequipped financially and practically to cope with the Covid-19 outbreak, the majority of the Spanish economy came back from the pandemic slowly, and in pieces, with whatever was left of the tourist economy strewn apart. This made it much harder to restore peace and order as the extent of the damage was far more than imagined by anyone.
Because of the devastating effect felt in tourist hotspots such as Catalonia, where 2,630,000 Covid-19 cases and 20,503 Covid-19 related fatalities were experienced, Spain has continued to uphold Covid-19 restrictions to ensure that the damage continues to be limited.
What Travel Restrictions Does Spain Have?
Over the course of the Covid-19 crisis, various different measures were put in place to try and limit the spread of the illness and stem the damage that it can do. Measures included border restrictions, total closures, heat screening, isolation and testing, the latter of which is typically observed to be the most useful when attempting to enter Spain.
Although it is not required, it is always helpful to have proof of a negative Covid-19 antigen test to show that you are not carrying the virus. A rapid antigen test, sometimes abbreviated to RAT, is a rapid diagnostic test that is suitable for detecting the presence of antigens in a human’s body. It uses the lateral flow method to distinguish Covid-19 antigens from that of the body’s natural antigens, using this information to determine whether or not the individual has been infected.
For most countries, citizens can enter Spain with no restrictions; there is no need to present a Covid-19 passport, a negative antigen test or proof of vaccination, nor is there any quarantine either. In fact, in most cases, everything in the country will be readily accessible for you, including but not limited to public transport, attractions, businesses, restaurants and hospitals, with masks required in a limited number of places.
However, specifically for the United Kingdom, Spain has implemented some restrictions. If you are an unvaccinated traveller entering Spain from the United Kingdom with a United Kingdom passport, you are not required to quarantine but you are required to take either a PCR test (72 hours before your departure) or a rapid antigen test (24 hours before your departure).
In short, you do not need a Covid-19 vaccine to enter Spain. However, if you were to get vaccinated at a suitable time before departing, then you will face no quarantine and you will have to do no tests before you enter the country, provided you demonstrate proof of vaccination. Studies show that in order to be approved, vaccines are required to have a high efficacy rate of 50% or above, suggesting that using them as a travel restriction can be an effective method of reducing the rates of Covid cases transpiring in Spain because of tourism and travel.
Why Are Vaccines Effective At Stopping Covid From Spreading?
Viruses are all around us all the time, both in our environment and in our bodies. When a person is unprepared to face a new virus, it can often lead to damage, pain or even death.
Vaccines work by making people’s bodies prepared to combat the harmful organisms that make up the virus in question. Vaccines contain weakened or inactive parts of a particular organism (antigen) that triggers an immune response within the body. Whilst the vaccine does not cause the disease, it will encourage the immune system to react as if it did, making the body’s natural immune system prepared enough to face the virus again.
One of the main reasons that vaccines are used as an international travel key is because of their reliability. When Pfizer first applied for FDA authorisation for its original vaccine blueprint in December 2020, its initial Phase 3 clinical data surpassed expectations with 95% efficacy, based on an independent analysis by the FDA.
This, alongside various other additional benefits, has led to countries such as Spain allowing much more freedom for those who are already vaccinated against Covid-19.
Do You Need An Emergency Covid Test?
If you believe that you may be suffering from Covid-19 and would like clarity so that you can seek treatment, it’s always best to take a test as soon as possible. Our specialist team is on hand around the clock to provide quality care and services to help get Covid-19 tests to you so that you can start the road to recovery earlier. With our innovative new services and products, we are able to provide you with a unique and speedy service that will help redefine the meaning of ‘customer service’ forever.
Our mission is always to reinvent the modern way of taking and receiving Covid-19 tests and provide a service which is reflective of modern-day issues and solutions. We have always been proud to be able to say that our service has catered to 15,000 travellers to date, with many more expected to come in the following years.
For more information on how to reach us and order your tests today, you can contact Official Rapid Tests using our online form for the quickest responses and swift support from members of our team. Alternatively, you may choose to book an appointment for consultation either in person or over the phone to discuss your options and what may suit you best. Whatever you choose to do, we have no doubt that you’ll find what you’re looking for with us.