What Should a Foreigner Consider When Travelling to Spain After The End of the State of Alarm?

12 May 2021 - Stefan Meyer

On Sunday, 9 May the state of alarm ended. This state of alarm is foreseen in the Spanish constitution as a state of exception and the restrictions to contain the spread of the pandemic, which affected certain fundamental rights, also ended. Said restrictions now depend, in large measure, on the seventeen autonomous communities, since they cannot fall back on the umbrella of constitutional exception. They must now look to the courts for support of access restrictions, curfews and other conditions that could affect fundamental rights of the Spanish people. Please note that it is still mandatory to wear a facial mask in all public spaces, inside or outside, enclosed or open (including beaches) throughout Spain.

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Requirements to Enter Spain

With regard to entering Spanish territory, the exterior borders of Spain continue to be open, as they have been to date; however, one must comply with several requirements:

  • All travellers that arrive in Spain must complete a health control form available on the web portal Spain Travel Health or using the application for mobile devices SpTh (Spain Travel Health).
  • On said form, you must formally declare to have a PCR or TMA with a negative result performed in the 72 hours prior to arrival in Spain. Proof of a negative test result must be carried with you throughout your trip.
  • Once the public health control form is completed, a QR code will be generated. You are required to display said QR code prior to boarding and at the control points upon arrival in Spain.

Restrictions in Spain 

As mentioned above, now the limitations in Spain correspond to each Autonomous Community (which, in principle, cannot affect the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Spanish Constitution). Each autonomous community has restrictions based on ordinary legislation within its territory, which must also be respected by foreigners visiting the country. That is, depending on where you wish to go, you must consider one series of measures or another:

  • In the Balearic Islands, in order to enter from abroad it is necessary to have completed the public health control form for general access to Spain (explained above). To access the Balearic Islands from any region within Spain, you must present a negative PCR test, take a PCR test within 48 of arrival to the islands or keep quarantine for 10 days. There is a curfew for night-time mobility: you may not be out between 11pm and 6am, at least until 23 May, unless otherwise ruled by competent courts.
  • In the Canary Islands it is also mandatory for travellers from other areas in Spain to enter with a negative PCR or antigen test and with a negative PCR test for travellers from abroad. This is usually checked at ports and airports, in addition to the prohibition on mobility to and from the Islands that are categorised as have an alert level of 3 or 4 (none at present). In addition, the intention is to maintain, unless the competent courts deem otherwise, the curfew restricting mobility between 1200am (midnight) and 6:00am.
  • In the Community of Madrid there are no access restrictions or curfew. There is no limit on meetings with persons not from the same household. Depending on approval from the Madrid High Court of Justice, the restrictions on mobility by basic health areas will be kept in force. This is a special feature of this autonomous community in its response to the pandemic. Restaurants and bars are open from 6:00am to 12:00am (midnight), but they may not accept guests after 11:00pm. You cannot eat or drink at the bar and guests are limited to four per table inside and six per table outside. Their maximum capacity is limited to 50% inside and 75% outside.
  • In Catalonia there are no access restrictions or curfew. However, there is still a limit of six persons at social meetings, closing of the restaurant industry at 11:00pm and maximum capacity of 50% at religious acts and civil ceremonies. Furthermore, amusement parks and travelling fairs can resume activities with 30% of their usual maximum capacity.
  • In the Community of Valencia there are no access restrictions on entering or leaving the region, but there is a curfew from 12:00am (midnight) to 6:00am. Meetings of up to 10 people are allowed in public and private spaces. The restaurant industry can keep outdoor dining open until 11:30pm, with a maximum of 10 persons per table; their maximum capacity is 100% outside and 50% inside. In religious settings, up to 75% of the maximum capacity may congregate.
  • In Andalusia there are also no access restrictions or curfew. There is no limit on traveling between provinces and, in terms of municipal confinement, the Andalusian Government will request judicial ratification in order to close municipalities with more than 5,000 inhabitants in which the cases exceed 1,000 per 100,000 inhabitants (in lieu of the previous limit of 500). There is no limit on meetings in households, and restaurants and bars may operate until 12:00am (midnight) with eight persons per table inside and 10 persons per table outside. Pubs and nightclubs have the same capacity limits and may open until 2:00am.
  • In the País Vasco there are no access restrictions or curfew (despite having requested this, the court denied it). As a recommendation, they have asked people to limit their night-time mobility between 11:00pm and 6:00am, and not to meet with more than six persons in public or private settings.

In general, mobility within Peninsular Spain is feasible without limitations. There are certain areas with more severe restrictions in terms of leisure and closing times for establishments. To visit the islands, it is still necessary to go through a health check at the airport or port.


These are the measures against COVID-19 in the rest of the Spanish autonomous communities:

  • In La Rioja there are no access restrictions or curfew at this time, although if the epidemiological situation so requires, they are not ruled out. There are three levels of risk, which may be four in the worse-case scenario. The towns of Arnedo, Calahorra, Nájera and Alfaro are at an intensified alert level 3, but there is currently no confinement. Closing of restaurants and bars is as late as 12:00am (midnight), with a maximum capacity of 50% inside and no limit outside. With regard to meetings, it is recommended that they be at most of six persons in all settings.
  • In Extremadura there are no access restrictions or curfew, although they are considering a risk-related “traffic light” depending on the epidemiological situation of each town. Restaurants and bars are not limited in their hours and the maximum capacity allowed of 50% inside of bars, with tables of up to six persons, and 85% outside, with tables of up to 10 persons. Shops are open at 75% capacity.
  • In Galicia there are no access restrictions or curfew, but they are asking the High Court of Justice for several variations, among which is the closing of certain populations and restriction of mobility at night. Bars and restaurants close at 1:00am.
  • In Castilla y León there are no access restrictions or curfew, unless the evolution of the pandemic so requires. There is no limit on meetings in public and private places, or reduction of capacity in religious settings. In towns in which there are more than 150 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, the inside of bars will be shut down.
  • In Castilla-La Mancha there are no access restrictions or curfew. Restaurants and bars are open until 1:00am and their capacity is 100% outside and 75% inside, with 10 guests per table. Meetings cannot exceed 10 persons.
  • In the Region of Murcia there are no longer access restrictions or a curfew; however, non-essential activity is closed after 12:00am (midnight). Meetings may only have six persons at maximum in both public and private settings. Bars and restaurants may host a maximum of six persons per table both inside and outside, except for celebration halls that may host up to 50 persons inside and 100 outside.
  • In Aragon they have had a law for six months that allows it to order confinement in provinces, regions and municipalities without the need to request approval from the court. There are no access restrictions and no curfew. However, the towns of Tarazona, Fraga and La Litera are closed. Bars and restaurants and non-essential activities are open until 10:00pm for places with an alert level of 3 and until 8:00pm for areas with an aggravated level 3.
  • In Navarra there are no access restrictions, but there is a curfew between 11:00pm and 6:00am. The schedule for outside dining is until 10:00pm.
  • In Asturias there are no access restrictions or curfew. The restaurant industry is open until 1:00am with a maximum of six per table both inside and outside the establishment.
  • In Cantabria there are no access restrictions or curfew or limitation on persons in social meetings. In restaurants and bars, dining is not permitted inside establishments and there are capacity limits outside; establishments must close at 10:30pm.
  • In Ceuta there are no access restrictions or curfew. Restaurants and bars must close at 12:00am (midnight) and have capacity limits of one third inside and 75% outside.
  • In Melilla the situation is similar to Ceuta. There are no access restrictions or curfew. Restaurants and bars are open until 12:00am (midnight) and with a limit on public and private meetings of six persons.