British and other non-EU families with teenage children will now be able to safely book their half term holidays in Murcia after the Spanish government eased its vaccination rules. The move is in response to concern that vaccinations for children have not kept pace with adult rates.
In a statement, the government said it had amended the health requirements for entry into Spain for travellers aged from 12 to 17 years from countries outside the European Union or the Schengen area, “where access to the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for this age group is difficult or not yet possible”.
On 1 February Spain had formally adopted a EU Council recommendation enabling fully vaccinated tourists to enjoy “safe free movement” – including those travelling from non-EU countries such as the UK – regardless of their reason for travel. However, this relaxation only applied to those whose status met the Spanish authorities’ validity period requirements, and meant that some children would be excluded.
Now, according to the government, “From midnight on 14 February (next Monday), travellers between 12 and 17 years of age from these countries who do not have a valid vaccination certificate may present a NAAT molecular nucleic acid amplification test (RT-PCR or similar) for SARS-CoV-2 with a negative result, carried out 72 hours before arrival in our country. Likewise, children under 12 years of age, travelling with an adult, will not be subject to any type of health requirement, as was the case until now.”
Updated travel advice outlining Spanish entry requirements is available on the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s GOV.UK travel advice website.