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Spain lifts Covid-19 checks at French border after two years

Travel by air or ship is however subject to different rules and checks and masks remain

A sign for Espana on the road border

Spain has dropped the requirement to show proof of vaccination, recovery from Covid, or negative test when crossing over the French-Spanish land border Pic: underworld / Shutterstock

Spain has lifted Covid-19 checks at the French border starting today (May 19) after almost two years, the country’s health ministry has confirmed.

Checks had been in place since a decree on March 26, 2020.

The new rule states (in Spanish): “In view of the epidemiological situation in both countries and the current impact of the measure, it is considered appropriate to revoke the health control measures for people arriving from France to Spain by land.”

In practice, this means that travellers entering Spain by the land border from France will no longer need to show proof of vaccination against Covid, nor any proof of recovering from the virus, nor a negative test.

Previously, all travellers aged 12 or over were required to show one of these three justifications.

However, restrictions still remain in place for entry via air or sea (plane or ship), and are set to stay in force for at least another month. 

They had previously been set to lift on May 15, but the Spanish health authorities said that “the current Covid 19 situation forces” the country to keep them in place until at least June 15.

Spain has still not lifted the requirement to wear a mask on inbound flights, despite the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) stating that masks should no longer be mandatory for travellers on flights arriving from the EU.

Elsewhere, Spain has also lifted its land border requirements for entrants to Portugal. 

It has also opened its borders to its African enclaves, Ceuta and Melilla, to Morocco. This means that EU nationals travelling from within the Schengen Area can now travel by land into the enclaves. From May 31, this will also include people who work across the borders.

What about entering France from Spain?

All travellers over the age of 11 are still required to show full proof of vaccination or a negative PCR/antigen test taken 24 hours before departure for the non-vaccinated, according to the French embassy in Spain and the French consulat in Barcelona

If you can prove that you have had Covid in the previous 180 days to departure, that is equally sufficient to cross borders.

There are two exceptions to this rule:
-  If you are travelling for less than 24 hours within a radius of 30 kilometres of your residence (for example cross-border workers).

- Urgent business trips or family emergencies where performing a test is incompatible with the timing.

Related articles

Covid France: Does receiving different vaccines reduce their efficacy?

Coronavirus: Daily updates on the situation in France 

Covid-19: Rules for travel to and from France

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