Travelling to Spain During COVID-19

Are you sceptical of travelling to Spain this summer during COVID-19? Unsure of what life in the “new normal” is like here, following lockdown? Let me share with you my journey and the key differences I’ve noticed between the UK and Spain since flying on the first Ryanair flight from Cardiff to Malaga last weekend. 

Since Spain is now officially out of lockdown, life is slowly returning to normal. There is no doubt that you can come and enjoy a summer of sun, sea and cocktails here on the Costa Del Sol!

Flying During a Pandemic

Travel to Spain, Summer 2020, UK, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Travel in lockdown, Costa del Sol, tourism

Like I’m sure many of you are, I was dubious as to what the rules would be onboard an aircraft during these strange times. However, apart from a couple of new rules, things really weren’t that different. Depending on how comfortable you are with sitting on a plane for 3 hours, travelling to Spain during COVID-19 is actually quite simple. Of course, each airport and each flight differs slightly, but in my experience at Cardiff airport, here’s what was different…

At Cardiff airport

  • Both staff and travellers must wear masks at all times (apart from when eating/drinking)
  • Social distancing measures in place (i.e. 2m apart seating, DutyFree and shops closed)
  • One small kiosk open to purchase snacks and drinks with no cash sales (contactless payments recommended)
  • Quiet airport

On the flight

  • Both staff and travellers must wear masks at all times (apart from when eating/drinking)
  • All Ryanair aircraft are fitted with air filters and interior surfaces are disinfected every night with chemicals which are effective for over 24 hours
  • Limited inflight service offered (i.e. pre-packaged snacks and drinks) with no cash sales (contactless payments recommended)
  • Queuing for toilets is prohibited on board although toilet access will be made available to individual passengers upon request. Ryanair encourages passengers to regularly hand wash and use hand sanitizers in airport terminals.

Upon arrival at Malaga airport

  • Both staff and travellers must wear masks at all times (apart from when eating/drinking)
  • COVID-19 public health form to be filled in and handed to Spanish authorities when entering the country (form provided by airline prior to flying)
  • Temperature checks 
  • Again, the airport was very quiet
  • The inside meet and greet area was closed – public coming to collect passengers had to wait outside the arrivals zone

Staying Safe in Spain

If you hadn’t already gathered, the world has become very reliant on one thing… MASKS. Unlike the UK, masks are to be worn just about everywhere. Be sure to stock up on plenty before you arrive as there are consequences should you be caught without one. I’m sure you’re now wondering, “when do I need to wear a mask?”. Well, it’s probably easier to answer, “when DON’T I need to wear a mask?”. Essentially, face masks are to be worn in the street, in open-air spaces and in a closed space where it is not possible to maintain a 1.5m distance e.g. supermarkets.

Update: The Andalucian Government have now announced that they are making masks mandatory everywhere as of midnight on the 15th July. Essentially, you must be wearing your mask whenever you are out in public. However, there are exceptions. 

You don’t need to wear a mask when…

  • In your family unit
  • At the beach (i.e. sunbathing or under an umbrella) WITH FAMILY/SAME HOUSEHOLD
  • Exercising on your own in the open air
  • Swimming in the sea or in a pool
  • Eating or drinking (i.e. at a chiringuito)
  • If you’re under 6-years-old or are exempt due to health reasons and have an official letter to prove it e.g. asthma or disability
  • When in a car with members of the same household*

*if caught in a car with members of different households WITHOUT a mask, you can be fined 100€ – you have been warned!

However, you must wear it on all other occasions. So let’s say, for example, you were walking from your spot on the beach to the beach bar – you would need to wear the mask. However, once you are sat down with your drink, you no longer would need to wear a mask. Also, if you are sat under an umbrella with people who are not members of your family unit, you would need to wear a mask.

Fine = up to 100 euros

Please also remember that these rules are specific to Andalucia. If you are travelling to another region in Spain, please check the local government guidelines.

We will continue to update this page as we hear more. 

Unsure of how to properly and effectively wear your face mask? Andrew’s got you covered!

Although you will be following these rules once in Spain, it is still important to remember that we are still living in a pandemic. Therefore, taking extra precautions at all times is crucial. I highly recommend having hand sanitiser on you at all times and washing your hands at every available opportunity when out in public. 

It is also important to ensure that you have health insurance. Although many companies have raised their prices or are not offering COVID-19 protection, it is worth the investment to protect your health. Additionally, although the UK has now left the EU, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is still valid until 31st December 2020 and will allow you to receive medically necessary treatment in Spain on the same basis as a Spanish citizen.

Visit the following link for more details: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/healthcare-for-uk-nationals-visiting-spain

For any doubts or concerns about travelling to Spain during COVID-19, visit the government website for further advice.

Do I Have to Quarantine when I Leave Spain?

Updated: 10th August 2020

If you are returning to the UK following a holiday or trip to Spain, it is now mandatory to complete a 2-week quarantine. The quarantine measures apply to those returning from mainland Spain, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands (e.g. Palma and Ibiza).

Leisure and Pleasure in the “New Normal”

Since arriving in Spain, apart from following the aforementioned rules, I’ve been able to enjoy some of my favourite holiday pastimes. As businesses are re-opening and returning service as “normal”, you can now enjoy the following (with social distancing precautions, of course):


Upon arrival at your destination, be sure to get “clued up” on the rules of your area as coronavirus prevention measures can differ between locations. For example, if you are going to stay at particular urbanisation, check out the community rules. At some communal pools, residents may have to follow a particular timetable. Whereas at others, certain rules may be in place, like no jumping into the pool. Therefore, find out what is required of you in your area.

Chiringuitos, Tinto de Verano and olives, beach, food and drink, wining and dining, beach drinking, cocktails, sangria, summer drinks

Getting your Essentials

Like just about everywhere else in the world, extra precautions are in place when visiting the supermarket to pick up your essentials. Shoppers should wear masks and gloves and wipe down their trolleys before and after use. However, if you don’t feel comfortable visiting a supermarket and/or wish to take the easier option, many supermarkets can deliver food to your home. For example, Mercadona and El Corte Inglés are both great options for home delivery.

Timetables:

Malaga Airport Bus Timetable

L-77 Bus Timetable

Enjoy your Summer on the Costa del Sol

sunrise in Spain, Casares sunrise, sunset, pink sky, morning sky, sun rising

We hope that this has put your mind at ease and answered a few questions you may have had about travelling to Spain during COVID-19. We hope that many of you will join us here on the Costa del Sol this summer to enjoy a well-deserved break after lockdown. Whether you’re returning to your favourite sunny location or if you’re a first-time visitor, we can’t wait to have you. Enjoy!