Travel to Costa del Sol & Andalucia

The question of travel to Andalucia © istock
The question of travel to Andalucia

When can I Travel to Malaga, Andalucia and Spain?

Spain's State of Alert finished on 20 June 2020, most things have returned to a new normal. All travellers from EU are now be welcome to enter Spain. Restrictions for non-EU travelers are inline with EU policy. Cafes, Restaurants, Hotels, tours are open and follow social distancing procedures. Concerts, Festivals and Discos are closed.

News updates

28-07-2020 Pedro Sánchez said tourists in most Spanish regions would be safer from coronavirus than in the UK, and he was hoping Britain would rethink its move.  The UK government said it has no plans to change its decision to reintroduce the quarantine measures - with Boris Johnson's official spokesman warning that "no travel is risk-free during this pandemic". Source BBC News

Coronavirus: When I come back from Spain, will I get paid if I self-isolate? Answer on BBC News website.

27-07-2020 The UK foreign office travel advisory 'against all non essential travel' which had initially only applied to mainland Spain was inexplicably modified to include all Spain. 

26-07-2020 New coronavirus quarantine rules have came into force in the UK on Sunday, requiring travellers arriving from Spain to self-isolate for 14 days.

25-07-2020    One month after the end of the lockdown, Spain is recording an increase in cases particularly in Aragon where the number of cases in the last 14 day per 100.00 population is 287,  Catalonia is 111 and Navara is 110. The south and the islands record much lower cases; Andalucia 11, Baleares 8 and Canarias 6. See updated chart of  Cases by Spanish region. The figure for the UK overall is 15.

The number of recent in cases Andalucia cases is not as widespread as before. There are more clusters associated with a particular incidents; an 'illegal' end of college party in a Cordoba disco had resulted in 40 cases. Andalucia.com believe that the UK should not have removed Spain from the 'travel corridors list of exempted countries', and rebuild the 'airbridge'; for British holidaymakers returning from the airports of the island plus regions with rates lower than the UK. Their travel advisory 'against all non-essential travel' applies to mainland

15-07-2020 Masks are now be obligatory in all open and closed spaces in Andalucia, except in family units. This means masks are worn walking about and entering a restaurant and bars but not whilst eating or drinking. Similarly masks are to be worn walking on the beach or poolside, but not swimming not seated 'under the umbrella' in a family unit. The regional minister clarified the definition of family unit as 'those whom you normally spend time with'. Fines will be issued to those who do not wear mask or do not wear them properly.

03-07-2020 British government published a list of 'Travel corridors: countries and territories exemption list'. The list includes Spain so from 10-07-2020 those arriving into England from Andalucia, Spain and any country on the list will NOT have to self isolate for 14 days. This exemption also applies to Spanish Nationals and foreign residents who wish to visit or return to England. Lists for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are to be published shortly by their devolved governments.

Spain relaxed its quarantine restriction to travellers from Britain and other EU countries on 14-06-20. However all arrivals, regardless of Nationality or departure country, are required to complete a 'Spain Travel Health' form online and print the QR code and show it to immigration control.

21-06-2020 Spain has now opened its borders with all Europe except Portugal. This includes both the EU countries (including UK in transition) and Schengen Area countries (including Norway and Switzerland). Quarantine upon arrival has also been lifted. About 25 flights from Europe are scheduled to arrive in Malaga airport on Sunday.

20-06-2020 Spain's foreign affairs minister Arancha González Laya told the BBC that British citizens will be allowed to enter Spain freely, without the need to self-isolate from 00.01 hrs Sunday 21-06-2020. She said the decision had been made "out of respect" for the 400,000 Britons who have second homes in Spain. UK visitors will go through a "triple check" upon arrival in Spain. They will be asked for their country of origin and to register "so we know we have a contact point to trace them", she said. They will also undergo a temperature check.

18-06-2020 British Government Foreign and Commonwealth office Advice has updated its information on travel to Spain. The advice now states: "The State of Emergency (“Estado de Alarma”) declared on 14 March, will end on June 21. From this date, Spain will re-open its borders to European Union and Schengen-area countries (with the exception of Portugal where the restrictions will continue to apply up until 1 July), and travellers from the UK. This means that British nationals will no longer need to present a residency certificate to enter Spain. The Spanish Government has said that it is possible that UK travellers will still need to quarantine on arrival in Spain, but that decision has not yet been taken." However general travel advise still remains "Avoid non-essential international travel"

International commercial airlines have restarted flights to and from Malaga, Seville, Jerez, Granada, or Almeria. There are also flights to UK from Madrid, Barcelona and Gibraltar.

What about internal travel in Spain?

RENFE the train operator is near normal service. Busses locally and nationally operate a near normal schedule. There are now no travel restrictions in Spain. Spain has completed the de-escalation plan, and entered the 'New Normality'.

When will I be able to travel to Malaga / Costa del Sol / Andalucia /Spain?

Airlines are busy restarting. The UK travel advisory has proved problematic to tour companies. Jet2 and TUI have cancelled flight to Spain. Easyjet, Ryanair and British Airways are flying.

When it be safe to travel to Malaga / Costa del Sol / Andalucia /Spain?

After one of the stricted lockdowns in Europe in general people are respectful of the situation. Andalucia is now safer than most other regions. The Costa del Sol and Andalucia has recorded very low levels of new cases in the past few weeks. See our case updates for up to sate statistics at a local level. Most tourists say they feel safer in Spain than the UK or their home country. 

.

The wearing of face masks is compulsory in any public space, shops, business, public transport, taxi; anywhere outside you own home. 1.5m of social distance is also recommended. Face masks are not required when seated in bars or restaurants for eating or drinking. inside seating is restricted to 60% capacity and it is not permitted to go to the bar.

At the entrance to most business and shops there is a stand with hand cleaning gel which should be applied before entering. In supermarkets there may be disposable gloves to be work. you are requested not to handle products that you do not purchase.

Bars, Cafe, and Restaurants should clean and disinfect tables between each customer. In practice some are more thorough than others. So if in double watch first and choose your cafe bar. More restaurants now operate a more serious reservation system with a stand at the entrance. Perhaps wait to be seated in all but the smallest of bars.

Watch the floor for signs, lines that are 2m apart at the till queue, and arrows encouraging customers to keep to the right or left.

 

In the popular beaches social distancing is required between family groups. Beach wardens (white shirt and navy blue shorts) have been employed as well as the usual lifeguards (red and orange uniform). Some popular beached will be declared full and access will be restricted. Don't forget Andalucia has 800km of beaches so even in the summer it is possible to find a quiet beach. See our Beach guide.

Hotel and apartment swimming pool might have a capacity system and rules about taking it in turns. Look out for signs or ask the lifeguard.

Mrs O has just returned from a few days mini-break to the Costa del Sol. Read her interesting and detailed account of the whole trip with respect to Coronavirus safety.

 

 

Living in Andalucia