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Can I travel to Spain? The entry requirements explained
Qin Xie and Rory Goulding
Friday February 10 2023, 11:00am
Spain, with its glorious beaches and lively cities, has long been a holiday favourite for Brits. The south and east coasts, plus the Canary Islands and Balearic Islands, are most popular — but that’s only part of the story in a country that’s more than twice the size of the UK, with 49 Unesco world heritage sites spread across every region.
For a food and art-focused city break, try the capital Madrid or second city Barcelona . If you’re looking for winter sun, head to Seville or the Canaries . Alternatively it could be the moment to plan a trip taking in a true cross-section of the country, from “Green Spain” in the north (the rocky Atlantic coast stretching from Galicia to the Basque Country, dotted with fishing villages) to the semi-deserts around Almeria, used by film-makers as a stand-in for the American West. And while inland cities can’t offer Mediterranean beaches, the likes of Salamanca, Segovia, Caceres and Cuenca are all colourful threads in Spain’s historic tapestry, with the monuments to show for it.
Main photo: Puerta del Sol, Madrid (Getty Images)
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What are Spain’s entry requirements?
Spain has relaxed all its Covid-related travel restrictions. It means that both vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers from the UK can enter the country without additional testing or need to show proof of vaccination. All health declaration forms have been scrapped as well.
What are the Canary Islands’ entry restrictions?
The rules for entry to the Canary Islands (which include hotspots Gran Canaria , Lanzarote and Tenerife ) are the same as mainland Spain’s.
What are the rules for the Balearics?
The rules for the Balearics ( Ibiza , Mallorca and Menorca ) are the same for mainland Spain.
Can I travel to Spain unvaccinated?
Yes. The restrictions have been scrapped for everyone, whether you’re vaccinated or not.
- Where can I travel without a vaccine?
What are the restrictions once there?
The requirement to wear masks has now been dropped for almost all public spaces in Spain, including on public transport. The only exceptions are medical settings such as hospitals and pharmacies. However, there may still be regional variations depending on local infection rates.
If you test positive for Covid during your stay, you don’t need to self-isolate, but the government advises you should inform contacts, wear a mask and avoid crowded spaces and contact with high-risk people. If your symptoms worsen, there are regional hotlines to call.
You can check detailed UK government travel advice for Spain here .
- What tests do I need to travel to France? Entry requirements explained
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Inspired to visit Spain but yet to book your trip? Here are the best packages from Tui and Expedia .
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Spain has banned all non-vaccinated Britons from entering the country. The ban is expected to last until at least 31 December, at which point the rules will be reviewed.
Travellers into Spain from the UK will need to show proof of a full course of a Covid-19 vaccination, with the second dose given at least 14 days before travel, in order to enter the country.
Documents If fully vaccinated, visitors must present an in-date NHS Covid pass as proof of vaccination and fill out a passenger locator form.
Rules on arrival Restrictions are being decided at regional level. Check the rules for the region you are visiting before you travel – the Spanish tourist board’s Travel Safe website has an interactive map showing the regional rules.
At a nationwide level everyone over the age of six must wear a face mask in enclosed public spaces, on public transport, and in crowded outdoor areas where it is not possible to socially distance.
On entry, all travellers, regardless of vaccination status, must now show proof of a negative PCR or rapid antigen test taken 72 hours or 48 hours respectively prior to departure.
Documents If fully vaccinated, present an in-date NHS Covid pass as proof of vaccination and fill out a passenger locator form.
Rules on arrival There are different restrictions depending on whether you are travelling to mainland Portugal, Madeira or the Azores. Check entry requirements here .
If fully vaccinated, you must now also present proof of a negative test to enter indoor establishments, including nightclubs and bars, and to attend large events. The NHS Covid pass will be required in order for visitors to stay in hotels, go to the gym or eat indoors in restaurants.
Visitors are required to wear a face mask indoors.
Full-vaccination status or proof of recovery from Covid-19 is required to enter Germany from the UK.
Documents If fully vaccinated, present a NHS Covid pass as proof of vaccination and fill out this online form providing details of any Covid certificates before departure.
Rules on arrival Germany has announced a nationwide lockdown for the unvaccinated. Those who have not been vaccinated will be banned from accessing all but the most essential businesses, such as supermarkets and pharmacies.
Most facilities and attractions are fully open, although visitors are required to wear a mask.
Anyone over the age of 12 will need to provide proof they are fully vaccinated and show proof of a negative current PCR or antigen test taken no more than 48 hours before travel.
Documents An in-date NHS Covid pass can be used as proof of vaccination. People from the UK also need to complete a “ sworn statement ”, proof of negative Covid test.
Rules on arrival A health pass – the pass sanitaire – is mandatory for bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues, and has been extended to ski lifts. You can show your vaccination status via the NHS app.
The 10-day quarantine requirement for British travellers was removed on 4 December. Air and bus passengers aged 16 or more must show a negative PCR test done no more than 72 hours before boarding; the same applies to independent arrivals by road. All arrivals from the UK must report their arrival to the relevant cantonal office within two days and must complete a further test (antigen or PCR) after four to seven days in Switzerland, and must send the result of the second test to the relevant cantonal office. Find the relevant cantonal office .
Documents Visitors need to fill in an entry form and present an in-date NHS Covid pass as proof of vaccination.
Rules on arrival Proof of vaccination is needed to enter restaurants and bars and face masks are compulsory.
British travellers must show a negative test result carried out 48 hours prior to arrival in Italy, and present proof of full vaccination.
Documents An in-date NHS Covid pass and a passenger locator form.
The rules on arrival Italy has introduced tougher restrictions for unvaccinated people with the requirement of a Covid “ super green pass ” to access many public activities including entry to theatres, cinemas, music venues, sports events, restaurants and bars until mid-January. The pass shows proof of vaccination, or recovery from the virus within the last six months. The country will accept the UK’s proof of Covid-19 recovery and the NHS Covid pass as the equivalent to a green pass.
The Dutch authorities currently classify the UK as a “very high risk country”. This means that only fully vaccinated UK nationals, who can provide acceptable proof of vaccination , which includes the NHS Covid pass, will be allowed to enter the Netherlands.
Documents If you are traveling from a high-risk country, you will have to show proof of vaccination, a negative PCR test result taken no more than 48 hours before departure or a negative antigen test result taken no more than 24 hours before departure, upon arrival. You also need to fill out a health declaration before boarding your flight. The Dutch government has published a checklist for travel to the Netherlands.
The rules on arrival The country is currently in a partial lockdown with public venues including restaurants and bars closed from 5pm to 5am, and all events cancelled. Supermarkets are open until 8pm. Masks are compulsory. Those who break the rules could incur a fine of €95.
Greece is open to those who are fully vaccinated. Visitors who have had Covid can enter the country in the 180 days after they have recovered from their infection – a recovery certificate can be issued 30 days after the day of the first positive coronavirus test. Those who are unvaccinated or who cannot show proof of recovery from Covid will need a negative PCR test result no older than 72 hours or a rapid test no older than 48 hours.
Documents A passenger locator form must be filled out before travelling to the country. One PLF should be submitted per family.
Rules on arrival Random testing is carried out and you will need your in-date NHS Covid pass to enter most indoor venues including bars, restaurants, and theatres. Face masks are compulsory in indoor establishments.
New rules introduced on 5 December mean that UK travellers will be asked to show a negative antigen test carried out no more than 48 hours before arrival or a negative PCR test which was carried out no more than 72 hours before arrival.
Documents required Everyone must complete a passenger locator form .
The rules on arrival An NHS Covid pass is required to enter some indoor venues, including bars, restaurants and cinemas. Masks are compulsory in shops and on public transport. Pubs, restaurants and nightclubs have reduced hours and close at midnight.
Travellers have to be fully vaccinated and will have to show a negative Covid antigen or PCR test, which must have been taken within one day of departure. Full requirements for pre-travel testing can be found on the CDC website and the US embassy website also provides useful information .
Documents An in-date NHS Covid pass is needed, as well as the normal visa or an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) visa waiver to enter or transit the US. You should consult the US State Department website to determine which you will need.
Rules on arrival Face masks are required in airports, shops and on public transport. Local rules may vary. Indoor venues ask for a digital proof of vaccine that can be easily verified.
*Correct at time of press on 7 December, please check latest travel advice/government updates
- Family holidays
Spain has loosened restrictions on UK and US travelers
May 26, 2022 • 3 min read
Spain has loosened restrictions on UK and US travelers ©Shutterstock
Spain has loosened restrictions on unvaccinated arrivals from the UK, the US, Australia, Canada, and other non-EU nations, allowing them to enter for the first time in two years.
Previously people from outside the European Union and Schengen Zone who were not vaccinated or only partially vaccinated were banned from entering Spain for non-essential reasons.
That changed this week when officials agreed that unvaccinated tourists and other visitors from outside the EU can travel to Spain if they show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test.
What test is required to travel to Spain?
Spain accepts either a PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure to Spain or a laboratory-produced rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours. Tests are required from any visitor over the age of 12 who is unvaccinated. The same rule that has applied to EU residents and citizens for months now applies to non-EU residents including British and American travelers.
What qualifies as 'fully vaccinated' to travel to Spain?
Generally, people will need to show proof of two vaccines, or one in the case of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. However, those over the age of 18 must show proof of a third or booster dose if more than 270 days have passed since the person received their second shot (or first and only Johnson & Johnson shot) to bypass testing requirements.
Spain accepts all vaccines approved by the World Health Organization.
What are the rules for traveling to Spain from the EU?
Travelers over the age of 12 from the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) can enter Spain without restriction as long as they fulfil one of three requirements.
Holders of an EU Digital COVID Certificate or equivalent may enter the country, providing they have been fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine in the previous nine months or have received a booster shot.
Otherwise travelers must hold a recovery pass, proving they have recovered from COVID-19 in the previous six months.
The third way of entering is by producing a test certificate, confirming that the traveler has received a negative COVID-19 result from a PCR or rapid antigen test within 72 hours or 48 hours before travel to Spain, respectively.
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What are the rules for traveling to Spain from a non-EU country?
As of May 21, visitors from outside the EU are now subject to the same rules as visitors from the EU. They can show their vaccination certificates or take a PCR/antigen test to enter the country.
Spain and Italy keeping face covering on flights, despite Europe dropping mask mandate
What other documentation do I need before flying?
Travelers must complete a health control form before departure, manually entering the details of vaccination, recovery or — if coming from an EU/EEA country or territory — diagnostic test certificate. You can do it through the Spain Travel Health website or its app for Android devices or iOS. Once completed, you will obtain a QR code that you will have to present both at the time of boarding and upon arrival in Spain.
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Do children face restrictions when traveling to Spain?
No, children under 12 years old are exempt from the testing or quarantine requirements.
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Where can I get a COVID-19 test in Spain?
Many countries, including the US, require passengers to present a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding their flight home from an international trip. Antigen tests cost about €30, while PCR tests cost about €120 from a private medical facility. Tests are widely available at clinics and hospitals throughout Spain. They are also often available at local airports.
Is mask-wearing mandatory in Spain?
Spain lifted its mask requirement on April 20, meaning that travelers and residents are no longer required to wear a face mask when accessing public places and events there. However, masks are still required on flights and in airports.
This article was first published May 2020 and updated May 2022
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If you're looking to make a smooth start to your journey, you need to make sure you have the right documents, such as a valid passport and the relevant visas.
To help, we've summarised some of the key considerations and requirements here - but it's not a full list of all possible requirements around the world. It's your responsibility to ensure you have the right documents to be allowed to travel.
Passports and ID cards
To travel on an international flight your passport must:
- Have been issued less than 10 years before the date you enter a country . Check the Date of Issue on your passport.
- Be valid for the required time after your planned return date . This is often at least three or six months after the day you plan to leave your destination. Check the Expiry Date on your passport.
- Meet the specific passport validity requirements for your destination . Check the IATA Travel Centre for more information.
- Be signed by its owner . Please ensure each passport is signed with the owner's signature. You may be denied entry or fined in some countries for travelling with an unsigned passport. More information is available for UK passport holders at HM Passport Office .
Children need their own passports to travel internationally, including infants under two. Infant and children's passports are only valid for five years, so please check the expiry date before departure.
EU, EEA or Swiss national ID cards
These are are no longer accepted as valid documentation for entering the UK, unless you’re exempt. Please check the latest UK Government advice for more details.
Please note, it’s your responsibility to ensure you have valid documentation when you travel. If you fail to comply with these requirements, you may not be allowed to travel, or you may be refused entry at your destination and have to pay associated costs.
You do not require a passport to travel within the UK, but you will need to carry one type of photographic ID when travelling with us. Examples include:
- Valid passport
- Valid driving licence, either provisional or full
- Valid EU national identity card
- Valid armed forces identity card
- Valid police warrant card or badge
If you are a citizen of the UK, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man and were born in these areas, you do not need a passport to travel between these destinations, but you do require some form of photographic identification, such as a driving licence.
All other travellers require a valid passport to travel between these destinations.
Processing times for passports vary but it may take six weeks or longer to receive a passport after applying, so we advise that you wait until your passport has arrived before making a booking. Many countries offer fast-track applications where required.
If you need a passport or need to renew an existing one you can apply directly to your nation’s passport office. In the UK, that’s the UK passport service .
If you’d like help with your application, British Airways has partnered with VisaCentral, a company that will do all of the hard work for you. VisaCentral can help with passport renewals and replacements, name changes, second passports and new passports for children. Plus, as a British Airways customer you’ll get a 30% discount on the service fees.
Get a passport through VisaCentral
If there is a place on your passport for you to sign, please sign your passport with your signature. Your passport is not valid until it is signed . For British passports, you can learn more from HM Passport Office .
Visas and other travel documentation
How to check if you need a visa
Depending on your nationality and the purpose of your journey, you may need a visa, or an equivalent form of authorisation, for every country you enter as part of your journey — even if you are only in transit or connecting from one flight to another in the airport of that country without going through border control — known as a transit visa.
This is in addition to a valid passport.
There are several ways you can check if you need a visa:
Check if you need a visa via the IATA Travel Centre - it's free to check and also includes passport and health requirements, as well as customs, currency and airport information.
If you need a visa, our partner VisaCentral can help - it's free to check and they’ll tell you exactly what documents you need to get one. Plus, as a British Airways customer, you’ll get a 30% discount on VisaCentral service fees should you need help with an application.
Check if you need a transit visa to connect through the UK - even if you’re only connecting from one flight to another, you may need a transit visa, such as a Direct Airside Transit (DATV) visa or a Visitor in Transit visa, to connect through the UK.
Check if you need a visa via the Sherpa online search tool below . Sherpa can also help obtain many e-visas, and advise of other possible information you may need for your travels.
Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA)
An ETA will soon be required for people travelling to the UK who do not need a visa, including children and babies. It will be electronically linked to your passport and will give you permission:
- To visit the UK for up to 6 months for tourism, visiting family and friends, business or to study.
- To visit the UK for up to 3 months on the Creative Worker visa concession .
- To transit through the UK – including if you’re not going through the UK border control.
An ETA will be required from 15 November 2023 when travelling from certain countries, with more being added to the scheme over time. Please check if you require an ETA .
Read further information and apply for an ETA or watch more about ETA .
The information provided on this page is for information purposes only and could be subject to change at very short notice. It is your responsibility to check and observe all the health and entry requirements applicable to your journey and you should always check the latest travel guidance from your government before you travel and the guidance provided by the relevant public authorities of your destination. Failure to meet applicable requirements means that British Airways will not be able to carry you, and compensation and care and assistance provisions will not apply. Please note that Sherpa is a third party service provider that may apply fees for such services.
Entry requirements and other travel documents
If you're a citizen of a country covered by the Visa Waiver Programme (such as the UK) you are able to travel to the USA with an Electronic System Travel Authorisation (ESTA) instead of a visa.
Make sure you apply for your ESTA at least 72 hours before your departure .You may not be allowed to travel if you arrive at the airport without an ESTA.
You will need a valid e-Passport to use ESTA. These have a microchip symbol on their front cover. ESTAs are valid for multiple journeys for up to two years or until your passport expires, whichever is sooner.
Apply for an ESTA
More about the Visa Waiver Program and ESTAs
When you need a visa
You will need to apply for a visa to travel to the United States and should contact your local US Embassy in the following circumstances:
- If you are a citizen of a country not covered by the Visa Waiver Programme.
- If you have dual nationality with one passport being issued by a country eligible under the Visa Waiver Programme and the other issued by Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria.
- If you have an ESTA and have visited Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria since 1 March 2011.
Help with your ESTA application
Our partner VisaCentral can take the hard work out of applying, and offers a safe, secure and easy way to obtain your ESTA. Benefits of using its service include:
- Specialist support – access to a visa specialist via phone or email if you have questions regarding your application.
- Automated monitoring - applications not instantly approved automatically get resubmitted or assigned to a visa specialist for review; there’s no need to re-apply.
- Discounted rate – get a 30% discount on VisaCentral's handling fees as a British Airways customer.
Get an ESTA through VisaCentral
Many visitors need a visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization to travel to Canada. You can check Canada’s entry requirements before flying.
Alternatively, our partner VisaCentral can quickly, securely and easily obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization for you.
Get an eTA through VisaCentral
If you're travelling to China, you'll need to check what type of visa you require. Transit visas are available if you are staying for less than 144 hours.
If you have a British passport, the GOV.UK website shows what types of are available when travelling to or through China.
Find out more about visa requirements for China (British passport holders only)
If you have a passport from any other country, please ensure you check with your nearest Chinese Embassy .
Alternatively, our partner VisaCentral can quickly, securely and easily obtain a Visa for you.
Get a visa through VisaCentral
If you are travelling to India, you may be able to obtain an eTourist Visa online, just four days before you travel. The visa will be valid for 60 days and you will need to present a printed copy when you check in to be able to travel.
Find out more and apply for India e-Tourist Visa
Alternatively, our partner VisaCentral can quickly, securely and easily obtain an eTourist Visa for you.
While we make every effort to keep this information up to date, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) visa restrictions can change at short notice. Please check the IATA Travel Centre before you book.
If you are a pilgrim
If you are a Hajj or Umrah pilgrim, you must enter KSA through Jeddah with a valid Hajj or Umrah visa. Travel must be between the official pilgrimage travel dates.
- travel for Hajj using an Umrah visa
- travel for Umrah using a Hajj visa
- enter, transfer or transit through Riyadh
- travel outside of the official pilgrimage dates determined by the Saudi authorities each year
If you are travelling from the UK, we recommend to book through our specialist partner Masterfare who can arrange your flight and Hajj/Umrah visa through a KSA Ministry of Hajj approved agent.
If you are travelling from another country, or you book on ba.com, it is your responsibility to ensure you get the correct pilgrimage visa from a KSA Ministry of Hajj-approved Hajj or Umrah agent.
If you do not have the correct documentation, or have booked to travel outside the official pilgrimage dates, you will not be allowed to travel or be able to get a refund.
If you are not Muslim, you can enter Jeddah or Riyadh at any time using a business or visit visa.
If you are Muslim, are using a business or visit visa during Hajj, or are travelling in the 6-week period up to and including Hajj, you must enter KSA through Riyadh.
If you are Muslim with a business or visit visa, you will need a Hajj visa to travel during the official pilgramage travel dates.
These restrictions do not apply to residents or citizens of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
KSA visa restrictions change at short notice. Please check the IATA Travel Centre before you book.
Some countries' immigration departments require additional documentation for all children under 18 years travelling into, out of or transiting their country. This varies depending on the country so please check before you travel on the IATA Travel Centre. Just make sure you use the date of birth of your child to receive the correct information.
South Africa requirements
If you need a visa for your journey, you can apply directly with the embassy or high commission of the country you want to travel to — visit their website or local consulate to learn more about the process.
Alternatively, our partner VisaCentral can do all of the hard work for you:
- it's a safe, secure and easy way to obtain your visa
- it can help save time — VisaCentral will stand in line at the embassy or consulate on your behalf
- you'll get a 30% discount on handling fees as a British Airways customer
Advance Passenger Information (API)
Many countries require us to collect some passport and travel information about who's flying into their country. The information you provide is sent securely to the necessary government authorities.
You will need to supply some or all of the following details:
- your full name (as it appears on your passport)
- your date of birth
- your gender
- your nationality
- your passport number
- your passport expiry date
- the country that issued your passport
- your country of residence.
Additionally, when travelling to the US, you will need to provide:
- the destination address of your first night’s stay
- Alien Registration Number (Green Card) for those who have US residency
- Traveler Redress Number if you have one (this enables travellers who have experienced problems entering the US to avoid future difficulties).
If you're a US citizen and have a 'Global Entry' number, you don't need to provide this as part of your API. When you arrive in the US your Global Entry status will be recognised when you use the dedicated Immigration kiosk.
Some governments require us to provide them with information from flight bookings, which will contain additional passenger details to those listed above.
You can add Advance Passenger Information to your booking on ba.com using Manage My Booking . If there is any information you need to provide, you'll see a red exclamation mark against the passenger information section at the top of the page.
Add Advance Passenger Information
Legal statement for US flights
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of the US Department of Homeland Security requires us to collect information from you for purposes of watch list screening, under the authority of 49 U.S.C. section 114, and the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. Providing this information is voluntary; however, if you don't provide it, you may be subject to additional screening or denied transport or authorisation to enter the post-security area. TSA may share information you provide with law enforcement or intelligence agencies or others under its published system of records notice. For more on TSA Privacy policies, or to view the system of records notice and the privacy impact assessment, visit tsa.gov .
If you are a national of one of the below countries you can join the 'Registered Traveller' scheme and enjoy faster entry to the UK, as long as you have a biometric passport.
When you apply, the UK Border Force carries out checks to see if you are eligible to join. If accepted, you won't need to fill out a landing card for the UK. You'll be able to enter the UK at the ePassport gates or the UK/EU lanes at several UK airports, including all London airports, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester.
Find out more or apply for the Registered Traveller scheme
UK citizens can get through US passport control faster by joining Global Entry, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) programme. The scheme allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travellers arriving in the United States. Benefits include:
- no processing queues
- no requirement to complete a paper customs declaration form
- reduced waiting times
- TSA Pre✓® Eligibility (faster, more efficient security screening at participating US airports).
Membership lasts for five years and the application process includes background checks (at a non-refundable cost of £42 payable to the UK government), online enrolment with the US Customs and Border Protection Agency (at a non-refundable cost of USD100) and attendance at a face to face interview at an official enrolment centre.
More about Global Entry and FAQs
Apply for Global Entry
When you're travelling with us to New York JFK from London City airport, you can clear US Immigration and Customs during a short stop (up to 45 minutes) in Shannon, Ireland. This means you can arrive in the US as a domestic passenger and bypass New York passport control.
- When you land at Shannon, take all your personal belongings with you. Please have your completed customs declaration form, passport, boarding pass and any checked baggage receipts ready.
- Once you're inside the terminal, follow the signs for 'US Immigration and Border Protection'.
- After airport security has screened your checked baggage (or if you’re traveling with hand baggage only), go directly to the US Pre-Clearance desks.
More about our London City to New York service
We are delighted to participate in the TSA Pre✓ ® programme for customers departing from US airports. TSA Pre✓ ® is a faster, easier security screening process at US airports. Once enrolled, you will be able to speed through security without removing shoes, laptops, liquids, belts and light jackets.
Who is eligible?
- Members of the Global Entry scheme.
- US citizens and US lawful permanent residents enrolled in TSA Pre✓ ® , NEXUS or SENTRI.
- Canadian citizens who are members of NEXUS.
Enter your Global Entry, TSA Pre✓®, NEXUS or SENTRI membership number (Known Traveller Number) to your booking each time you travel to demonstrate your eligibility. You can add your Known Traveller Number during online check-in via Manage My Booking on ba.com, at an airport desk or by contacting us .
Even if you are eligible for TSA Pre✓ ® as a member of a trusted traveller programme, TSA Pre✓ ® does not guarantee expedited screening.
Find out more and enrol
Find out where TSA Pre✓ ® is available
Where a TSA Pre✓ ® lane is not available, you can show your TSA Pre✓ ® boarding pass and may receive a form of expedited screening in a standard lane.
You can now submit an electronic arrival card via the Web Service and Mobile App before you arrive in Singapore. You will then be able to head directly to immigration clearance, allowing you to avoid unnecessary delays and save time at the airport.
Keeping our customers and colleagues safe at all times is always our number one priority. During the pandemic we introduced new measures including the need to wear face coverings.
Customers are no longer required to wear a mask at airports in England, however, as an international airline flying all around the world, we are obliged to ensure our customers continue to comply with local restrictions and meet the requirements of the destination they arrive at.
Therefore, we ask you to check the requirements of the destination you’re flying to before departing for the airport, because:
- If you are travelling on our flights, you will be required to wear a mask on board if the destination you are flying to or from requires you to.
- If you are travelling on our flights, you will be required to wear a mask to disembark the aircraft, and at your arrival airport, if the destination you are flying to requires it.
Countries requiring masks
You will need to wear a mask if you are travelling to or from the below destinations. Please also be aware that some countries require a specific type of mask, as indicated.
If your destination is not listed below, then you are not required to wear a mask. However, if you still wish to wear a mask you’re able to make a personal choice and we kindly request everyone to respect each other’s preferences.
Please note, if your flight is due to be operated by another airline on behalf of British Airways, you may still be required to wear a mask for your flights regardless of your destination. We advise that you bring your own mask with you if flying with a partner airline to ensure you meet any requirements.
We’ve brought together a number of options with exclusive discounts to help you book the test you need to travel easily and safely. The table below shows the types of tests available from each supplier and their discount codes.
Prices start at these amounts and are correct at time of publication
Caution October 31, 2023
Worldwide caution, update october 31, 2023, information for u.s. citizens in the middle east.
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Travel Advisory July 26, 2023
United kingdom - level 2: exercise increased caution.
Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.
Exercise increased caution in the United Kingdom due to terrorism.
Country Summary: Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in the United Kingdom. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.
There is also a risk of isolated violence by dissident groups in Northern Ireland, focused primarily on police and military targets.
Read the country information page for additional information on travel to the United Kingdom.
If you decide to travel to the United Kingdom:
- Be aware of your surroundings when traveling to tourist locations and crowded public venues.
- Follow the instructions of local authorities.
- Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program ( STEP ) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.com/Travelgov
- Review the Country Security Report for the United Kingdom.
- Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel and return to the United States.
- Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist .
View Alerts and Messages Archive
Must be valid for the duration of your stay in the United Kingdom (If you have onward travel to countries outside the United Kingdom, you should check the passport validity requirements for each additional country on their respective information pages.)
Must have at least one page
Not required for stays less than six months.
Embassies and Consulates
U.s. embassy london.
33 Nine Elms Lane London, SW11 7US United Kingdom Telephone: +(44)(20) 7499-9000 Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(44)(20) 7499-9000 Fax: +(44) (20) 7891-3845 Email: [email protected]
U.S. Consulate General Edinburgh, Scotland 3 Regent Terrace, Edinburgh EH7 5BW Scotland Telephone: 013-1556-8315 / from the United States: 011 (44)(13) 1556-8315 Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 020-7499-9000 / from the United States: 011 (44)(20) 7499-9000 Fax: 0131-557-6023 /from the United States: 011 (44) 131-557-6023 Email: [email protected]
U.S. Consulate General Belfast, Northern Ireland Danesfort House, 223 Stranmillis Road, Belfast BT9 5GR Northern Ireland, United Kingdom Telephone: 028-9038-6100 / from the United States: 011 (44)(28) 9038-6100 Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 01253-501106 / from the United States: 011 (44) 1253-501106 Fax: 028-9068-1301 / from the United States: 011 (44)(28) 9068-1301 Email: [email protected]
Learn about the U.S. relationship to countries around the world.
Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements
- To enter the United Kingdom, your passport must be valid for the entire duration of your planned stay.
- Starting June 2019, U.S. passport holders will be able to use the ePassport Gates upon arrival in the United Kingdom. U.S. citizens who had previously registered for the UK’s Registered Traveller Service (RTS) should now also use the ePassport Gates on arrival in the UK.
- If you are planning onward travel after departing the UK, note that many other countries require at least six months’ remaining validity on your passport to enter. If you are bound for Continental Europe, please see our U.S. travelers in Europe page for additional details.
- Visas for specific categories of visitors must be obtained prior to travel. Visit the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website to determine if you need a visa to enter the United Kingdom. We cannot intervene on your behalf when you apply for a UK visa, nor can we advocate for your admission into the UK if you are denied entry.
- Students and prospective students should visit the UKVI website to determine if they need a visa.
- For some U.S. travelers, especially students, an entry stamp is required. Please consult this website for more information.
- Unpaid and paid workers, interns, volunteers, charity workers, and temporary workers can find information about obtaining a visa on the UKVI website .
- Visitors traveling to the United Kingdom to get married, even if they do not plan to reside there, must obtain a visa in advance. See the UKVI website for visa information.
- Surcharges apply to certain categories of visas, generally those involving work, study, or residency for more than six months. More information is available on the UKVI website and in our Health section below.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of the United Kingdom.
Find information on dual nationality , prevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.
Safety and Security
Terrorist groups continue plotting possible near-term attacks in Europe. The UK Security Service publishes specific reasons for any changes in the threat level and recommended actions for the public via its UK threat levels website .
There is the potential for isolated violence related to the political situation in Northern Ireland. The Police Service of Northern Ireland assesses there is a continued threat of violence from dissident groups in Northern Ireland, focused primarily on police and military targets, and may involve the use of firearms and explosives . Tensions may be heightened during the summer marching season (April to August), particularly on and around the July 12 public holiday.
Avoid areas of demonstrations if possible, and be careful within the vicinity of demonstrations. Demonstrations occur frequently in and around city centers and areas where tourists frequent. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate to violence.
The phone number for police/fire/ambulance emergency services is 999 in the United Kingdom and 112 in Gibraltar. You should also use these numbers to report security threats or suspicious packages. Also see information for contacting police from abroad .
- Be cautious and aware of your surroundings.
- Be vigilant, as pickpocketing , mugging, and “snatch and grab” theft of mobile phones, watches and jewelry can occur.
- Do not leave bags unattended in restaurants, pubs, hotel lobbies, and parked cars.
- Be alert to other criminal schemes, such as impostors posing as undercover police officers and “fining” tourists for bogus minor offenses. A legitimate Metropolitan Police Services officer will never demand an immediate cash payment.
- Use only licensed Black Cabs or pre-ordered car services (minicabs) . Unlicensed taxis or private cars posing as taxis may offer low fares, but in some instances, travelers have been robbed or sexually assaulted while using these cars. See Transport for London for additional information on cabs and car services .
- Avoid using ATMs that look temporary in structure or location or are located in isolated areas – they may not be legitimate. Use ATMs located inside a bank branch.
Scams : Before sending any money to individuals you have never met in person, visit the Embassy London website for more information about internet financial scams and how to protect yourself.
See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.
Victims of Crime : Report crimes to the local police at 999 (United Kingdom) or 112 (Gibraltar) and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(44) (20) 7499-9000.
- Local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas .
- help you find appropriate medical care
- assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
- provide a list of local attorneys
- provide our information on victim compensation programs in the United States
- The Victim Support website is maintained by an independent UK charity to help people cope with the effects of crime
- A Northern Ireland-based independent charity maintains a similar victim support website
- In Scotland, victims of crime should contact Victim Support Scotland
- provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support if you are destitute
- help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
- replace a stolen or lost passport
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
Tourism: The tourism industry is generally regulated and rules are regularly enforced. Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is widely available throughout the country. Outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage .
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.
- You will be arrested if you bring pocket knives, blades, mace or pepper spray canisters, or any part of a gun into the United Kingdom . Please refer to the UK government publication Travelling to the UK , which details the items visitors are prohibited from bringing into the United Kingdom.
- Penalties against alcohol-related and other in-flight crimes committed aboard aircraft to and from the United Kingdom are stiff and are enforced with prison sentences . Please also see our information on U.S. customs regulations covering your return to the United States.
- Controlled Substances: UK law prohibits possession and trafficking of controlled substances and narcotics, including some substances that may be legal to possess under the law of certain U.S. states. More information on controlled substances is available here . Individuals who violate UK drug laws may face penalties including fines or prison sentences.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained in the United Kingdom, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
- The legal drinking age in the United Kingdom is 18. Parents and organizers of school trips should read our Students Abroad website to help plan a safe and enjoyable experience.
- Scotland’s “drink drive limit” law was amended to a lower level (roughly .05 BAC) and is stricter than the rest of the United Kingdom (roughly .08 BAC). This means that driving after even one drink can result in a charge of driving under the influence.
- The United Kingdom has very strict gun control laws, and importing firearms is extremely complicated. Information on applying for a firearm and/or shotgun certificate can be found on the London Metropolitan Police Firearms licensing webpage . Licenses from England or Wales may not be valid in Scotland; please check with the appropriate authorities. For firearms certificates for Scotland, please check with Police Scotland .
Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:
- International Religious Freedom Report – see country reports
- Human Rights Report – see country reports
- Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
- Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad
LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in the United Kingdom.
See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance:
- UK law requires that all public service providers (except in the transportation sector) make “reasonable adjustments” to ensure their services are available to persons with disabilities. Nevertheless, code exemptions permit many older buildings to have steps up from the street.
- Getting around in cities may be difficult at times because sidewalks can be narrow and uneven.
- Most London Underground and UK National Rail System stations are not readily accessible for people with disabilities. Many stations do not have elevators, and have stairways and long corridors for changing trains or exiting to the street. Many UK buses are equipped with lowering platforms for limited-mobility or sight- or hearing-disabled travelers.
- Many taxis have swivel-entry seats or retractable ramps to ease entry.
- Disabled parking permits (known as “blue badges”) are issued by local government councils throughout the country. Visit the UK government website for contact information. Some councils may not offer permits to temporary visitors.
The Transport for London and National Rail websites provide information for passengers with disabilities.
Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips .
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for women travelers .
While medical services are widely available, free medical care under the National Health System (NHS) is allowed only for UK residents, certain EU nationals, and some visa holders.
An NHS surcharge is assessed on certain visa applicants at the time of application. Tourists and short-term visitors will not be assessed the surcharge, but will be charged 150 percent of the cost of any medical treatment they receive from the NHS. Unpaid balances of £1,000 or more can result in being barred from return to the United Kingdom.
- The U.S. government does not pay medical bills, and U.S. Medicare is not valid overseas.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas . Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments . See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage .
- We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Traveling with sufficient supplies to last the duration of your trip is recommended. Mailing prescriptions is prohibitive and may be delayed or rejected by British customs.
Certain prescriptions available in the United States are classified as a "controlled drug" in the United Kingdom and cannot be brought into the country without applying for and obtaining a prior license. This includes prescriptions for medical marijuana or products containing CBD and THC. Please visit the https://www.gov.uk/travelling-controlled-drugs for additional information.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended for international travel by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
- World Health Organization
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Travel and Transportation
Road Conditions and Safety: Road conditions in the United Kingdom can differ significantly from those in the United States.
- In contrast to the United States, UK traffic drives on the left. Read the Highway Code before driving.
- Emergency call boxes (orange telephone booths with “SOS” printed on them) are found at half-mile intervals along motorways. White and blue poles point in the direction of the nearest call box. Call boxes dial directly to a motorway center. Use these phones rather than a personal cell phone, because motorway center personnel will immediately know your exact location.
- Generally, pedestrians do not have the right of way and should not expect vehicles to stop for them.
Many U.S. citizen pedestrians are injured, some fatally, every year in the United Kingdom, because they forget that oncoming traffic approaches from the opposite direction than in the United States. Exercise extra care when crossing streets; remain alert and look both ways before stepping into the street.
- UK penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are strict and often result in prison sentences .
- Using a hand-held cell phone or similar device while driving is illegal in the United Kingdom. Only hands-free phones may be used. You will be fined , or in the case of an accident, arrested and serve time in prison .
- The speed limit on highways/motorways in the United Kingdom is 70 mph, or lower when posted.
- You will be detained and arrested if you cannot provide a UK address to receive a subpoena or are about to depart the United Kingdom and have to be brought to court quickly for a motoring offense.
- In Central London, a congestion charge is levied on all drivers who pass through the congestion zone. You will be fined or arrested if you do not pay the charge. See Transport for London for more information about driving in London.
Public Transportation: Public transport in the United Kingdom is extensive.
- Information on disruptions to London transportation services can be found on the Transport for London website.
- Information about the status of National Rail Services can be found on the National Rail Enquiries website.
- Bus and train service information in Northern Ireland can be found on the Translink website.
- Bus and train service information in Scotland can be found on the Traveline Scotland website.
See our Road Safety page for more information. For specific information concerning UK driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance, refer to the UK Department for Transport website or the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency website.
Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of the United Kingdom’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of United Kingdom’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page .
Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to the United Kingdom should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at www.marad.dot.gov/msci . Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website and the NGA broadcast warnings website (select “broadcast warnings”).
For additional travel information
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution and Travel Advisories .
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook .
- See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.
Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in the United Kingdom . For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act ( ICAPRA ) report.
Travel Advisory Levels
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Antigua and Barbuda
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba
Bosnia and Herzegovina
British Virgin Islands
Central African Republic
Cote d Ivoire
Democratic Republic of the Congo
French West Indies
Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Martin, and Saint Barthélemy (French West Indies)
Isle of Man
Israel, The West Bank and Gaza
North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea)
Papua New Guinea
Republic of North Macedonia
Republic of the Congo
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Sao Tome and Principe
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos Islands
United Arab Emirates
Vatican City (Holy See)
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Spain Traveler View
Travel health notices, vaccines and medicines, non-vaccine-preventable diseases, stay healthy and safe.
- Packing List
After Your Trip
There are no notices currently in effect for Spain.
Check the vaccines and medicines list and visit your doctor at least a month before your trip to get vaccines or medicines you may need. If you or your doctor need help finding a location that provides certain vaccines or medicines, visit the Find a Clinic page.
Make sure you are up-to-date on all routine vaccines before every trip. Some of these vaccines include
- Chickenpox (Varicella)
- Flu (influenza)
- Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)
All eligible travelers should be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines. Please see Your COVID-19 Vaccination for more information.
Consider hepatitis A vaccination for most travelers. It is recommended for travelers who will be doing higher risk activities, such as visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where a traveler might get infected through food or water. It is recommended for travelers who plan on eating street food.
Hepatitis A - CDC Yellow Book
Dosing info - Hep A
Recommended for unvaccinated travelers younger than 60 years old traveling to Spain. Unvaccinated travelers 60 years and older may get vaccinated before traveling to Spain.
Hepatitis B - CDC Yellow Book
Dosing info - Hep B
Infants 6 to 11 months old traveling internationally should get 1 dose of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine before travel. This dose does not count as part of the routine childhood vaccination series.
Measles (Rubeola) - CDC Yellow Book
Spain is free of dog rabies. However, rabies may still be present in wildlife species, particularly bats. CDC recommends rabies vaccination before travel only for people working directly with wildlife. These people may include veterinarians, animal handlers, field biologists, or laboratory workers working with specimens from mammalian species.
Rabies - CDC Yellow Book
Avoid contaminated water
How most people get sick (most common modes of transmission)
- Touching urine or other body fluids from an animal infected with leptospirosis
- Swimming or wading in urine-contaminated fresh water, or contact with urine-contaminated mud
- Drinking water or eating food contaminated with animal urine
- Avoid contaminated water and soil
Avoid bug bites.
- Sand fly bite
- Avoid Bug Bites
Airborne & droplet
- Breathing in air or accidentally eating food contaminated with the urine, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents
- Bite from an infected rodent
- Less commonly, being around someone sick with hantavirus (only occurs with Andes virus)
- Avoid rodents and areas where they live
- Avoid sick people
- Breathe in TB bacteria that is in the air from an infected and contagious person coughing, speaking, or singing.
Learn actions you can take to stay healthy and safe on your trip. Vaccines cannot protect you from many diseases in Spain, so your behaviors are important.
Eat and drink safely
Food and water standards around the world vary based on the destination. Standards may also differ within a country and risk may change depending on activity type (e.g., hiking versus business trip). You can learn more about safe food and drink choices when traveling by accessing the resources below.
- Choose Safe Food and Drinks When Traveling
- Water Treatment Options When Hiking, Camping or Traveling
- Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene | Healthy Water
- Avoid Contaminated Water During Travel
You can also visit the Department of State Country Information Pages for additional information about food and water safety.
Prevent bug bites
Although Spain is an industrialized country, bug bites here can still spread diseases. Just as you would in the United States, try to avoid bug bites while spending time outside or in wooded areas.
What can I do to prevent bug bites?
- Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
- Use an appropriate insect repellent (see below).
- Consider using permethrin-treated clothing and gear if spending a lot of time outside. Do not use permethrin directly on skin.
What type of insect repellent should I use?
- FOR PROTECTION AGAINST TICKS AND MOSQUITOES: Use a repellent that contains 20% or more DEET for protection that lasts up to several hours.
- Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin)
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD)
- Always use insect repellent as directed.
What should I do if I am bitten by bugs?
- Avoid scratching bug bites, and apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to reduce the itching.
- Check your entire body for ticks after outdoor activity. Be sure to remove ticks properly.
What can I do to avoid bed bugs?
Although bed bugs do not carry disease, they are an annoyance. See our information page about avoiding bug bites for some easy tips to avoid them. For more information on bed bugs, see Bed Bugs .
For more detailed information on avoiding bug bites, see Avoid Bug Bites .
Stay safe outdoors
If your travel plans in Spain include outdoor activities, take these steps to stay safe and healthy during your trip:
- Stay alert to changing weather conditions and adjust your plans if conditions become unsafe.
- Prepare for activities by wearing the right clothes and packing protective items, such as bug spray, sunscreen, and a basic first aid kit.
- Consider learning basic first aid and CPR before travel. Bring a travel health kit with items appropriate for your activities.
- If you are outside for many hours in the heat, eat salty snacks and drink water to stay hydrated and replace salt lost through sweating.
- Protect yourself from UV radiation : use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, wear protective clothing, and seek shade during the hottest time of day (10 a.m.–4 p.m.).
- Be especially careful during summer months and at high elevation. Because sunlight reflects off snow, sand, and water, sun exposure may be increased during activities like skiing, swimming, and sailing.
- Very cold temperatures can be dangerous. Dress in layers and cover heads, hands, and feet properly if you are visiting a cold location.
Stay safe around water
- Swim only in designated swimming areas. Obey lifeguards and warning flags on beaches.
- Do not dive into shallow water.
- Avoid swallowing water when swimming. Untreated water can carry germs that make you sick.
- Practice safe boating—follow all boating safety laws, do not drink alcohol if you are driving a boat, and always wear a life jacket.
Keep away from animals
Most animals avoid people, but they may attack if they feel threatened, are protecting their young or territory, or if they are injured or ill. Animal bites and scratches can lead to serious diseases such as rabies.
Follow these tips to protect yourself:
- Do not touch or feed any animals you do not know.
- Do not allow animals to lick open wounds, and do not get animal saliva in your eyes or mouth.
- Avoid rodents and their urine and feces.
- Traveling pets should be supervised closely and not allowed to come in contact with local animals.
- If you wake in a room with a bat, seek medical care immediately. Bat bites may be hard to see.
All animals can pose a threat, but be extra careful around dogs, bats, monkeys, sea animals such as jellyfish, and snakes. If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, immediately:
- Wash the wound with soap and clean water.
- Go to a doctor right away.
- Tell your doctor about your injury when you get back to the United States.
Reduce your exposure to germs
Follow these tips to avoid getting sick or spreading illness to others while traveling:
- Wash your hands often, especially before eating.
- If soap and water aren’t available, clean hands with hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol).
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Try to avoid contact with people who are sick.
- If you are sick, stay home or in your hotel room, unless you need medical care.
Avoid sharing body fluids
Diseases can be spread through body fluids, such as saliva, blood, vomit, and semen.
- Use latex condoms correctly.
- Do not inject drugs.
- Limit alcohol consumption. People take more risks when intoxicated.
- Do not share needles or any devices that can break the skin. That includes needles for tattoos, piercings, and acupuncture.
- If you receive medical or dental care, make sure the equipment is disinfected or sanitized.
Know how to get medical care while traveling
Plan for how you will get health care during your trip, should the need arise:
- Carry a list of local doctors and hospitals at your destination.
- Review your health insurance plan to determine what medical services it would cover during your trip. Consider purchasing travel health and medical evacuation insurance for things your regular insurance will not cover.
- Carry a card that identifies, in the local language, your blood type, chronic conditions or serious allergies, and the generic names of any medicines you take.
- Bring copies of your prescriptions for medicine and for eye glasses and contact lenses.
- Some prescription drugs may be illegal in other countries. Call Spain’s embassy to verify that all of your prescription(s) are legal to bring with you.
- Bring all the medicines (including over-the-counter medicines) you think you might need during your trip, including extra in case of travel delays. Ask your doctor to help you get prescriptions filled early if you need to.
Many foreign hospitals and clinics are accredited by the Joint Commission International. A list of accredited facilities is available at their website ( www.jointcommissioninternational.org ).
Select safe transportation
Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 killer of healthy US citizens in foreign countries.
Be smart when you are traveling on foot.
- Use sidewalks and marked crosswalks.
- Pay attention to the traffic around you, especially in crowded areas.
- Remember, people on foot do not always have the right of way in other countries.
Choose a safe vehicle.
- Choose official taxis or public transportation, such as trains and buses.
- Make sure there are seatbelts.
- Avoid overcrowded, overloaded, top-heavy buses and minivans.
- Avoid riding on motorcycles or motorbikes, especially motorbike taxis. (Many crashes are caused by inexperienced motorbike drivers.)
- Choose newer vehicles—they may have more safety features, such as airbags, and be more reliable.
- Choose larger vehicles, which may provide more protection in crashes.
Think about the driver.
- Do not drive after drinking alcohol or ride with someone who has been drinking.
- Consider hiring a licensed, trained driver familiar with the area.
- Arrange payment before departing.
Follow basic safety tips.
- Wear a seatbelt at all times.
- Sit in the back seat of cars and taxis.
- When on motorbikes or bicycles, always wear a helmet. (Bring a helmet from home, if needed.)
- Do not use a cell phone or text while driving (illegal in many countries).
- Travel during daylight hours only, especially in rural areas.
- If you choose to drive a vehicle in Spain, learn the local traffic laws and have the proper paperwork.
- Get any driving permits and insurance you may need. Get an International Driving Permit (IDP). Carry the IDP and a US-issued driver's license at all times.
- Check with your auto insurance policy's international coverage, and get more coverage if needed. Make sure you have liability insurance.
- Avoid using local, unscheduled aircraft.
- If possible, fly on larger planes (more than 30 seats); larger airplanes are more likely to have regular safety inspections.
- Try to schedule flights during daylight hours and in good weather.
Road Safety Overseas (Information from the US Department of State): Includes tips on driving in other countries, International Driving Permits, auto insurance, and other resources.
The Association for International Road Travel has country-specific Road Travel Reports available for most countries for a minimal fee.
Maintain personal security
Use the same common sense traveling overseas that you would at home, and always stay alert and aware of your surroundings.
Before you leave
- Research your destination(s), including local laws, customs, and culture.
- Monitor travel advisories and alerts and read travel tips from the US Department of State.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) .
- Leave a copy of your itinerary, contact information, credit cards, and passport with someone at home.
- Pack as light as possible, and leave at home any item you could not replace.
While at your destination(s)
- Carry contact information for the nearest US embassy or consulate .
- Carry a photocopy of your passport and entry stamp; leave the actual passport securely in your hotel.
- Follow all local laws and social customs.
- Do not wear expensive clothing or jewelry.
- Always keep hotel doors locked, and store valuables in secure areas.
- If possible, choose hotel rooms between the 2nd and 6th floors.
Healthy Travel Packing List
Use the Healthy Travel Packing List for Spain for a list of health-related items to consider packing for your trip. Talk to your doctor about which items are most important for you.
Why does CDC recommend packing these health-related items?
It’s best to be prepared to prevent and treat common illnesses and injuries. Some supplies and medicines may be difficult to find at your destination, may have different names, or may have different ingredients than what you normally use.
If you are not feeling well after your trip, you may need to see a doctor. If you need help finding a travel medicine specialist, see Find a Clinic . Be sure to tell your doctor about your travel, including where you went and what you did on your trip. Also tell your doctor if you were bitten or scratched by an animal while traveling.
For more information on what to do if you are sick after your trip, see Getting Sick after Travel .
Map Disclaimer - The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on maps do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement are generally marked.
If you need help finding travel information:
File Formats Help:
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Exit Notification / Disclaimer Policy
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cannot attest to the accuracy of a non-federal website.
- Linking to a non-federal website does not constitute an endorsement by CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the website.
- CDC is not responsible for Section 508 compliance (accessibility) on other federal or private website.
State Department issues ‘worldwide caution’ alert to Americans overseas
The State Department on Thursday issued a rare “worldwide caution” advisory to all Americans overseas, urging them to “exercise increased caution due to the potential for violence and increased tensions” globally.
It said that there is a potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests. “Stay alert in locations frequented by tourists,” it advised.
The State Department most recently issued a worldwide caution alert in August 2022 following the death of al-Qaeda’s No. 2 leader Ayman al-Zawahiri out of caution for potential “anti-American violence,” according to an archived release.
Similar advisories have been issued over the years when the State Department has warned Americans against increased risks for terrorist attacks, political upheaval and violence. An alert was issued in 2016 when the agency cautioned travel into Burkina Faso and the surrounding Sahel region in Africa following an attack at a hotel in Ouagadougou that killed 30 people, including one U.S. citizen.
The State Department has urged U.S. travelers to “reconsider travel” to Israel and the West Bank and placed a “do not travel” advisory — its most severe warning — on the Gaza Strip due to “terrorism, civil unrest, and armed conflict.”
Americans have been fleeing the country on charter flights and cruise ships since the Hamas attacks earlier this month. Over 7,000 U.S. citizens have departed Israel and the West Bank, a State Department spokeswoman told The Washington Post on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the State Department raised its travel warning for Lebanon to “do not travel” because of rocket, missile and artillery exchanges between Israel and the Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah .
Karen Schwartz contributed to this report.
A group of foreign nationals and Palestinian dual citizens may be able to leave Gaza soon , after the Hamas border authority released a list of 400 individuals who sought to exit the Strip. Meanwhile, Israel claimed responsibility for the deadly attack on the Jabalya refugee camp . Follow live updates and understand what’s behind the war between Israel and Hamas .
Hostages: Israeli officials say Hamas militants abducted about 240 hostages in a highly organized attack . Four hostages have been released — two Americans and two Israelis — as families hold on to hope . One released Israeli hostage recounted the “spiderweb” of Gaza tunnels she was held in.
Humanitarian aid: President Biden has urged officials to allow aid through the Rafah border crossing into Gaza, while U.S. aid faces hurdles to reaching those in need. The U.N. and other charities are also calling for a cease-fire to allow aid to civilians.
Israeli-Palestinian conflict: The Hamas -controlled Gaza Strip has a complicated history , and its rulers have long been at odds with the Palestinian Authority , the U.S.-backed government in the West Bank. Here is a timeline of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict .
NEWS... BUT NOT AS YOU KNOW IT
The world’s most sustainable holiday destination for 2024 is just a few hours from the UK
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Lonely Planet has released its 2024 top 10 list for sustainable travel destinations and the top spot is just a two and a half hour flight from the UK.
From secluded beaches, stunning architecture and delicious cuisine this European country really has it all — and it’s not going to cost you much to get there.
So, without further ado, the most sustainable holiday destination is… Spain .
According to the travel gurus at Lonely Planet (LP) Spain has taken enormous strides to boost off-season travel and expand renewable energy.
It is aiming to spread visitors across the year, and bring tourism to previously overlooked destinations.
Cycle paths, trains and electric buses are making it easy to explore new parts of the country without having to fly and new boutique hotels are popping up in rural areas.
Spain's sustainable highlight:
Experts at LP recommend the Jardín del Turia, València’s ingenious transformation of the old Turia riverbed into a 9km-long (5.5-mile) road-free park.
It has created one of Spain’s best-loved green lungs and also reduced local traffic. So why not hire a bike or join a two-wheel tour?
Taking second place is a destination that’s slightly further afield from the rainy UK.
Patagonia covers the southern portion of Argentina and part of Chile and is home to an ambitious rewilding project.
Parklands are growing here and Patagonia National Park is set to open a planetarium and interpretation centre in late 2023.
But beware of the stunning, yet slightly dangerous wildlife, as the Chilean portion of the same park has successfully rewilded pumas, along with rheas and endangered huemul deer.
With Booking.com finding that 75% of tourists want to go on holidays with a lower carbon footprint, it’s no surprise sustainable travel is beginning to boom.
Greenland is thriving off this trend at number three on the most sustainable list, while the UK gets a shout out at number four.
Wales' sustainable highlight:
LP experts have highlighted an interesting farm near St Davids.
The ancient farm is now home to Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm, a research centre, nature reserve and Grub Kitchen, the UK’s first edible-insect cafe.
You can learn all about sustainable food before tucking into some cricket cookies.
Wales is one of the world’s first countries to legislate for sustainability and is revamping its railways, so you can travel easily without a car.
For example, Pembrokeshire National Park is pretty accessible and set to become more so.
Placing fifth on the most sustainable list is The Portuguese Way, Caminho Portgues de Santiago in Portugal.
Lonely Planet claims this is so much more than a pilgrimage route. It claims it’s a ‘scenic journey across Portugal and Spain by foot or by bicycle’.
It’s complete with Romanesque churches, rivers and ancient villages along the 620km stretch.
Australia’s Palau is aiming to combat climate change by incentivising travellers to make conservation-conscious choices — as a result it’s placing sixth.
The app, Ol’au Palau, advises travellers to wear reef-safe sunscreen and eat at restaurants serving sustainably sourced ingredients.
Top 10 most sustainable destinations for 2024 travel:
- Patagonia, Argentina & Chile
- Wales Trails
- The Portuguese Way, Caminho Portgues de Santiago
- Palau, Australia
- Hokkaido, Japan
- Baltic Trails of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania
- South Africa’s Eco Lodges
Seventh is Hokkaido in Japan, while Ecuador places eighth. Penultimate on the list is the Baltic Trails of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania which promote meditation and the discovery of one’s inner self (apparently).
The idea here, according to Lonely Planet experts, is that ‘you’ll feel like you have the entire world to yourself’.
Lastly, but certainly not least, at number 10 is South Africa. Its ecolodges are dedicated to protecting biodiversity, encouraging tourists to take in it’s wild beauty.
But top tip: Book responsible experiences like Lebombo Lodge in Kruger National Park, say the experts. Avoid places where wild animals are held captive or made to alter their natural behaviour.
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