What to expect while traveling

The grayness of winter may inspire you to plan a sunny getaway to get some vitamin D in the Balearic Islands or the Canary Islands in Spain.

But as countries around the world continue to deal with the upsurge in Omicron-powered cases, your trip to Mallorca, Ibiza or Tenerife may look a little different than in years past.

The Canary Islands and Balearic Islands have recently seen a spike in COVID-19 cases, and depending on your destination, you may see reduced hours and capacity at businesses in the area.

Here are some of the things to consider if you’re heading to one of these popular winter destinations.

Travel requirements to enter Spain

To enter Spain, you will need to complete the digital health control form. You will also need to present a certificate proving full vaccination if you are traveling from a non-EU country. Unvaccinated travelers from outside the European Union and the Schengen area are not allowed to travel to Spain for non-essential reasons. This includes Americans and British tourists.

Also, if you are arriving from a high-risk country, you must take a COVID-19 test before arriving. Antigen tests must be carried out 48 hours before arrival and PCR tests no more than 72 hours before arrival.

From February 1, Spain also requires that your last dose of your primary vaccine regimen be within the last 270 days. If it is outside this window, you will need to show proof of a booster shot taken at least 14 days before.

Mallorca is open for winter sun holidaymakers ©Getty Images/Westend61

COVID-19 restrictions to consider

Spain assigns risk levels to areas of the country based on the spread of COVID-19, with level 1 indicating low spread and level 4 indicating high. Each tier comes with different mitigations, including those around capacity and hours of operation.

No matter where you go, expect to be required to wear a mask indoors unless you are actively eating or drinking. You may be required to present proof of vaccination to enter certain establishments.

As for individual sites, in the Canary Islands, Gran Canaria, La Palma and Tenerife are currently at Level 4. This means that restaurants and bars close at midnight and groups are limited to six people per table. Public transport is limited to 75% of its capacity. COVID passports (vaccination, recovery certificate or antigen/PCR test performed within the previous 48 hours) are required to access bars, restaurants and nightlife venues on Tier 4 islands.

Beaches are limited to 50% capacity and swimming pools to 33%. You may need a reservation.

Meanwhile, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, El Hierro and La Graciosa are on Level 3. Restaurants and bars close at 1am. Beaches are limited to 50% and swimming pools to 33%.

Restrictions on opening hours and capacity limits at restaurants and bars vary depending on the situation in each region, but most operate during normal office hours. Groups are limited to two people per table.

Volcanic eruption in La Palma
The La Palma volcano in Spain stopped erupting on December 25, 2021. © Getty Images

La Palma recovers from the volcano

Alongside the COVID-19 pandemic, the island of La Palma is recovering from a natural disaster. The volcanic eruption that began on September 19 ended on December 25. The tourism website estimates that 10% of the island has been affected by the volcano and is currently trying to rebuild.

Although the island is open and welcomes visitors, it asks you to observe safety guidelines while it rebuilds from the damage caused by the volcano.