The rules of validity of Spanish passports for British tourists are explained

The UK’s exit from the European Union means more countries are now requiring UK passports with months left to enter

Changes introduced after the United Kingdom left the European Union mean that your passport’s issue and expiry dates will be checked at border control and it must have months left to allow entry.

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British holidaymakers are warned to check the validity of their passport before traveling to Spain (Picture: Getty Images)

How long do I need in my passport to enter Spain?

According to Schengen area rules, UK passports entering an EU country cannot be older than 10 years at the time of issue.

Passports must also be valid for at least three months after the date of travel home.

The Federal Foreign Office has now updated its travel advice for 33 countries to clarify the changes, including Spain, Greece and Italy.

The updated advice now looks at the changes for Spain, stating: “If you are planning to travel to an EU country (other than Ireland) or Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or Vatican City , you must follow the passport requirements of the Schengen area.

  • issued less than 10 years before your entry (check the “date of issue”)
  • valid for at least 3 months after the day of your planned departure (check the ‘expiry date’)

“You must check that your passport meets these requirements before you travel. If your passport was issued before October 1, 2018, additional months may have been added to its expiration date.

“Contact the embassy of the country you are visiting if you think your passport does not meet these two requirements. Renew your passport if necessary.”

Travelers must also adhere to Covid restrictions as strict entry rules remain in place. The Spanish authorities have announced that the existing rules will remain in force at least until June 15.

That includes requiring all travelers entering the country by plane to wear a face covering, although the European Union Agency for Aviation Safety and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control dropped the continent-wide mandate from mid-May to have.

Under the current measures taken by the Spanish government, you can only enter Spain from the UK for tourism purposes if you can show that you meet the vaccination requirements or if you have a medical certificate confirming that you are in the last six months recovered from Covid.

This means the unvaccinated cannot enter on holiday unless they can show proof of recovery.

At least 14 days must have elapsed since full vaccination prior to arrival in Spain and the last dose must have been administered within 270 days of travel.

If it is more than 270 days since your last dose of primary vaccination, you must have received a booster dose. It is not required that 14 days have elapsed between receiving your booster vaccination and entering Spain, this can be administered at any time.

Spain accepts that of the UKNHS Covid Passport or a certificate of recovery issued by a relevant health authority or medical service to certify your Covid status.

Children aged 12 to 17 inclusive traveling for tourism can enter Spain on presentation of a negative PCR test or a Covid recovery certificate. Persons under the age of 12 do not have to:

  • present full proof of vaccinations when entering Spain
  • Conduct diagnostic tests prior to arrival
  • show proof of recovery from Covid within the last six months

If you are traveling from mainland Spain to the Canary or Balearic Islands you may need to show a negative Covid test depending on the region you are traveling from.

How do I renew my passport?

If you need to renew your passport, you can apply online through the Government website. You will need a digital photo, a credit or debit card and your current passport and will need to pay £75.50 to renew.

If you are in urgent need of a passport, you can track your passport application quickly. You need to make an appointment at the passport office and pay online. Appointments can be made up to three weeks in advance.

If you use the Online Premium Serviceyou will receive your new passport at your appointment, which lasts up to 30 minutes. This option costs £177 (or £187 for a 50-page frequent traveler pass) and can only be used to renew an adult pass issued after 31 December 2001.

This service can be used to renew an adult or child passport, change a name on a passport, make changes to personal information, replace a lost, stolen or damaged passport, or apply for a child’s first passport.

This service costs £142 for an adult passport (or £152 for a 50-page frequent traveler passport) or £122 for a child passport (or £132 for a 50-page frequent traveler passport).

If you are unable to use the online services, you can make an appointment and pay over the phone by calling passport advice on 0300 222 0000. The rules of validity of Spanish passports for British tourists are explained


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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