The documents you need to enter Spain during the state of emergency

I’m posting this again because I need a dedicated post to give a link to because the queries simply aren’t stopping … and I don’t know (please tell me if you know) how to put it more clearly …

Spain’s borders are closed to anyone who is not a Spanish national (Spanish passport) or a legal resident, and that means they have a GREEN certificado de REGISTRO that they got from the POLICE when they went to register as a foreigner permanently living in Spain. From this week, too, even they are required to go into quarantine for a fortnight after return. No-one else can even come into the country right now. This is because we are in a state of emergency (estado de alarma) because of the covid19 outbreak. I will presume that anyone reading this has heard of that …

Please understand that if you are trying to return to Spain, not only do you need to have your passport, you also need a Certificado de Registro, and to have the original with you, on boarding, in the UK. Some passengers have recently been allowed to board in the UK and then refused permission to disembark here by Guardia Civil who checked them after they landed. Now I understand airlines, who naturally don’t want to have to take people back and now evidently understand that the rules are being enforced, are requiring passengers to show their original certificate before boarding in the UK.

Please understand that the following are all irrelevant to your right to enter Spain at present – I list them because they are all examples of reasons people give as to why they consider the rules do not apply to them:

  • owning a property
  • having a NIE
  • having a tarjeta sanitaria/Spanish driving licence/utility bills in Spain
  • having an empadronamiento, or a viaje, or a certificado “no residente” (!)
  • being a swallow
  • spending x number of weeks/months a year in Tenerife
  • paying IBIs (rates)
  • paying any other taxes
  • going out to eat in local bars and restaurants when here
  • shopping and spending money

Assuming you are British, the only questions you have to answer if you want to enter Spain are:

  • have you registered with the police as a foreigner living in Spain and been given a green Certificado de Registro to prove your registration (any size, any date, with or without the word permanente on it)?
  • have you got it with you?

Only if the answer to both those questions is yes will you be able to enter Spain. And you must bring your original, green, police-issued, Certificado de Registro along with you and your passport when you come. And when you do you will have to go into 14 days of quarantine in your own home here only going out for shopping, doctor, unputoffable needs, and wearing a facemask. If the answer to either of those questions is no, you will have to wait for further announcements as to when you will be permitted to enter the country.


  1. Janet – you can not be clearer !

    Why do people keep asking ? Perhaps those in the UK are reading what some of the UK press is reporting which is raising hopes that Spain will soon open the floodgates to tourists, clearly it isn’t going to happen for many many months.

    A quote from one of the redtops in their online edition today says –

    ‘Spain’s borders will remain closed to tourists after May 15 and the closure is expected to remain in place until the end of the country’s state of alarm, which is scheduled to end at the end of June in most provinces’.

    1. Author

      thanks all. I’ll close this to comments now. Sniff you might be right about the news they’re reading in the UK, and it’s clearly British nationals in the UK from whom most queries are coming! At least now I have a post on the subject in its own right and I can just send them a link!!

  2. Janet; I concur with previous posts, you are making everything crystal clear. You also have the patience of a saint and probably a large G&T at hand.

    A serious question now, which I’m still confused about. Do Restaurants and Bars in Phase One have to close at 23.00Hrs?

    1. Author

      No, they have to close when their licences say they close. The 11pm cut off is for walking and exercise.

  3. Janet you could not have made it any more clear in any of your posts.
    Thank you so much for all your information and help.
    I really feel for you with all these people who can’t or won’t read & digest what you write.
    Stay safe and stay strong.
    Kind regards.

  4. You know the problem don’t you ……’re not using f… enough!! Far too polite!!

    Seriously, keep calm, you’re irreplaceable

  5. Thanks Janet very informative information as I’m on lockdown in Belfast this has helped me a lot. I am a resident, own my own property and pay taxes.

  6. Clear as a bell Janet and you always have been.

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