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Spain Travel Information

Spain Travel InformationA large number of coronavirus cases have been detected in Spain. Spanish authorities have introduced exceptional conditions to stop the spread of the virus. This includes closing the borders to Spain, prohibiting travel in public places and closing down accommodations, shops and eating places. People who do not live in Spain are allowed to move in order to return to their country of origin, such as airport transfers. Norwegian authorities cooperate with airlines to help Norwegian citizens return to Norway. For information about the coronavirus and the state of emergency, see the section Health.

Safety

Spain is generally a safe and well-functioning country to visit, and most trips therefore go safely and without special problems. You should, as usual, exercise caution and take reasonable precautions, such as storing valuables such as money, passports, credit cards, cameras and cell phones in a proper manner, and ensuring that you have valid travel insurance for your entire stay. Unpleasant surprises, including pocket theft and other crime, can occur both at typical tourist attractions, especially in busy streets and on public communications.

There has been an increase in people who report the theft of valuables from the rental car at stops at gas stations and supermarkets. Therefore, do not leave valuables in the car or anywhere else unattended.

From February 2020, a new law has been introduced against the negative consequences of high alcohol consumption in some areas of Majorca and Ibiza. The marketing, sale and consumption of alcohol is limited compared to the past, and offense can result in fines. Tourists may also be expelled from the hotel for violations.

Spain is among the countries in Europe that have the longest experience of terrorism and the country has a good crisis management apparatus. However, the Basque terrorist organization ETA is no longer active. By contrast, terrorist attacks by extreme Islamist groups are considered a threat in Spain. The latest terrorist attack in Spain was carried out in Barcelona and Cambrils on 17 August 2017. In the same way as in other Western European countries, the terrorist threat is currently considered high. Travelers should be vigilant when staying in places where there are lots of people. Otherwise, you should never leave luggage of any kind unattended in public places.

Travelers are encouraged to stay away from large crowds and political demonstrations.

  • Countryaah: Madrid is the capital of Spain. Check to find information of population, geography, history, and economy about the capital city.

The Spanish road network is consistently high quality and the car park is mainly modern. However, the traffic picture is characterized by significantly higher speeds, greater car density, more accidents and a more aggressive driving pattern than the Norwegian one, and it is advised to pay extra attention both as a motorist and as a pedestrian.

Driving in an alcohol-affected state is prohibited, talking on the cellphone, or having ear plugs (also for direction guidance) while driving. Driver's license and insurance certificate must always be carried in the car. It is mandatory to have the following equipment in the car: Two red warning triangles, luminescent vest (in case of motorway accidents), extra tires and a set of extra light bulbs. Chains are highly recommended when driving in mountainous areas during winter.

Forest fires still occur in Spain. The most common tourist areas have been less affected by the fires. Floods, floods and landslides occur during longer rainy periods. In most regions of Spain there is a certain earthquake danger, and although no major earthquakes have been recorded in recent years, regular earthquakes of minor magnitude are recorded. There is also volcanic activity in Spain in the world's third largest volcano, Pico de Teide, on the Canary Island of Tenerife. This is currently considered to be dormant, but there are opportunities for outbreaks in the future, without anyone predicting the time of such an outbreak.

During natural disaster situations and other major events, Norwegians are asked to heed the directions and recommendations of local authorities.

Direcci¨®n General de Protecci¨®n Civil has overall responsibility for civil preparedness and crisis management in natural disasters, while the autonomous regions have operational responsibility. In addition, the Spanish crisis management unit "Unidad Militar de Emergencia" from the Spanish defense has a standing readiness.

Norwegian citizens staying in Spain for a shorter or longer period are encouraged to register at reiseregistrering.no.

Local emergency number: 112

safety Tips

In crisis and emergency, the public is urged to contact the Norwegian Embassy in Madrid:
Royal Norwegian Embassy
Calle Serrano 26, 5th Floor
28001 Madrid
Phone: +34 914 363 840
Fax: +34 913 190 969
E-mail: emb. madrid@mfa.no

Outside the embassy's opening hours, the public can contact the UD's 24-hour operating center on tel.: +47 23 95 00 00 or by e-mail UDops@mfa.no

Entry

Please note that entry regulations may change. The Foreign Service is not responsible if the following information on entry regulations or visa requirements is changed at short notice. It is the responsibility of the traveler to ensure that travel documents are valid for entry and to familiarize themselves with the current entry rules for each country.

Crossing the borders into Spain is only allowed for Spanish citizens, people with a residence permit in Spain and people who can justify the need to enter Spain. Citizens of EU/Schengen countries and people with long-term visas in these countries can travel through Spain to get to the country where they live. Airports and ports are still open, but with limited capacity.

Passport is the only internationally valid travel and identification document for Norwegian citizens.

Therefore, even though there is freedom of passport within the Schengen area (Norway and Spain are members of the Schengen agreement), the passport must therefore always be brought on trips to Spain as it is a duty to be able to identify with a valid identification document. In addition, all airlines require that passengers have a valid travel and identification document on departure.

The passport must be valid throughout your stay.

Upon entry to/transit via Spain, the following valid document (with the same validity requirement as the passport) is also accepted:

  • Emergency passports
  • Refugee travel document (green travel document)
  • Travel document for people staying on a humanitarian basis (blue travel document). NB! This is only accepted if it gives the holder unlimited permission to return to Norway.

However, reservations are made that the entry rules may be changed at short notice. It is therefore recommended that the authorities of the relevant country be contacted when planning a trip.

Health

Coronavirus (covid-19): The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends travel that is not strictly necessary for Spain.

In order to limit the spread of the corona virus, Spanish authorities have introduced a state of emergency, which has so far been decided to last until 10 May 2020, but which is expected to be extended. A gradual decline in the state of emergency until the end of June is planned, depending on the pandemic's development. It cannot be expected that one can move freely in Spain before this.

The state of emergency gives the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Defense, under the direction of the Prime Minister, the authority to take the necessary measures to secure necessary services and protect the population.

Public agencies have the authority to carry out the necessary checks to ensure that measures under the state of emergency are respected. The population is obliged to cooperate with representatives of public agencies and not prevent measures being implemented. It may be punishable not to respect the state of exception or not to follow orders from representatives of public agencies.

The state of emergency involves, among other things, following:

  • Crossing the borders into Spain is only allowed for Spanish citizens, people with a residence permit in Spain and people who can justify the need to enter Spain. Citizens of EU/Schengen countries and people with long-term visas in these countries can travel through Spain to get to the country where they live. Airports and ports are still open, but with limited capacity.
  • It is prohibited to travel in public places throughout Spain unless it is critically necessary.
  • Exceptions are given for moving to and from work, purchasing food, medicines and indispensable products, visits to doctors' offices and hospitals, care for the elderly, minors, persons with disabilities and persons in a vulnerable situation, return to permanent residence, visits to banks, movements resulting from force majeure and other activities of a similar nature, if duly legitimate. From April 26, three children are allowed to stay for one hour a day in association with a parent. From May 2, adults will be able to stay out an hour a day.
  • Exceptions are given for people who do not live in Spain to relocate in order to return to their country of origin, such as airport transfers. Norwegian authorities cooperate with airlines to maintain departures and assist Norwegian citizens back to Norway. Flights information will be available on the airlines website.
  • Any necessary transfer must be made individually, unless there is a need to assist persons with disabilities. It is permissible to move by car in the above exceptional situations, as well as to refuel.
  • All shops and restaurants are closed except for grocery stores, pharmacies, and some other retail and service locations. Eating in grocery stores will not be allowed. It will be possible to order home delivery of food from restaurants. A gradual opening of shops and restaurants is planned during May.
  • All hotels, places that offer short-term accommodation, campsites etc. is closed. A gradual opening is scheduled for May.
  • You must avoid groups of people and keep at least one meter distance to customers and service.
  • All public transport and transport services performed by private operators are significantly reduced (about 50 per cent capacity).
  • All educational institutions are closed, but digital education will be carried out if possible. It is not planned to open until September.
  • All cultural and leisure activities are canceled, and institutions are closed. A gradual opening is planned during May and June.

Follow local authorities' advice, guidance and directions on how to deal with the situation on Enfermedad por nuevo coronavirus.

You can find more information and guidance from the Norwegian health authorities on the website of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. See also UD's answers to frequently asked questions about travel and coronavirus.

People with symptoms of viral infection should not call the usual Spanish emergency number 112, which is reserved for emergency emergencies. Coronavirus infection numbers have been set up in most regions, see list below.

Region Phone
Andalusia 955 54 50 60
Aragon 061
Asturias 112
Cantabria 112 or 061
C. La Mancha 900 122 112
C. Y Le¨®n 900 222 000
Catalunya 061
Ceuta 900 720 692
C. Madrid 900 102 112
C. Valenciana 900 300 555
Extremadura 112
Galicia 900 400 116
Balearic Islands 061
Canaries 900 11 20 61
La Rioja 941 29 83 33
Melilla 112
Murcia 900 12 12 12
Navarra 948 29 02 90
Basque Country (Pa¨ªs Vasco) 900 20 30 50

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Spain has a well-developed health care system with both public and private hospitals. Non-Hispanic patients may experience difficulty communicating with physicians and other staff.

Holders of a valid European Health Insurance Card are entitled to emergency treatment in public hospitals, on par with the nationals of the country of residence. Information on the European Health Insurance Card and how to obtain this can be found on the Health Norway website.

Keep in mind that European health insurance cards do not cover home travel, private health care or treatment of non-acute illnesses.

It is therefore necessary to take out private travel and health insurance before leaving. You should check what is included to make sure that the insurance covers the type of activities you plan to do and that it is valid throughout your stay. Good travel insurance will cover, among other things, expenses related to injuries, accidents, illness, home transport and death.

If the purpose of the trip is to receive treatment abroad, one should think about what should be done and how to finance special transport to Norway, should it be necessary after the treatment has been completed. For example, ambulance flights can be very expensive. If the treatment journey is arranged through a Norwegian hospital, these issues should be addressed with the hospital in advance.

Practical information

The area code for calls from Norway to Spain is +34. The telephone network is stable. There is no time difference between mainland Spain (including the Balearic Islands) and Norway. The Canary Islands are an hour after Norway. The whole of Spain changes to summer time as in Norway.

The mains in Spain are 220 volts with European plugs. The mobile network is well developed, and there is GSM coverage in 90 per cent of the country. The postal system works quickly and efficiently. There is wireless internet coverage in many restaurants, cafes and hotels.

The Internet domain is.es

The currency unit in Spain is the euro (EUR). Most international credit cards are accepted. Note that taxis often require cash payments.

Normal opening hours for banks and public offices are Monday to Friday 8: 30-14: 00. The usual opening hours for shops are Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 13:30 and 17:00 to 20:00. Larger malls are open all day from 10am to 9pm. Many centers and shops are also open on Sundays. Most restaurants have closed between lunch (13: 30-16: 00) and dinner (20: 30-23: 30). The Spaniards eat dinner late, usually at 1am. 22:00 - and there are generally few guests at the restaurants before 21:00 - 21:30.

National holidays: January 1, January 6, Cutting Thursday, Good Friday, August 15, October 12 (National Day), December 6 (Constitution Day), December 8 and December 25. In addition, each region of Spain has its own local holidays which can vary from year to year.

As in Norway, it is common for tourists to give some tips/tips on eating places and to taxi drivers.

It should be noted that the Spanish proficiency in English is generally poorer than what we are used to in Norway. This applies to both public employees (hospitals, police, etc.) and employees in banks, restaurants, shops, etc. Please note that there is normally an additional charge of around three euros for luggage by taxi.

Possession of all forms of drugs is illegal in Spain.

The dress code in Spain is generally formal. Spaniards dress formally in work, and somewhat less formally in their spare time.

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