Important checklist when traveling to Spain or Portugal, after Irish tourist turned away at airport

Irish tourists who are planning to holiday abroad in Spain and Portugal this summer are being reminded to make sure they have everything they need before boarding a flight such as an updated passport and Covid certificate.

It comes after some tourists experienced issues when they failed to take the correct steps while planning for the trip.

One Irish family experienced trouble recently after a family member was refused entry to a flight to Spain, because their passport was set to expire in five months.

Read more: Public Transport fares slashed to as low as €1 for some from today

And while Covid restrictions have come to an end in most places, are there any rules or documentation you still need to be aware of?

Here are four questions Irish tourists need to ask before jetting off on holidays to Spain or Portugal this summer:

Is my passport in date?

According to current European Union requirements, a passenger’s passport must be less than 10 years old and have at least three months’ validity on the passenger’s return date.

Anyone looking to travel this summer will need to check the expiry date on their passport to make sure they are returning to Ireland with more than three months on their passport.

If your passport needs to be renewed, the Irish passport office has advised that the fastest way to do this is via their online portal.

The current turnaround time to renew an adult passport application is 10 working days. However, more complex renewals will take 15 working days and first-time passport applicants will be waiting 30 working days.

Read more: Spain airport sees Irish tourists given ‘preferential treatment’ as angry Brits watch on

Is my Covid status correct?

Although many Covid restrictions are no longer in place, some rules still apply in order to be granted entry to Spain or Portugal.

Spain

Travelers coming from Ireland to Spain must comply with one of the following health requirements:

  • An EU Digital Covid Certificate or a negative certificate
  • The negative Covid test
  • A certificate of recovery from Covid within the past six months.

If you do not have an EU Digital Covid Cert or equivalent, you must complete a health control form before your departure.

You can do this through the https://www.spth.gob.es/ website or the Spain Travel Health app. Once this has been completed, you will obtain a QR code that you will have to present both at the time of boarding and upon arrival in Spain.

Children under the age of 12 or are not required to present an EU DCC or complete the SpTH Health Control form.

Portugal

All tourists arriving into Portugal must present one of the following:

  • European Digital Covid Certificate – valid proof of full vaccination at least 14 days and no more than 270 days prior to travel. However, no time limits apply where passengers can present a European Digital Covid Cert or equivalent valid proof of having received a booster vaccine dose.
  • A certificate of recovery from Covid within the past six months.
  • Valid proof of a negative test result for Covid-19.

A passenger locator form is no longer required for traveling to Portugal.

Children under the age of 12 are exempt from all of the above requirements.

Do I know how early I need to be at Dublin Airport?

Despite many passengers experiencing issues with long delays at security in at Dublin Airport in March, it has recently been reported that wait times at security have significantly improved since the recruitment of more staff.

On the Dublin Airport website, passengers are still advised that they arrive to the airport up to 2.5 hours before a short-haul flight, and up to 3.5 hours before a long-haul flight.

Passengers can also view the estimated security queue times on dublinairport.com, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger and via the Dublin Airport App.

Read more: List of everyday items that could get you kicked off a flight

Am I aware of the risks?

As people tend to relax on holiday and let their guard down, tourists can easily fall victim to petty crime such as scams, pickpocketing and fake ticket scams.

In a recent study, Barcelona in Spain was named as the pickpocketing capital of Europe and the city where tourists are most at risk from thieves. Tourists are also advised that Madrid in Spain has a higher risk of pickpocketing and the same crime is also increasing in parts of Portugal such as in Lisbon and the Algarve.

The Department of Foreign Affairs advises Irish tourists abroad to take the following basic precautions:

• Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together – leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.

• Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.

• Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you are alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business.

• Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafes, train and bus stations.

• Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible.

Read more: Irish tourists heading to Spain face draconian new drinking rules

Read more: Spain and Portugal confirm strict travel rules for Irish tourists this summer

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