Winter is coming; Singaporean travellers rejoice. We love our hot and humid home, but most of us have been stuck at home since April 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. After 18 months of stop-start measures, we can finally take to the skies and escape the heat again.
Sunny Spain is one of a number of countries, alongside Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and more that Singapore has established a Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) with. These allow vaccinated travellers to enjoy quarantine-free travel between Singapore and several countries.
Life in Europe has pretty much returned to normal – bar a few required measures. So if you’re into paellas and tapas, be excited. Spain has one of the fewest pre-departure procedures, allowing you to enter with ease to start your adventure. Let’s dive into how to prepare for your Spanish sojourn and what to expect.
You know what’s better than going on holiday without needing to quarantine? No Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test before flying off. That’s right, if you’re heading to Spain, you don’t have to take any tests.
All you need to do is to have been in Singapore in the last 14 days, and fill in a Health Control Form (FCS) 48 hours prior. The FCS requires you to fill in your particulars, flight number and place of residence in Spain. It will then generate a unique QR code that will be scanned upon arrival. It’s that simple. Get your entry updates from the Embassy of Spain in Singapore or Spain’s official tourism website.
For this trip, we’ll be visiting the port city of Valencia along the coast of Spain.
Departure and immigration
Singapore’s designated VTL flight to Spain whisks you to Barcelona. It takes just over 15 hours, with a quick 1-hour stopover in Milan, Italy.
At Changi Airport, the staff at the check-in counter will ask to see your FCS so you will definitely have to complete it then. Have it on your phone or print it out – do both if you are forgetful.
Red-eye flights will never get better than this. As it is still early days into travel resumption, the plane is less crowded and you are likely to have an entire row to yourself, unless you choose to sit with a companion.
Singapore Airlines provides a care package containing a disinfecting wipe, a bottle of hand sanitiser and a mask. You will be well taken care of, so sleep tight for now.
Arrival in Spain
Chances are you would have awakened to a beautiful sunrise in Milan, before a short hour’s trip to Barcelona. Immigration is smooth and if there is no queue, you would be able to pick up your luggage at the carousel within 10 minutes.
Valencia is just a train ride away from Barcelona. Trains run throughout the day, and the average travel time is about 3 hours, costing between 12 to around 40 euros for the regular seats.
Once you’ve arrived, settle down and let the fun begin!
Life in Spain
Ever since masks were mandated in Singapore, it is hard to imagine going out without one. In Spain, while masks have not been entirely abolished, life is as close to pre-COVID life as possible.
Masks only need to be worn indoors, in food establishments (when not eating or drinking), on public transport and a few other exceptions. As long as you’re outdoors, you can go mask-free – remember what that feels like?
While there are still social distancing signs plastered across the city, Valencia is back to 100 per cent. Its Mestalla stadium holds capacity crowds once more, museums are fully opened and the nightlife has returned.
Find all you need to know about Valencia’s COVID measures here.
Returning to Singapore
You’ve had the time of your life, and now Singapore beckons. Two PCR tests await. The first has to be done 48 hours before your flight home. So if you fly off on the 10th, you can take the test on the 8th. There are accessible clinics around the city like these, and a PCR test costs between 70 euros to slightly more than 100 euros in general.
There you have it, a quick guide to travelling to Spain. Ready to start packing? Bon voyage!