State Dept Travel Advisory - Level 2
Article by
Dani Reiter

Spain Launches ‘Operation Summer’’ To Protect 82 Million Visitors

US and UK Travel Alerts for Spain remains at level 2 status

man cheering at the barcelona football stadium

The United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the US Department of State updated separate travel alerts when visiting Spain this summer. 

On June 3, 2019, the FCO said ‘there is a general threat from terrorism in Europe, which includes Spain.’ 

Spain has not changed its terror threat level since June 2015. Since that time Spain has maintained Level 4 of a possible 5. 

This FCO Travel Advice says ‘terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Spain. And, attacks could include in places visited by foreigners.’ 

Spanish authorities are taking various actions to protect these international visitors. 

Spain plans to activate an additional package of security measures this summer under a plan called ‘Operation Summer.’ 

This plan will deploy 40,000 police staff in various tourists hotspots, including beaches, hotels, restaurants, and stations in Andalucia,  Asturias, Galicia, Cantabria, Madrid, Murcia, the Canary Islands, the Balearics, and Valencia. 

In total, 22,700 national police and 22,000 civil guards will form the security contingent between July 1st and August 31st, although the period is extended until September 30 on the Balearic Islands. 

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Most of Spain has a moderate rate of crime. However, you should be aware that in major cities such as Barcelona, Benidorm, and Madrid, there is a much higher risk of crime, says the FCO advisory.

This is important news since Spain received about 82.8 million foreign tourists in 2018. 

Previously, during March 2019, the US Department of State issued a Level 2 Travel Advisory for Spain. If you decide to visit Spain, the State Department suggests the following preventive actions:

  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt, nor display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Under Spanish law, you must carry state-issued photo ID on your person at all times. This law applies equally to both residents and non-residents.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations, such as this Traveler’s Checklist.
  • In most urban areas, there is the Policia Local (dial 092), which is responsible for traffic inside the cities and minor crime.
  • The US Embassy in Madrid is located at Calle Serrano, 75, 28006 Madrid, Spain; Telephone (34) 91-587-2200.

Additionally, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested an extensive list of pre-trip vaccines when visiting Spain, on March 29, 2019.

Furthermore, Canada issued a Level 1 Advisory related to the ongoing measles outbreak in Europe.

Spain has reported 173 measles cases over the past year, which would indicate a need for visitors to be protected with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. 

US vaccination services, related travel medications, and pre-trip counseling appointments can be scheduled at a local pharmacy by visiting Vax-Before-Travel.