All the laws Spain holidaymakers need to know before heading abroad

Covid restrictions are now ending in many popular tourist destinations which has seen the likes of face masks and the need to be vaccinated ditched.

With summer holidays fast approaching, many people will be packing their bags and getting their outfits organised as they stroll in the sun for a much needed break.

And whilst you may not need to worry about covid rules or guidelines depending n where you’re going, there are a few rules you’ll want to know before jetting off to Spain that aren’t covid related.

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As reported by Dublin Live, one law that might catch tourists out is important to note if you plan on using your credit or debit card while on holiday.

In Spain, ID must be shown when using credit or debit cards as payment. Depending on the business, a driving licence or photocopy of your passport may suffice but you can be asked to show your original passport.

The Department of Foreign Affairs 9DFA) website says: “Everyone in Spain, regardless of nationality, must show ID when using credit and debit cards. You may be able to use a driving licence or a photocopy of your passport, but you may be asked to show your original passport.”

The DFA has also warned tourists about Spain’s strict alcohol and drug laws reminding holidaymakers that drinking alcohol in public places is forbidden in Madrid, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands.

The Department explained: “Alcoholic spirits are usually sold in significantly larger measures in bars and restaurants in Spain than in Ireland. Consumption of alcohol in public places, except licensed bars and restaurants, is forbidden in Madrid, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands. Failure to respect these laws may result in a fine.”

Holidaymakers have also been warned that Spain “take the possession of illegal drugs in any quantity extremely seriously.”

The DFA’s website says: “There have been fatalities involving Irish citizens who have consumed illegal drugs in Spain. The Spanish authorities take the possession of illegal drugs in any quantity extremely seriously and such activity may result in imprisonment.

“The authorities in Mallorca and Ibiza are particularly active in anti-drug law enforcement, and are likely to prosecute in cases of use or possession of drugs.”

In addition to the laws, the DFA says people should also be aware of road crimes.

They explain that people travelling to the country should be cautious when approached by anyone claiming to be a police officer – either in plain clothes or travelling in unmarked vehicles.

They add: “In all traffic matters, police officers will be in uniform. Unmarked vehicles will have a flashing electronic sign on the rear window, which reads ‘Policía’ or ‘Guardia Civil’, and normally have blue flashing lights incorporated into the headlights.

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“In non-traffic matters, police officers may be in plain clothes. However, you have the right to ask a police officer to identify themselves. Also, a genuine police officer will not request that you hand over your bag or wallet. If they ask you for identification, show them photographic ID such as your passport or driver’s licence.

“If in any doubt, you should converse through the car window and contact the Guardia Civil on 062 or the Spanish National Police on 112 and ask them to confirm that the registration number of the vehicle corresponds to an official police vehicle.”

In addition to making sure they are who they say they say they are, holidaymakers will want to ensure they look out for thieves.

The Department explains that theft from vehicles is common in Spain and people should remember to keep their doors locked, windows rolled up and valuables out of sight.

They explain: “Be aware of ‘highway pirates’ who target foreign-registered and hire cars. We’re aware of such activity in the vicinity of airports, in particular. Some will try to make you stop, claiming there is something wrong with your car or that you have damaged theirs. In some cases, they will even deliberately orchestrate a collision in order to get you to stop and exit your car, before stealing personal belongings from you.

“If you decide to stop to check the condition of your/their vehicle, try to stop in an area with lights and people, such as a service station, and be extremely wary of anyone offering help.”