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Can Brits still go on holiday to Spain in January 2021?

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As the UK’s fours nations are once again plunged into a long and hard lockdown, many will be wondering if Brits can still go on holiday to Spain this January 2021.

Reports of a new Covid-19 strain sweeping the UK in mid December ultimately lead to Spain imposing a ban on air and sea passengers arriving from the UK. This was an increase on the measures already in place for arrivals from the UK, which require travellers to present a negative Covid-19 test and fill out a health form.

The ban was initially put in place from 22 December 2020 to 6 January 2021. However, it has now been extended until at least 19 January. The ban means that only Spanish nationals and those legally resident in Spain will be permitted to board flights from the UK between these dates. Unlike other countries such as France and Portugal, no exception is made for students or those travelling for work who do not have residency. This means that job contracts, proof of student status and leases on accommodation won’t be enough to get into Spain.

The travel ban has produced confusion over what constitutes official proof of residency, with many British travellers reporting being turned away at the airport for failing to present adequate proof. For example, British expats in possession of the green ‘residencia’ card were barred from boarding by several airlines, despite having been promised by the Spanish Government that this form of ID was still valid proof of residency.

Confusion around the new rules lead to Brits being turned away at the airport
The British embassy responded to clarify that this was due to a misunderstanding

Following an appeal by the British embassy, the Spanish authorities ultimately confirmed that both the TIE and the old green ‘residencia’ card are valid for travel to Spain. Additionally, a stamped document proving that the residency process has been started is also valid. The authorities have made airlines and ferry operators aware that they must accept these documents.

So, those with residency papers should now face no problems returning to Spain. However, Brits who want to go on holiday to Spain remained barred until at least the middle of January 2021.

Further updates on the situation in Spain will be posted on the FCO’s travel advice page.

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