Q&A: When can I travel to my second home in Spain?

Q&A: When can I travel to my second home in Spain?
Police patrolling San Sebastian's La Concha beach during lockdown. Photo: AFP
With the summer weather arriving this weekend, people are itching to get to their second homes. But when will it possible?

Spain has been on lockdown since March 14th to contain the spread of the coronavirus and the borders were closed later that month.

Strict restrictions have been in place to limit movement into the country with only Spanish citizens, legal residents or frontier workers allowed to enter.

But even travel within the country has been banned with only those who have valid reason to be on the road allowed.

Road blocks have been in place and fines of €1,500 issued to those caught on the road attempting to drive to a second residence.

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Photo: AFP

Now Spain has outlined a roadmap to easing restrictions which involves four phases and which will be rolled out province by province once each one has met the criteria set by health authorities.

Although no specific timeline has been put in place, “the plan for the transition to a new normality” will begin to be rolled out from May 4th and the most optimistic assessment means that some places could arrive in the “new normal” by the end of June.

So what does that mean for those who have holiday homes in Spain?

That depends on whether you live here already or are coming from abroad.

For those who live here already and have a second residence, the  guidelines so far state that if that second residence is in the same province as your primary residence then you should be able to visit it as soon as your province moves into Phase 1.

However, those who have a home in another province will have to wait untilboth the province in which you live, and the one you want to visit have both entered the final stage – Phase 3.

But it is expected that further details on how this might work and when this might occur will be announced closer to the time.

It has not yet been made clear when restrictions will be lifted on public transport between provinces and regions. Currently people must have very good reason to use the services that are running, such as returning to primary residence or because of essential work reasons.

What about if you live outside Spain and want to make plans to visit?

If however you live abroad and hope to make plans to visit your holiday home in Spain, it will be a longer wait.

Currently the borders, both land and air are closed to all except Spanish citizens, those who are legally resident in Spain, frontier workers or those who can prove “exceptional reason” to enter Spain.

Lloyd Millen, the British Consul in Barcelona outlined the current rules in a Facebook video explaining that only those who have their green “tarjeta de residencia” will be allowed to cross into Spain.

Padron certificates and utility bills are not sufficient proof of residence and you could risk being turned away at the border.

Millen confirmed that British Nationals with homes in Spain had been turned away at the border, both land and at the airport, because they didn’t have the proper paperwork to prove residency.

He urged those who believe they have “essential reasons for wanting to enter” to appeal to the Spanish authorities at the embassy in the UK or the government delegation in the region they wish to travel to before attempting the journey.

Under the current road map, the earliest we can expect to reach “the new normality” is the end of June, and as yet have no indication of how soon borders will be lifted and international travel into Spain permitted.

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