Spain extends ban on travellers from UK (with exemption for residents)

The Local Spain
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Spain extends ban on travellers from UK (with exemption for residents)
Photo: AFP

Spain’s government has chosen to extend a ban on all travellers from the UK arriving by sea and air except for its citizens or those with residency.


On Tuesday, the Health Minister announced that a decision had been taken to extend the ban until February 2nd due to fears over the new Covid-19 strain that is spreading in the UK.


The ban first came into play on Tuesday December 22nd and was due to expire on January 5th but was then extended until January 19th. It has now been extended again.

The government said it had decided to extend it again because of "some uncertainties over the reach of the new strain" of the coronavirus, the statement said.

"The epidemiological situation in the United Kingdom has progressively worsened," it said.

At the same time there has been an increase in Spain in cases "linked to the new strain", the statement added. 

The new strain of the virus, whose discovery set off alarm bells worldwide, appears to spread more easily than other types but experts say there is no evidence it is more lethal or resistant to vaccines.   

About 70 cases of the variant have been detected in Spain, according to the latest health ministry figures.

Exceptions are made for those with Spanish citizenship and those travelling from the UK who can prove they are residents in Spain by showing either the TIE residency card or the older green paper certificates issued prior to Brexit.

The matter has caused untold confusion with reports that Brits had been turned away from flights after their green certificates were not accepted.

Spanish authorities clarified the situation and provided a downloadable form from the Spanish Embassy in London to assure airlines that documentation was correct.


The Spanish authorities have also created a printable pdf for British residents to show at the airports, confirming which residency documents are accepted and a photograph of each. It is available to download here.

The British Government website currently states: "If you are resident in Spain, you should carry your residence document (the green paper EU residence certificate or the new TIE), as well as your valid passport when you travel.

"The Spanish authorities have not confirmed whether other documents are being accepted as sufficient proof of residence to enable entry to Spain. We strongly advise that you contact your airline before travelling to confirm your proof of residency meets the requirements of your airline.”

They also state: “International transit through Spanish airports by passengers on flights departing from the UK is not permitted. This includes flights from the UK to the Balearic Islands and Canary Islands. If you were due to travel, or transit through, Spain, please contact your travel operator before departure.”


Those arriving in Spain that do have residency and documentation to prove it, will also have to show a negative PCR, TNA or LAMP test taken within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival.

Travellers are also required to  to fill out and sign an online Health Control Form 48 hours prior to travel which will then provide a personal and non-transferable QR code which you must show (electronically or hardcopy) at airport health controls on arrival.


You can do this on the Spain Travel Health website or downloadable app

Those whose flights were delayed, diverted or cancelled because of recent bad weather causing their PCR test to expire beyond the allotted 72 hours have been given the option to test for free on arrival.

From January 15th travellers to the UK will also be required to show a negative PCR test if arriving from a country deemed "high risk".




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