Spain holidays: Foreign Office issues update on visas & restrictions as travel ban lifted

Spain: Expert discusses country re-opening to tourists

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Spain holidays have been sorely missed – so when will they return? The popular destination blocked British tourists back in December but this ban ends this evening. However, there are still restrictions on entry.

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) today updated its travel advice.

Spain travel advice

The FCDO shared fresh information on “what to do if your visa or visa-free period of travel has expired and you are unable to return to the UK due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.”

The authority also issued “updates to the permitted reasons to enter Spain after March 30, 2021.”

Travel rules may be relaxed today, but that doesn’t mean UK tourists can flock back to Spanish shores just yet.

Anyone travelling will need to prove their visit is “essential.”

The Foreign Office explained: “After 6pm (GMT+1) on March 30, 2021 (5pm / GMT in the Canary Islands), while passenger travel from the UK to Spain will resume, entry to Spain will only be granted to those passengers who can demonstrate that their journey is essential.”

There are a number of permitted circumstances.

The FCDO explains these include:

  • Habitual residents of the European Union, Schengen States, Andorra, Monaco, The Vatican (Holy See) or San Marino; who are travelling to their country of residence and can duly accredit their residence status with documentary evidence.
  • Holders of a long-stay visa issued by a Member State or Schengen Associated State, who are travelling onto said country.
  • Health professionals, including health researchers, and elderly care professionals who are going to or returning from essential work.
  • Transport personnel, seafarers and aeronautical personnel.
  • Diplomatic, consular, international organizations, military, civil protection and members of humanitarian organizations.
  • Students enrolled in courses starting after 1 January 2021 who carry out their studies in an EU Member or Schengen state and who have the corresponding permit or visa and medical insurance, provided that they are travelling to the country where they are studying, and that entry occurs during the academic year or 15 days previous. Students who started an on-site or in-person course in Spain prior to 1 January 2021 will not require a permit or visa to enter, but should be prepared to provide evidence of this, such as a residence document or proof of enrolment and accommodation (dated prior to 1 January 2021).
  • Highly skilled essential workers whose work cannot be postponed or carried out remotely, including participants in high-level sports events due to take place in Spain.
  • People travelling for imperative family reasons who can demonstrate an essential need to travel.

What’s more, travel outside of the UK for non-essential purposes remains illegal.

Anyone found jet-setting without reasonable excuse risks being hit with a £5,000 fine.

International travel is set to resume on May 17.

Further details will be revealed on April 12 when the Global Travel Taskforce shares its findings.

The FCDO also explained the rules regarding visas and returning to the UK from Spain.

“When you return, you must follow the rules for entering the UK,” detailed the authority.

“You are responsible for organising your own COVID-19 test, in line with UK government testing requirements.”

“If you are unable to return to the UK before the expiry of your visa/permit or visa-free limit due to C-19 restrictions, you should contact your local immigration office (Extranjería) for advice. You can also call 060 from a Spanish phone line.”

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