Updated 12 January: Spain has already extended its ban on non-resident arrivals from the UK once, and it’s now done so again, for a further fortnight to 5pm on 2 February. Only those residents who can prove their status as residents through a Registro or TIE may enter Spain – proof of starting the process with an official receipt is no longer sufficient because that period of grace was only between 4 and 11 January. The Spanish Government has explained that the extension of the ban is because of uncertainties over the extent of the new UK strain which has now been registered around 70 times in Spain and because the UK’s epidemiological situation has progressively worsened.
Updated 11 January: The grace period provided by Spain for new residents who have started the registration period but do not have the final TIE has now ended. Following FCDO requests for some flexibility, Spain allowed new registrants to return between 4 and 11 January provided they could show the official receipt to prove the request for a TIE. Now, again, only those with a TIE or a Registro can enter … and the problem with the Registro seems to have been resolved, as anticipated.
Updated 3 January: The controversy over residents with Registros being refused permission to board to return home to Spain continues, with incidents now recorded on Alitalia and Iberia flights from the UK. Yesterday, the FCDO had asked the Spanish Government to be a bit more flexible when it came to those
And so, Spain has today responded to the problems being faced by these two groups – residents with Registros and new residents who’ve not yet got their TIE. The response is below, in English, and confirms that Registros are valid and that those who’ve started the process should be allowed to board the flight and enter Spain within the window of grace 4-10 January inclusive provided they can show the official receipt to prove the request for a TIE. I would print this confirmation out and carry it with me if I were travelling (click the image to see it full size). It is also confirmed by the Spanish Embassy in the UK HERE.
Updated 2 January 2021: Spain has extended its ban on non-resident arrivals until 19 January. The FCDO has also confirmed HERE that only those residents who can prove their status as residents through a Registro or TIE may enter Spain – proof of starting the process, and even acceptance, is not sufficient without the final document.
Updated 28 December: Spain’s ban on non-resident arrivals from the UK ends, as things currently stand, at 5pm on 5 January, but can be extended: only residents and Spanish nationals can enter, and British nationals presently have two means of showing legal residence, both equally and completely valid – the new TIE and the old Registro. HMA Hugh Elliott has said this afternoon, however, that he understands that Ryanair has refused to allow some British nationals to board their flights despite being legally resident in Spain.
The reason is unconfirmed but appears to be because the proof they were offering for residency was the green Certificado de Registro which, Spanish authorities have confirmed, remains valid whether A4 or credit-card sized. The Ambassador asks anyone so affected to let him know directly through his twitter handle @HughElliottUK or, naturally, the information can be passed to him by whichever means you use to follow official FCDO information, whether through the Embassy in Madrid’s wide range of social media, or the Consulate here in Tenerife.
Updated 23 December: HERE is the legislation restricting all arrivals by air or sea from the UK to legal residents and Spanish nationals. The law came into force, the decree says, at 5pm (6pm mainland) yesterday and will be in place until the same time on 5 January. Unfortunately there is no clarity for those who have applied for the new TIE but who don’t yet have their application approved or who aren’t in possession of their card: presumably anyone who’s applied for the TIE at this stage on the grounds of permanent residence is expected to be in Spain already anyway.
Updated 6pm: Yes this includes the Canaries because the Canaries are part of Spain. Yes the fact that the Canaries are part of Spain comes as a surprise to many tourists. Yes this means British nationals cannot enter unless residents. Yes the UK Government has updated its travel advice. Yes the UK Government still excludes the Canaries … from its travel advice not to come to Spain. The UK Government still thinks it’s fine for people to come to the Canaries. Unfortunately for visitors coming from the UK, Spain does not agree and has banned their arrival from tomorrow, unless resident with proof of residence, and the ONLY legal proof of residence is a Certificado de Registro (green NIE) or a TIE.
Original post 21 December: The Spanish Government has announced this afternoon that from tomorrow (presumably midnight tonight), in coordination with Portugal, arrivals from the UK are suspended from entry to the country. Spanish nationals or residents will be allowed to return home, so flights continue but only Spaniards and residents will be able to enter the country. Spain says that border controls in Gibraltar will also be strengthened. The decision has been taken, the Government says, “following today’s EU crisis meeting which analysed the effects of the new strain of covid19 detected in the UK.” Spain says that it again stressed the need to take coordinated measures throughout the EU, but as it warned, it was prepared to take independent measures to protect itself if necessary. It has now done so.