Updated 1 July: The FCDO has confirmed that under the new arrangements for British visitors (while the UK is not considered by the EU as a high risk country and regardless of the UK’s coloured lists) antigen tests are NOT accepted for entry to Spain. The FCDO statement is:
From 2 July 2021, the Spanish government requires all arrivals to Spain from the UK (excluding children under the age of 12 years old) to present on entry one of the following:
- documentation issued within 48 hours prior to arrival in Spain, certifying that you have undertaken a COVID-19 test, e.g. PCR, TMA, LAMP or NEAR, and tested negative. Antigen tests are not currently accepted.
- proof of being fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to arrival in Spain (date(s) of vaccination must be specified), with a vaccine authorised by the European Medicines Agency or by the World Health Organisation
Documents can be in either English, Spanish, French or German and in paper or electronic format. All documents must specify the name and surname of the passenger. See Spain Travel Health page for specific details regarding the documentation you must present to accredit your COVID-19 test results and proof of vaccination.
If you live in England, Spain will accept the NHS COVID Pass or your NHS letter to demonstrate your COVID-19 vaccination status. If you live in Scotland or Wales, Spain will accept your respective NHS letter to demonstrate your COVID-19 vaccination status. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status. For more details see the Spain travel Health page.
Further rules may apply if you have travelled to a country on Spain’s list of ‘risk’ countries in the 14 days prior to travel to Spain. See Testing requirements if travelling from a ‘risk country’.
Although it might seem illogical, antigen tests ARE accepted if coming from an EU-designated risk country, but this just shows how seriously the Delta variant – on which basis the new rules are based – is being taken. If coming from or via a country designated by the EU as high risk, the FCDO says:
All passengers (excluding children under the age of 12 years old) arriving into Spain who have visited a ‘risk country’ in the previous 14 days should be prepared to show evidence of one of the following on entry:
- documentation certifying that you have undertaken a diagnostic test (e.g. PCR, LAMP, TMA or antigen test) and tested negative 48 hours prior to arrival in Spain. See Spain Health Travel page for details.
- a certificate or document certifying you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. See Spain Health Travel page for details.
- a medical certificate certifying that you have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 6 months prior to travel. See Spain Health Travel page for details.
The list of ‘risk countries’ is reviewed every 15 days. A minimum fine of €3000 may be issued to anyone who does not comply with this requirement.
Updated 29 June: What has been published HERE today simply adds the UK to the list of third countries for which temporary entry restrictions apply. British visitors over 12 years of age will now have to provide either a certificate of vaccination dated at least 14 days before travel, or a “certificado de diagnóstico” recognized by Sanidad and detailed in Section 7.1 of the 4 June Public Heath Resolution HERE … tests must be carried out within the 48 hours prior to arrival in Spain … not the 72 hours it used to be!
Those bringing negative test certificates instead of a vaccination certificate will need to bring one of:
- Molecular nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT) – PCR, TMA, LAMP, NEAR etc
Antigen detection tests included in the common list of rapid antigen detection tests for COVID-19, published by the European Commission on the basis of Council Recommendation 2021/C 24/01 (see HERE & HERE for further information)See 1 July update above
The diagnostic test certificate must include at least the full name of the holder, the date of sampling, type of test performed, and country of issue. The measure comes into force 72 hours after 00.00h of the day on which the publication was made, ie today, and so therefore will be effective from midnight Thursday/Friday (00.00h 2 July).
Updated 28 June: It’s a month since Spain threw open its borders to British visitors to the dismay of a great many residents who felt it was purely to capitulate to pressure from the tourism industry. As many have tried to continue to stress, the virus does not care about political or commercial interests, nor national boundaries, and now, bowing to reality, Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez and Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha González have confirmed that British tourists will again have to provide either a negative test or proof of vaccination because of the Delta variant. This will be the case regardless of whether the EU considers the UK high risk or not, and will come into force 72 hours after the measure is published in the BOE tomorrow, so by this weekend … Pedro Sánchez himself has said Thursday. González for her part says that the test will have to be a PCR but we will see what the actual measure is when it’s published in the BOE but certainly it will be a negative test of some sort or proof of vaccine. It should be obvious but I’ll stress again anyway that whatever the UK decides with its coloured lists is irrelevant to this issue because this is about arriivng in Spain and crossing its border, whatever the UK’s rules are regarding departure from or return to Britain.
Updated 5 June: From Monday 7 June, Spain’s border controls will comprise the passenger locator form as currently, but instead of the PCR/TMA/LAMP test will now accept as alternatives from arrivals from EU-listed “risk countries” an EU-approved antigen test OR proof of having been vaccinated OR having recovered from covid. Please see HERE for the list of rules and regulations in place. Please also note that regardless of Spain’s stance, the UK still has the whole of Spain including the Canaries on its amber list which means quarantine and test on return to the UK … this is despite the fact that in terms of general “travel advice”, the UK excludes the Canaries from its advice not to travel to Spain.
Updated 24 May: Today, Spain is allowing British and Japanese visitors back into the country without restriction provided, in the case of the UK, that arrivals come straight here and haven’t been in a “risk country” in the previous fortnight. The real question is what happens when they return to the UK after their holiday. At present, Spain is on the UK’s covid travel “amber list”, but the UK’s “travel advice” is that visitors shoulld NOT go to Spain though the Canaries is excluded from that restriction. So the only question is whether the amber list and the travel advice cover the same territory, or not. If they do, then the Canaries are excluded from the amber list. If they do not, then the Canaries are included. The UK has listed HERE that Spain being on the amber list includes the Canaries and so returning British holidaymakers will have to quarantine when they get back to the UK.
Updated 22 May: The FCDO has updated its information on changes to Spain’s entry requirements for those travelling from the UK from 24 May onwards. The UK Government statement is below – please note that there are links in it to various forms or lists needed, and the original statement is HERE. The following is official from the UK and is all that I will be providing.
From 00:00 on 24 May, current entry restrictions and testing requirements for arrivals from the UK to Spain will no longer apply. However, travellers from the UK should be prepared to present evidence of a negative test if they have travelled to a country on Spain’s list of ‘risk countries’ in the 14 days prior to travel.
Entry restrictions and testing requirements continue to apply for travel to Spain from ‘risk countries’. You should refer to the Spanish Embassy or Consulate in the country you are in for further advice.
Some travel restrictions and testing requirements are in place for international transit through Spanish airports by passengers on flights departing from the UK. See Transiting Spain.
Since 23 November 2020, pre-travel COVID-19 testing requirements have been in place for those travelling by air and sea from ‘risk’ countries (as determined by the European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control). From 00:00 on 24 May, arrivals from the UK are no longer subject to this requirement but will have to complete a pre-travel declaration form.
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. If you are not in possession of a residence document, see Requirements for UK Nationals resident in Spain for further information.
Travellers should follow the advice of the local authorities on how best to protect themselves and others, including any measures that they bring in to control the virus.
Updated 8pm, 21/5: For reasons that some might find explicable, Spain appears to be allowing British nationals in without any tests or vaccines or any checks from 00h 24 May until 7 June whereupon they will require full vaccination. If anyone can make sense of this, wonderful. Maybe they think that the UK’s amber list will deter visitors anyway, I don’t know.
Updated 5pm, 21/5: I suspect the confusion is because British media sources have taken this as a translated piece … and got it wrong. That’s one possibility given the following:
Pedro Sánchez has from the 24th of May Spain will be delighted to receive British tourists again.” He also says that
A partir del lunes estará permitida la entrada de viajeros de países seguros no comunitarios, entre ellos Reino Unido. Además, desde el 7 de junio los turistas de países con los que no haya plena libertad de movimiento podrán venir a España si tienen pauta completa de vacunación.
You can googletranslate it if you don’t read Spanish but the video is below. As you will see, the PM quite clearly says that UK arrivals will be let in if only they have had the complete vaccination. EU nationals can come in with a test if their country is red on the risk map but non-EU nationals must have the vaccine. There is no confirmation on whether the unvaccinated can come at all, so we await confirmation of if they can come in with a test.
We await further clarity.
A partir del lunes estará permitida la entrada de viajeros de países seguros no comunitarios, entre ellos Reino Unido. Además, desde el 7 de junio los turistas de países con los que no haya plena libertad de movimiento podrán venir a España si tienen pauta completa de vacunación. pic.twitter.com/aAS7FYgzzI— Pedro Sánchez (@sanchezcastejon) May 21, 2021
Updated 21 May: Spain has added the UK to its list of countries which may enter without essential reasons from 00.00h this coming Monday. This means that British visitors may again return for holidays from then as far as Spain is concerned. As far as the UK is concerned, Spain remains on its amber list and so tourists have to quarantine on their return home. On entry to Spain … there are different reports about what is needed so you need to do your own due diligence. Between the Spanish PM, the Spanish Government website, Spanish Government press releases, the EU Schengen risk countries area listings, and the GovUK Spain Travel pages, the situation comprises some or all of the following requirements:
- Tourists can come from the UK
- Tourists must have been in the UK and not left it for the previous 14 days
- Tourists don’t have to have been in the UK and not left for 14 days
- They must bring a proof of vaccine (both doses where applicable) if they are coming without a test
- They must bring a proof of vaccine (both doses where applicable) if they are coming without a test from a risk country
- They must bring a PCR/TMA/Lamp test if country is “high risk” (EU says UK is high risk until 6 June)
- They do not need to bring any test at all
As I say, personal due diligence because I won’t be trying to unravel this.
Updated 13 May: The list of documents accepted as proof of residence has changed again, leaving off escritura, empadronamiento, rental and work contracts etc. Spain has issued a statement that UK nationals who were legally residing in Spain before 1 January 2021, and as such are beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement, can use one of the following to prove their residence status when entering Spain while entry restrictions remain in place
- Residence card issued under Article 18.4 of the Withdrawal Agreement (the TIE) – ‘la tarjeta de identidad de extranjero (TIE)
- Temporary or permanent EU residence certificate (green certificate) – ‘el certificado de registro de ciudadano de la Unión’ (tarjeta verde)
- Residence card as a family member of an EU citizen – ‘la tarjeta de familiar de ciudadano de la Unión’
- Receipt of application to exchange an EU residence certificate (green certificate) or residence card as a family member of an EU citizen for the new TIE (residence card issued under Article 18.4 of the Withdrawal Agreement) – ‘el resguardo de expedición de la tarjeta de identidad de extranjero (TIE) o de la tarjeta de familiar de ciudadano de la Unión’
- Confirmation of the positive outcome of your residence application from the Immigration Office – ‘la resolución favorable de reconocimiento como beneficiario del Acuerdo de Retirada emitida por la Oficina de Extranjería competente’
Updated 30 April: As happened at the end of last month, the rules for temporary restrictions imposed on third-country nationals entering the EU/Schengen (which includes Spain) have again been extended a month. The rules are HERE – they are from last July’s order and are bullet pointed below. They have now been extended from 30 April to 31 May (24.00h), and mean that entry to Spain – with a negative test and a passenger location form – is permitted only under one of the conditions listed below. Some countries like Brazil and South Africa have further restrictions, and all travellers must check the rules on leaving their place of departure as well as the rules on arrival at their destination.
- returning home with evidence of registration or living here
- with a visa
- health professionals
- diplomatic/military/humanitarian corps
- students for purposes of study
- essential/highly skilled workers
- imperative family reasons
- situation of force majeure or humanitarian necessity
Updated 31 March: Many will now have seen reports from the Olive Press in Spain, repeated almost verbatim in the Daily Mail today and so presumably appearing in other tabloids as well, about the 40 or so British nationals turned back at Alicante airport as a result of the new rules in place concerning eligibility to enter Spain. As described fully in updates below, the rules for entering Spain are those that were in place last year allowing only Spaniards, foreigners who are legal residents, and those with essential reasons to enter the country. As I’ve said many a time too, interpretation of rules is all down to the official you’re dealing with in any transaction so regardless of what the law is, it’s pointless shouting at someone who interprets it differently to you, especially when they have all the power and you none! If a border control official says no, then it’s not a maybe …
I’m not commenting in any depth on the pushback to this particular story. Some have claimed to have had all paperwork needed but this is now strongly disputed by officials involved; they’ve been described as deported but technically that’s not what is happening when someone’s refused entry; and the claim of “armed police” has been dismissed as a blatant attempt to talk up an experience as frightening, implying weapons drawn when, in fact, airports are routinely policed by official police forces in support of border control, and Spanish police are universally armed. I did, though, ask the FCDO for an official response to the specific incident, and a British Embassy spokesperson said:
We are aware that a number of UK Nationals were turned back from Alicante airport at the weekend and we have been in touch with the authorities. If a UK National has been prevented from entering Spain and wishes to make a complaint they should contact The Spanish Ministry of Interior or the Spanish National Ombudsman. If you are a UK National who has been turned away and you hold sufficient documentary evidence to prove you have legal residency in Spain – as per our Travel Advice – we stand ready to take this up with the Spanish authorities. You can get in touch with the Embassy here.
It is crucial that when making plans to travel from the UK to Spain, a UK National must make sure that they meet both the requirements to leave the UK and those to enter Spain, bearing in mind that they are not the same. Spanish rules set out that entry to Spain will currently only be granted to those passengers who can demonstrate that their journey falls under one of the allowed exemptions, as well as to those who are already legally resident in Spain. Prior to 30 March only those who were legally resident were permitted to enter. Ultimately, the decision on whether to grant entry into Spain is made by Spanish border officials. For the latest information and links to the restrictions on leaving the UK and entering Spain, we advise people to visit our Travel Advice page on gov.uk and sign up for alerts, so that they are notified of any changes: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain
Updated 30 March: I’ve said it myself until I’m blue in the face and now the UK Government has said it too. I’ve posted it HERE because it’s part of a statement about the 90 day expiry tomorrow, but it is of significance for anyone thinking of travelling to Spain. The bits that I think are relevant, that echo what I’ve said myself, I’ve put in bold:
If you are in the UK and considering travelling to Spain or are in Spain and have friends or family wanting to visit, you should be aware of the continuing travel restrictions on both leaving the UK and entering Spain. UK Nationals must make sure that they meet both the requirements to leave the UK and those to enter Spain, bearing in mind that they are not the same. From 30 March, entry to Spain will only be granted to those passengers who can demonstrate that their journey is essential, as well as to those who are already legally resident in Spain. Entering merely to visit, even if you have a second home here, is not a justified reason for entry. You may be questioned on arrival by Spanish border authorities to ensure you meet the entry requirements and they will only grant entry if they are satisfied that your journey to Spain is essential and reserve the right to deny passage. Ultimately, the decision on whether to grant entry into Spain is made by Spanish border officials as set out in our Travel Advice. For the latest information and links to the restrictions on leaving the UK and entering Spain, we advise people to visit our Travel Advice page on gov.uk and sign up for alerts, so that they are notified of any changes: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain
Updated 29 March: HERE is Spain’s official announcement, published today in the BOE, that the ban on direct arrivals by air and sea from the UK is not to be extended beyond Wednesday. The same announcement also officially confirms the extension of another set of rules by which third-country nationals may enter the EU/Schengen (which includes Spain). Those rules are HERE – the order from July last year which has now been extended to 24.00h 30 April this year, with the possibility of further extensions beyond that. Please note that although the UK will apparently let British nationals out even to view a property somewhere else, Spain won’t let them in for that purpose … probably other places won’t either. British nationals, and most other third country nationals, will be allowed in under one of the following conditions:
- returning home with evidence of registration or living here
- with a visa
- health professionals
- diplomatic/military/humanitarian corps
- students for purposes of study
- essential/highly skilled workers
- imperative family reasons
- situation of force majeure or humanitarian necessity
Updated 27 March: Yes they have changed again. They will continue to change while covid is still with us, and especially while people will seemingly only consider complying with measures brought in for their own safety if there are rules with serious penalties policed fully by armed security services … and sometimes won’t consider complying even then. So be it, covid will remain, and the rules will just keep getting more restrictive.
Spain has announced today that its border controls will now be applied to restrict visitors arriving by land from risk areas in France. They must have a PCR test (RT-PCR), a TMA test, or another type of diagnostic test for SARS-CoV-2 based on equivalent molecular techniques, with a negative result, carried out within 72 hours prior to arrival. The Order will take effect three days after publication in the BOE and will apply until the end of the health emergency to all over six years of age who are coming from the areas in France classified by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control as having a risk level of dark red, red, orange or grey (the levels are based on combined indicators set out in EU Council Recommendation this February). Road transport professionals are exempted in the exercise of their professional activity, as are workers and residents in the French-Spanish border area.
Updated 26 March: Good grief. Yes, Spain has not extended the ban on UK arrivals. This means that there is nothing to ban UK arrivals specifically because of the state of the outbreak in the UK. Meanwhile, however, Spain has introduced other measures specifically because of the covid outbreak throughout Europe and, particularly, Easter. These affect the entire country and mean that British nationals still cannot come in even though the ban has not been extended because there are now different measures in place, and these measures generally prevent arrivals from outside the EU and Schengen areas.
The bottom line is that both British and Spanish Governments say that third-country nationals cannot enter Spain unless they are resident or need to travel for reasons deemed essential as per the list given. In such cases they must bring a passenger location form, have a negative test (even if vaccinated at present because there’s no digital vac cert in place yet). There’s no contradiction, just different rules. And to the “oh so they’ve changed the rules again have they” mob the answer is yes, because there’s a pandemic and it’s constantly evolving so the rules do too. And no, I don’t care what “source” you can find that says otherwise when it’s different to what the two national Governments specifically involved both say …
In my opinion, any misunderstanding or misreading of this situation is due to the overwhelming desire to travel that so many have regardless of any legal or health considerations. When it’s reported, whether here or elsewhere, that the “ban on UK arrivals remains in place until 5pm, 30 March but if nothing changes between now and then, British visitors will be able to enter Spain with the regulations in force for all visitors at that point” this doesn’t mean (never did mean) that “holidaymakers can return with no restrictions”, it means that British nationals will be able to come “with the regulations in force for all visitors at that point”. These regulations currently require you to have a reason for travel that Spain deems “essential” or to be a legal resident of the country.
Updated 25 March: The FCDO has updated its travel advice for Spain following the announcement that the ban on arrivals direct from the UK will not be extended past 30 March. Since the announcement came around the same time that the UK updated its own travel rules, it’s important to note that whatever the UK allows, it has no power to grant anyone entry to another country: all it can do is legislate the reasons for which one can leave the UK. As third-country nationals, British visitors may still not just turn up in Spain, however many appointments, real or spurious, they’ve arranged with gestors, estate agents, banks, etc., to comply with British rules because there are travel restrictions in place as far as Spain is concerned, particularly for the fortnight surrounding Easter.
It’s obviously necessary given the queries I’m receiving to explain that the UK and Spain are different nation states. it’s like having two doors – one out of the UK and another second door into Spain: the UK opening one doesn’t mean that Spain automatically opens the other because each is a separate country with its own independent powers … you’ll have heard the word “sovereignty”, this is what it means. Whatever allowance the UK makes for leaving that country, Spain itself won’t allow entry for just any purpose: HERE is confirmation from the Spanish Embassy in the UK. The main points from today’s full FCDO statement (which is HERE) are:
Spain’s borders are open to European Union and Schengen-area countries.
On 22 December 2020, Spain introduced travel restrictions on passenger travel from the UK by air and sea, with the exception of Spanish or Andorran nationals and those legally resident in Spain or Andorra. The Spanish government has confirmed that these measures will be in place until 6pm (GMT+1) on 30 March 2021 (5pm / GMT in the Canary Islands).
After 6pm (GMT+1) on 30 March 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. For further information on the permitted reasons to enter Spain and necessary documentation see [the list below of] permitted reasons to enter Spain after 30 March 2021. …
Travellers arriving from the United Kingdom are not required to self-isolate on arrival in Spain. However, from the 23 November 2020, there are some requirements for testing on arrival for those travelling by air and sea. Spot checks may be carried out on arrival to confirm travellers have undergone a COVID-19 PCR, TMA or LAMP test and have tested negative. A minimum fine of €3000 may be issued to anyone who does not comply. …
If you are travelling by air or sea to Spain, you must declare on the mandatory ‘Health Control Form’ listed below, that you have undertaken a PCR, TMA or LAMP test within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival, have tested negative for COVID-19, and can show on request evidence certifying your results. …
Permitted reasons to enter Spain after 30 march 2021
From 6pm (GMT+1) on 30 March 2021 (5pm / GMT in the Canary Islands), passenger travel between the UK and Spain will resume, however entry restrictions and testing requirements will remain in force. Only Spanish citizens, those who are legally resident in Spain or those who can demonstrate through documentary evidence an essential need to enter Spain, will be allowed to enter the country. Permitted circumstances include:
- 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 who carry out their studies in the Member States or Schengen Associated States 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.
- 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 traveling for imperative family reasons who can demonstrate an essential need to travel.
All of the circumstances above must be justified by documentary evidence. You should be aware that you may be questioned on arrival by Spanish border authorities to ensure you meet the entry requirements. Spanish border authorities will only grant entry if they are satisfied that your journey to Spain is essential and reserve the right to deny passage.
Updated 23 March: Spain has extended the ban on South African and Brazilian arrivals until 13 April but not the ban on British visitors arriving direct by air or sea from the UK. The ban on UK arrivals remains in place until 5pm, 30 March but if nothing changes between now and then, British visitors will be able to enter Spain with the regulations in force for all visitors at that point. These include a passenger location form and, if the UK is still identified as a high risk country, a negative PCR/TMA/LAMP test (see HERE). Obviously this is the situation as far as Spain is concerned: the UK has its own ban on people travelling for leisure purposes.
Updated 9 March: Spain has extended its ban on non-residents or non-Spanish nationals arriving direct from the UK by air or sea. The extension is the fifth such, and is now in place to 5pm, 30 March, but could be extended again, naturally. The measures now also include a ban on air arrivals from Brazil and South Africa. There are details in previous updates just below on how residents can demonstrate their entitlement to return home to border control officials.
Updated 23 February: Spain has extended its ban on non-resident or non-Spanish national arrivals from the UK for the fourth time to 5pm, 16 March, hardly a surprise, really. Such arrivals from Brasil and South Africa are also banned because of the variants associated with those countries but they, unlike British arrivals, are required to undergo a compulsory ten day quarantine after arrival. (published in the BOE 26 Feb)
Updated 20 February: I hadn’t quite appreciated how determined some people are to travel even where it would break two countries’ laws and risk any number of lives in a global pandemic but hey ho, such is human nature.
An escritura is only accepted as proof of residence in the absence of other documents proving residence, and by simple definition it must anyway prove residence. This is not a loophole for non-residents to enter the country for the simple reason that an escritura doesn’t only show ownership of the Spanish property but the habitual address of the owner! Anyone resident in the UK is going to have that British address on full view when inspected by border control here who will be on the lookout because the person presenting it will only be doing so because they can’t produce an actual residence document. The address of the person claiming residence is not going to be something they consider irrelevant, and so it won’t escape their notice!
Please note the use of the word “credibly” in the item: “any other documents that credibly evidence legal residence before 1 January 2021 such as an Empadronamiento, contract of employment, rental contract or Escritura”. An address in the UK is not going to offer credible evidence of legal residence in Spain since it expressly says the person is resident in the UK. And to repeat, it is currently illegal for British residents to leave the UK to go on holiday as well as illegal for non-resident arrivals direct from the UK to enter Spain.
Updated 17 February: Spain has confirmed to the British government that UK nationals legally residing in Spain before the start of this year can again enter the country even if they didn’t have a Registro and don’t yet have a final TIE. You will recall that between 4 and 11 January Spain gave a window to enter for those who’d started the process of registration but had not yet received their final card. Now, residents can enter Spain with any of the following documents to prove their residence status:
- receipt of application for the TIE (Resguardo de presentación de la solicitud de la tarjeta de residencia)
- confirmation of acceptance of residence registration (Resolución favorable por la que se concede la tarjeta de residencia)
- any other documents that credibly evidence legal residence before 1 January 2021 such as an Empadronamiento, contract of employment, rental contract or Escritura
- for students, documentation that shows enrolment in an on-site or presencial course plus proof of accommodation
GovUK has updated its information today, please see HERE for full details, but do note that this is merely a change to the documentation required to prove residence. Everything else remains the same – you still need a passport, negative COVID-19 PCR, TMA or LAMP test, passenger location form etc. Do also note that there is a ban by the UK on travel for holiday or leisure purposes, and Spain itself bans entries by sea and air direct from the UK to all non-residents, so non-residents using Escritura of ownership to enter are arriving by making a fraudulent statement to a foreign country’s immigration authorities, not the safest situation to be in when passports are being stamped and lies can easily be exposed.
Updated 9 February: Spain’s ban on non-resident or non-Spanish national arrivals from the UK has been extended to 2 March. As before, those who are legally resident in Spain need to be able to prove it by means of a legal residence document, which is either a Registro (A4 or credit card size) or the new TIE.
Updated 26 January: Spain’s ban on non-resident or non-Spanish national arrivals from the UK has been extended for a third time to 16 February. It will make little to no difference for British travellers since the UK’s own lockdown prohibits international travel except for essential reasons which it expressly states do not include holidays, but the ban is extended all the same. As before, those who are legally resident in Spain need to be able to prove it by means of a legal residence document, which is either a Registro (A4 or credit card size) or the new TIE – both of which should be accepted now after initial teething problems with those trying to return with a Registro. There is no longer a window of return for those who’ve started the process but don’t yet have a TIE.
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.