The Spanish border: antigen tests NOT among proofs for entry to Spain for British visitors from 2 July

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.  

All passengers entering Spain will still be required to complete a pre-travel declaration form. Quarantine and testing on return to the UK continues to apply. See Returning to the UK.

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.

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’
There is confirmation in English in this letter:  
 
 

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
  • transporters
  • 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
  • transporters
  • 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: 

  • TIE
  • Registro
  • 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.  

80 Comments

  1. Author

    They are not concerned with UK legislation but with their own safety. They are legislating for themselves, and don’t look to the UK before they pass their own laws. It’s that simple.

  2. Not really sure what the point of keeping doing this as the UK are still min 3 months away even considering letting anybody fly to any destination let alone Tenerife (maybe you can enlighten me Janet) Very sad as we are seeing it getting more deserted by the week as all the swallows return home with the last ones including ourselves due out at the end of March. Let’s hope with the case/deaths falling rapidly in the UK and the very successful vaccination programme in place that we can all have a bit of hope later in the year when we return. 🤞 for a better 2021.

  3. Author

    of course not, snowy!!

  4. “Now residents can enter Spain with any of the following documents to prove their residence status”

    Janet I was merely responding to the original statement you made.

    I do hope you are not implying that I am prepared to break two countries’ laws etc etc to travel to Tenerife. I have already said that I have no intention of doing that.

    An escritura is a proof of title document and does not prove residential status. The fact that I read that it was a document now accepted by the Authorities to prove residential status surprised me, because clearly it does no such thing.

  5. Author

    Yes, it gives the habitual address, where one “resides” at the point of purchase, and so someone who might have been living in the UK when they bought the property and then moved to Tenerife, but who still doesn’t have a Registro or TIE or any other proof of residence, will not really expect to be allowed in. Unless they’re one of a vanishingly small minority of cases, they would have had plenty of time to register, surely, as required by law.

    I can see someone getting in if they used to be legally resident here when they bought the property and subsequently moved back to the UK and then wanted to come for a visit … but again I think that particular group would be quite small.

    The bottom line is that for an escritura to be accepted it must be accepted as credible evidence by the border control officer dealing with them. For that, it will need a Spanish address to have been given as the place of habitual residence.

  6. The Escritura gives the address of the buyer at the time he/she made the purchase doesn’t it? He or she may be subsequently living in Tenerife, or may not be.

  7. Look at it from an economic point of view…. Let ‘em come, let ‘em pay for their tickets, let ‘em be turned back and pay again. Good business practice for the airlines as long as they aren’t getting charged for it!
    Keeps flights in the air for those who really need to travel. (Not me!)

  8. Author

    Neil of course is completely right! The escritura is only accepted in the absence of other documents proving residence, and since an escritura shows not only ownership of the Spanish property but the habitual address of the owner, someone who is not resident in Spain won’t be able to use it to show they are resident here. Do 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”.

  9. Author

    The escritura contains information relating to your residence, normally on page 2. e.g. “domiciliados en 25 The Street, London SW1, Inglaterra, therefore proving you own a property in Spain however you are resident in UK. In my opinion if the escritura was to show domicilados as a Spanish address this is what they are accepting. I do not think an escritura with a UK residence will be acceptable as proof of residence!

  10. Well, looks like the quarantine ‘rubish’ may soon become a reality for Brits returning ftom Spain. We will know soon.

  11. Snowbird I have no idea what your wishes are. I simply replied to your question of opening the doors. Please do not jump to conclusions or offense where none is intended. As I said before we are all in the same position and I sincerely hope that soon we can all travel safely once more.

  12. Author

    not so much protestations to the contrary, I openly acknowledge that a non-res Escritura holder can enter … physically, but they’ll breaking the law of two countries to do so.

  13. I have no intention of breaking any rules myself. I am also well aware that there is a travel ban from the UK in any case. However it does appear to be the case now, despite your protestations to the contrary, that a UK resident could arrive in Tenerife from the UK with an escritura and be allowed to enter.

    How do you understand Julie what my wishes are? I am quite happy sitting this situation out in the UK and will visit Tenerife when I feel it is appropriate to do so.

  14. Author

    Julie’s absolutely right. Yes, non-residents can physically enter Spain, but the door is only open in that sense for those who don’t mind breaking British law because it is still illegal to travel out of the UK apart from urgent need or to “return home” to where they are actually resident, and don’t mind breaking Spanish law as well because despite allowing Escritura for entry, Spain is clearly stating that it is accepted as “proof of residence”. It therefore entails, in effect, a fraudulent declaration to one’s own country’s border force and, more significantly, to a third-country’s immigration authorities that one is resident there. I personally wouldn’t want to be caught in a foreign land (and that’s what Spain is in every sense now) having arrived by breaking the law of my own country to leave, and then lying to the foreign one to enter, especially when my passport would be stamped to give physical proof to my lies!

  15. No Snowbird it clearly hasn’t. The key word is residence! As Janet states too, both the UK and Spain currently have travel bans. Non resident property owners would be as guilty of abusing the rules as those in Ireland making fake dental appointments if they were to attempt to circumvent the rule of law.

    The whole world is waiting for a safe time to travel. Many immigrants here are desperate to visit family but we too have to be patient. I understand that you wish to be here but please stick to the rules and stay safe.

  16. The updated relaxed paperwork requirements allowing entry to Spain include Escritura or what the FCO refers to as “proof of property purchase”. Has the door opened for non resident swallows I wonder?

  17. Yes, I read that too Moira and that the Irish border control had been informed by Tenerife of the potential for fraud by these dreadful people. Because that’s what it is, in my opinion.

  18. Coincidentally I had read a news item in the U.K. about these dental appointments being booked as a means of being allowed to leave Ireland and enter Tenerife. Apparently though a least one person was turned back at Dublin Airport as this was not deemed to be sufficient to establish necessary medical treatment. Also the report stated that almost all of these appointments were not kept and so Tenerife dentists also were being scammed. That may be part of why, as reported in the podcast, many dentists now are refusing to make such appointments. It is just so sad and infuriating in equal measure that there are those who take such selfish pleasure in getting around rules.

  19. Author

    Ray, have a listen to today’s podcast with Clio and me … it could be dental appointments.

  20. I’m seeing reports of people arriving in Tenerife who are not Spanish citizens or residents. These reports seem to focus on those arriving from the Republic of Ireland. If true, how are these people gaining entry?

  21. Thanks for the correction Jon as I failed to mention the red list countries where England is concerned and also mentioned the situation in Scotland
    However the latest news is that the England red list will be extended to include countries where the Covid infection rate is above the UK old Travel corridor list figure of 20/100000 cases of infection
    One hopes this will not happen for Spain/Tenerife but the Covid situation seems to be so fluid and unpredictable one cannot look too far ahead
    Hopefully the EU will sort out the issues it created by ordering vaccines late so that we can all look towards a brighter future

  22. Jon – It extends also to ALL international arrivals flying directly into a Scottish airport – not just to those arriving from red list countries. If flights to the U.K. become scarce perhaps something those seeking to return to England from Tenerife should bear in mind before booking a flight to Glasgow.

  23. David.
    Please don’t bandy the “£1750 at time for quarantine” rubbish. That ONLY applies to Red List countries of which neither the Canaries nor so far Spain are on.

  24. Our Transport Secretary announcement states further down the situation regarding foreign travel is uncertain
    The staycation in the UK is being pushed as a means of reviving the UK economy
    Of course tour operators and airlines disagree although jet 2 etc won’t be doing holidays until late March now
    As to all of us pensioners who would like to come to Tenerife few will come without both vaccinations which will not be until end April at the earliest if allowed in!!
    Then how many will come if they have to say in a quarantine hotel for a week or two on return at £1750 a week each!!
    At this point visits to your lovely island for a holiday or like us to relocate are a matter of speculation
    At least it provides an opportunity for those to express thoughts on your wonderful website
    Sitting here looking at snow falling again the hope of some sun is just a wish for somewhere in the future , the difference being none of us should take anything for granted in the future
    Just keep safe and look after our friends and loved ones

  25. We will look forward to our supreme leader Boris addressing the nation tonight ( if we can see him as his hair is covering his whole face now) 😂

  26. Author

    It’s not the Tenerife Government’s law but Spain’s, but yes, this is independent of the UK’s lockdown and today’s warning by the Transport Secretary not to book foreign holidays. Given the last year, I hold out no hope that people will listen and Spain obviously agrees … and so needs to stop them physically coming! 😀

  27. The ban is already extended by the UK government as nobody can travel abroad anyway as a Uk citizen without a permit so even if the Tenerife government lift the ban it will not make any difference .The transport minister just announced that he has killed of hopes of foreign and Uk breaks this year which is very sad for an island already on its knees. (But next week the Uk will announce it will all be back on again 😂) The rollercoaster ride continues with the next article saying how can he stop 40 million vaccinated pensioners travelling and now another on saying the PM is to address the nation as lockdown end date given a major boost. 😞. I’m going for a 🍺 in the sun now Janet to try to digest all this with all the other swallows so no doubt it will be a lively afternoon.

  28. I agree that many who chose to travel may be considered authors of their own misfortune. It may also be that there will be ever fewer flights. While it may not be palatable as a route back to the U.K. I understood that ferries from Tenerife to mainland Spain still were sailing and as such an overland (and sea) route may still be open for those who otherwise may overstay?

  29. Author

    I won’t open a new thread because this isn’t a forum but a blog, and it isn’t about travel or tourism, but yes, swallows stuck here are in a difficult position. I don’t know what the answer is, but the UK and Spanish Governments are quite clear: they must leave by end March or they exceed 90 days. This will have an effect on future visa or residency applications, potentially even visitor access to Spain, because they will have violated immigration legislation, however inadvertently or unwillingly they did so.

    Both Governments confirm (as of only last week) that only those in exceptional circumstances may be granted permission to overstay … and by exceptional they mean exceptional, so someone with a very serious illness who physically cannot leave sort of level, not “feel safer here and don’t want to go”. Sadly, that would have been avoidable by following all official advice and requests over the past year not to travel during the global pandemic. Now, however, I have no advice to give them because there isn’t a way around it. They must leave. If they cannot, they are at the mercy of the consequences, I’m afraid.

  30. Extension of restriction to entrants to residents and
    nationals has an ongoing effect on people already here.
    Can we have a new thread on that aspect, please?

    The new requirement from 15th Feb for UK entrants to
    have three tests makes it doubtful if many people will
    choose to take a short trip BUT several people in Spain
    arrived months ago – before the threat of ten years in
    jail became part of HMG plan.

    In particular “swallows” need to leave Spain by 31st
    March to avoid being over-stayers in Schengen and
    thus excluded from most of Europe for the rest of
    their lives. The question is whether they can get away
    in time. UK airlines have halted flights until 26th March
    and may now find it uneconomic to operate even those
    with reluctance to undertake quarantines and to take
    (and pay for) the sequential PCR tests on return.

    The “swallows” may be squeezed – unable to leave as
    no UK-bound flights and unable to stay as then liable
    to be excluded from Spain and other countries.

    What can/should they do?

  31. Author

    And if we can leave this post now anyway to points or questions relating to the denial of boarding to those with Registros … 😉

  32. I think this has now become overkill Phillip. As Mencey said earlier I am aware of the taxation regime in Spain and the letting regulations.

  33. Author

    Since the tax year is a calendar year it’s at least clear that we’re talking about a particular year. Beyond that, it depends on the Withdrawal Agreement’s view of tax. Is the UK considered a third-country for this purpose from the date of leaving the EU (31.1.20) or the end of the Transition Period (31.12.20). If the former, then the rate will apply for tax due for 11 months of last year; if the latter then the rate will apply only from 1 January this year and so not be payable until next year. I do not know, and as you know, I don’t answer tax questions. That’s my analysis of the situation but the answer needs to come from a professional.

  34. Does the new rate of 24% apply to this years payment due by the 31st Dec 2021 as the tax works a year behind.

  35. It is possible to rent legally in a residential complex as Janet’s links in may posts on illegal letting explain. It is not legal to let touristically in a residential complex.
    With regard to tax, it is very likely that taxes to non residents will increase as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

  36. Unfortunately the rate of tax is going to increase because British people are not part of the EU.

  37. Author

    To reply for myself to Bill, I’m afraid that is completely wrong, in all respects. It is not a wealth tax. A wealth tax is imposed in addition but is only for multi-millionaires so I presume that most of us don’t much need to worry about it. Moreover, deemed notional rental income doesn’t care how many properties one owns: it’s imposed even if an owner only has one! Also, it is not taxed on all including Spanish citizens and the fiscally resident: it is a NON-RESIDENT tax, so it is imposed only on non-residents! It is a deemed rental income tax imposed on those who do not submit annual residents’ income tax returns in which they can declare any rental income. (Non-residents should also declare any legitimate rental income and the liability for those periods is not subject to the notional rental income tax).

  38. Thank you Bill and Mencey. I think that what Janet has written, as usual, is absolutely correct.
    Anyway I unfortunately do not own more than one property in Spain in any case, or perhaps I should say fortunately.
    Also I fully understand Phillip that you have to pay the taxes levied by the Spanish state. However in my opinion it is completely disingenuous of one part of the Government to fine those living in residential complexes if they were caught renting out, as was happening a few years ago, as such activities are deemed illegal, whereas another part of the same Government at the same time assumes that people in residential complexes do actually illegally rent out and the Government charges an income tax on the notional rental income.
    I do apologise if my tongue in cheek comment caused some concern 😀

  39. Author

    Janet has explained it HERE, but I’m sure that Snowbird is fully aware anyway

  40. Snowbird the tax you refer to is not a letting tax but a wealth tax applicable to all who own more than one property. It is taxed to all including Spanish citizens and those like me who are fiscally resident and pay the tax along with my yearly tax return. It is a widely misunderstood tax. I think it is based on the fiscal value of your second property set by the Ajuntamiento and a multiplier.

  41. Unfortunately ‘deemed rental tax’ is not seen as bogus by the Spanish Tax office and has to be paid. There are many taxes that may seem unfair but that’s just how it is!

  42. No Phillip I made a tongue in cheek comment that as my imaginary illegal renters cannot visit my property, I eagerly await my refund of the bogus tax on my imaginary rental income.

  43. I really do not understand the logic of believing taxes should be waived if owners cannot access their apartments. The property is on Spanish soil and subject to taxes regardless of whether it is being used or not – as it would be in the UK for second home owners (even community charge relief is not readily available from local authorities in the UK now).
    As for community fees – what would happen to the buildings and maintenance if they were not paid by owners who could not access their properties – what about the people who can, or indeed who actually live here and expect services to be maintained.

  44. Author

    You could only access for six months anyway! This is precisely because swallows want UK tax residence which requires that! The ONLY difference now is that this must be in two blocks of three months at most rather than just under six months in one go.

  45. Spanish Government extend ban on UK tourism to 19 January today according to FO website
    Not really surprised due to large amount of UK in Tier 4 but just hard on those in areas like ours that have worked hard to stay in a lower tier, for example we are 135 out of 146 local authorities for Covid cases per day where 1 is the worst!

  46. Must say I have sympathy with Snowbirds predicament.
    I am in the same position. It doesn’t seem fair that all the taxes ,community charges, car tax etc are based on 1 year use yet we can only access for 6 months!
    Must check out this residency situation more thoroughly!!!

  47. Author

    It is, snowy, it’s just that it doesn’t make someone a resident …

  48. I’ve just had confirmation from my gestor that my 2019 taxes have been paid via submission of Modelo 210. The tax authorities assume (incorrectly) that I have been renting my property out (illegally) as a non resident and I have a tax levied on the assumed rental income. I have been paying this bogus tax for many years along with all the other taxes relating to property ownership. As I am currently unable to visit my property, I am looking forward to the rebate that I and the many thousands of non resident property owners will be getting. 😂

    There are tens of thousands of non resident property owners in Tenerife, there are over 100 in my complex alone. We all made significant investments in Tenerife in good faith and have made substantial contributions to the economy of Tenerife over the years.

    I would hope that my status as a non resident property owner would in some way be accorded some recognition.

  49. Author

    Hard to clarify something that’s already crystal clear. Only legal residents can enter – which swallows are not, by their own choice. Ownership of property is a complete irrelevance in this respect despite the frequent conviction by owners that their status is different in some way.

  50. Subject to the above restriction (and any exit restrictions eg from tier 4 in the UK), has there been any clarification regarding the ability of property-owning swallows to enter Tenerife? I don’t know whether Julia is one of these but I am and would be very grateful for an update.

  51. Author

    The actual decree (to which there is a link in the post) says “se considera oportuno extenderla durante 14 días, periodo que podrá prolongarse si es necesario en función de la evolución de la situación y de la pandemia y de las decisiones que puedan adoptarse de forma coordinada en la Unión Europea.” i.e. the ban lasts 14 days and could be extended depending on the evolution of the situation and decisions adopted by the EU as a coordinated response. So there is no fixed date for a review.

  52. Is it known when the ban on UK visitors to the Canaries will be reviewed? I am a ‘swallow’ due to return to Tenerife on Jan 6 after a Christmas visit to the UK and it would be helpful to know when to check if I’ll be allowed back. Your site has been an invaluable help during this crisis. Thank you.

  53. Author

    I don’t know Heather, no-one does. We simply must wait for the official announcements because even if we did have a good idea now, the evolution of the outbreak could change over the next few hours, let alone several days. And now there is at least one super-spreading variant here (the “UK one” as it’s being called to distinguish it from the “Japanese one” or the “South-African one” which so far don’t seem to have been found in Spain) there is no way of telling what Spain will do.

  54. Hi Janet
    Do you think we will be allowed back after Jan 5 th ( with a negative test of course). We are waiting to see the Notary and have already missed one appointment!
    Thank you
    Heather

  55. Given the new mutation (initially reported in the UK) and it’s prevalence throught the country, it would be irresponsible for the authorities here to lift this ban on 5th January. It should remain in place indefinately in order to protect us.

  56. The cases in the south have indeed been rising rapidly and saying they aren’t is a bit much, and simply untrue. None of us can afford to become complacent. Also, I don’t know where you have been but I can also assure you that, until these latest restrictions were put in place, there were many people not complying with the rules, particularly with the capacities inside and outside bars, mainly expats too. Thankfully, as inside areas are now closed off, non compliance is easier to spot by the authorities and maybe people have realised this. Plus, closing at 10pm seems to be having a big impact too. At long last, the south is finally getting the message that it is NOT just “in the north”.

  57. Ruby. 16 January – I know that’s a couple of weeks away but we’re currently enjoying some much needed and very welcome rain – even here in the south (very heavy at times) and it’s not particularly warm! Perhaps in two weeks time it will be normal service resumed in the weather department but this current ‘interlude’ is a perfect reason for me not going anywhere, doing anything and avoiding people – call it ‘social distancing’ rather than ‘anti social’!!

  58. Author

    And you may yet be able to. The current ban on UK arrivals who are neither residents nor Spanish nationals lasts until 5 January. After that, we will need to wait and see. As the FCDO says, travel bookings are currently subject to disruption.

  59. We are flying out on the 16th january and as I and my husband booked this a year ago and we have both have to be negative before we fly out I cant see a problem .We are staying in the south and just want to sit in the sun as we are oap and arthritic so the sun does help .

  60. Whilst the absolute number might be low, active cases in Santiago del Teide ayuntamiento have risen 400% over the past 3+ weeks. I think the same is true in neighbouring districts. I’ve heard others here suggesting that all the issues are in the north of the island but I don’t subscribe to the view

  61. Close the motorways between the north and south of the island to all but essential journeys. It would be relatively easy to Police and would give them something to do as let’s face it the Police have been notable by their absence during the Christmas period.

    The south has seen very few cases and ex pats/locals are well behaved as far as I have seen.

    Anyone who wants to go shopping in the north from the south should seriously be asking themselves whether that journey is really necessary.

  62. This all makes sense, and no doubt SOME tourists from the UK due to them not wishing to comply to rules here. But so too are some of the bars and restaurants who didn’t follow the rules and allowed people to break rules etc.
    The biggest problem however is what is happening in the North.
    On a recent visit to Santa Cruz, I visited several large stores including amongst others IKEA, Leroy Merlin…. The controls etc in the stores are a total joke. Particularly in the case of Leroy Merlin, it was so busy, and the way they have the shop set up meant it was impossible to keep a safe distance. I frequently visit Leroy Merlin and it was the busiest I have ever seen it, yet they are supposed to be restricted in numbers.
    Yet these and similar large companies are still open and continue to trade. If the Police cared to visit them they would get a small fortune for the rule-breaking. Whilst small bars and restaurants who can easily control there customers are the ones that get fined and are being closed down or restricted to the point they cant make a living.
    I almost laughed when I here the President painting the picture “that its not just two regions”…….I don’t think the penny has dropped that a lot of people from the south and other areas are going to these same stores, mixing with those from the North and then most likely taking the virus back with them back south.
    But hey, lets help the small stores and businesses suffer and let the big boys just do what they want.

  63. Any tourist coming to the island had to have a valid pcr test. I therefore don’t understand all the angst against tourists? The virus in the south of England has mutated; so it will most likely do that in Tenerife if it hasn’t done so already. We will be back as visitors when there’s the all clear and no bickering as to whether we should be there or not. Chill out and enjoy the lovely weather you have whilst I grit my teeth and say “Lucky beggars”. Joyeux Noel et Bonne Annee.

  64. 2nd Jan? Unless you are a Spanish citizen and/or resident your banned so won’t be coming.

  65. Just had an email from Ryanair today to say my return flight from Tenerife to Leeds on 16th Jan is cancelled. No mention of my flight out booked for 2nd Jan.

  66. And we now know this ban will apply until 5th Jan 2021, including these islands. So this time Toress is forced to toe the line.

  67. Well said Mencey. Fewer people, fewer contacts, fewer infections. As the saying goes ‘it’s not rocket science’.

  68. Author

    Well, personal experiences are bound to differ, but on the few occasions that I venture out, I am impressed as to how locals actually keep to the rules. In the past few months I don’t think I have seen anybody without a face mask, and behaviour in supermarkets is beyond criticism. I don’t venture into tourist areas, by the way. Frankly, I am tired of attempts at analysis of where the cases are and whether tourists contribute to the figures or not. Most people on the island live in the north, so it’s hardly surprising that most of the cases are there. So what? Allowing tourists from a country of high risk is not going to improve the situation and might well make it worse, so why encourage people to travel around when that will inevitably increase the probability of increased cases? Responsible tourists might be indignant about proportioning blame, but the reality is that the virus is spread by people moving around, and people moving around, especially those from abroad, are NOT behaving responsibly. Quite honestly, somebody visiting Tenerife 5/6 times per year during a pandemic should seriously consider thinking about other people for once, not themselves.

  69. Finally, a decision which makes sense. Makes me feel much better.
    As far as paperwork goes, if I travel, I have all my papers with me, nothing more than common sense. I also have copies of all documents. I am registered with the embassy.
    If you are in an application process, you either don’t travel or have a valid confirmation with you (whatever this might be). This is not rocket science but part of living abroad.
    Oh, this brings back old memories, having worked with “expats”.
    By the way, as a “half European”, I know from experience how to follow the rules, whether I agree with them or not.
    Best wishes
    Ruth

    P.S. love the mole in a balaclava.

  70. Actually glad to see the strong action being taken both internally and on tourism.BUT – where is the enforcement? Still seeing a great many unmasked people, but very few police or enforcement patrols compared to March. Let’s take this seriously

  71. Love the mole in a balaclava, Janet. 🙂 And I agree with you, this was so obviously going to happen, I can’t imagine why people are even surprised, never mind shocked

  72. Author

    Since residents need registration paperwork, as advised recently by the FCDO (see HERE), I would say that it depends on whoever is checking arrivals as to whether they accept an application, as opposed to actual registration documents, is acceptable. I would check with the FCDO.

  73. We are in the UK at the moment as we needed to come back for a funeral. We rent a place in Tenerife. We have Padron and NIE. We have just been approved for residency just need our fingerprints etc. We are returning on 29th. Will we be classed as residents as my daughter goes to school in Tenerife. I have all the paperwork with me.

  74. Lee. A blessing in disguise, I agree. Certainly I will rest easier, seeing how the tourists that are already here are behaving. Christmas is bringing back the grief for so many people who have lost someone to Covid this year, and seeing people risking their own health and that of the residents just to have a holiday is not an easy sight for them.

  75. The new strain could be a blessing in disguise for Tenerife.
    The suspension of arrivals from Britain might give us the opportunity to get the numbers down again before introducing a more measured approach to restarting tourism from the UK.
    I appreciate that today’s news will be devastating for many people, but we couldn’t continue the way we were, something needed to change.
    On the whole I’m seeing this as a positive for the island in the long run.

  76. Author

    No credit to me for that, that was the Foreign Office … but to be fair, a mole in a balaclava could have foreseen this!

  77. I remember you advised some days ago that those leaving the island should make sure they had all their residency paperwork with them to be sure of being re-admittance. What foresight!

  78. Author

    No idea, you need to ask the airlines. But my guess is that at least some flights will continue simply because there will be a number of people needing to return home both to the UK and from it. Airlines have the incentive to fly because that way they need not compensate passengers who can’t join them.

  79. How do Spanish residents go about returning, will some flights continue to run?

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