FCDO statement on 31 March as post-Brexit 90 day limit

Updated 4 March: The FCDO is obviously as inundated as I and many other advisers are right now with people seeking to extend their visits beyond 90 days. The simple fact is that 31 March is 90 days after the end of the Brexit Transition Period and so British nationals cannot stay beyond that unless they receive permission from the Spanish Immigration authorities and it is currently unclear how that works. We have two pieces of information only: that the permission must be sought in advance, and that it will only be granted in extremis for serious emergencies.

The best advice for those who cannot or don’t want to leave, as I’ve said before and as the FCDO says here, is to speak to the Extranjería, and do it before 31 March. Easier said than done, however, because it’s already clear that the Comisaría in Las Américas cannot help so this means Santa Cruz … and it’s not at all clear that they can help either. The bottom line is that 31 March is 90 days from the end of the Transition Period and anyone who overstays that allowance risks jeopardising future visits … not just to Spain, but to the whole Schengen area, which is most of the EU. This is simple fact, not scaremongering, gloating or remoaning, but something that was a known known before Brexit and is now a practical certainty to deal with after Brexit. This is from the FCDO today:

We have had lots of messages from those of you who are visiting Spain for leisure (principally second home owners, who are not resident in Spain) asking about the 90/180 day rule. This is because, since 1 January 2021 UK nationals are able to visit countries in the Schengen Area for up to 90 days in any 180 day period without a visa. For details see: https://www.gov.uk/visit-europe-1-january-2021 and our Spain travel advice ‘entry requirements’ page: https://www.gov.uk/foreign…/spain/entry-requirements

Any stays beyond the 90 days in any 180-day period will be dependent on the applicable visas and immigration rules for Spain. This may require applying for a visa and/or permit.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office is not able to comment on Spanish immigration policy. We would advise you to therefore direct any queries to the relevant Spanish authority. If you are currently in Spain, you should direct queries on possible extensions to your length of stay to your local ‘extranjería’ office, details of which can be found here:

https://www.mptfp.gob.es/…/extranj…/extranjeria_ddgg.htm or by calling 060.

If you are currently in the UK but wish to travel to Spain in order to work or for longer stays, you should check with the Spanish consulate in the UK what type of visa you may need prior to travelling: http://www.exteriores.gob.es/…/Consulado/Pages/Visas.aspx

Original post 25 January: After several questions about 90 day rights, part-time residents’/swallows’ rights, what can be done to “get around the rules”, whether NIEs or rental contracts are enough (answer is no) … I am reproducing here what is already in the Swallows section of THIS page because some are clearly finding it difficult to find. Following, then, is the information again with relevant links, for those who are neither residents nor <90-day holidaymakers. Please note that if there is a link to an external source, it is there that any further questions about its contents should be directed.

Those who consider themselves part-time residents, a category we know as swallows, are in something of a difficult position now that the Brexit Transition Period is over. Anyone coming to live here for more than three months must register but, in a second rule that is less widely known and even less complied with, must deregister (request a “baja” of their registration) when they leave to live somewhere else. Even if they do not, however, their registration will lapse after a certain period of time: Spanish law (articulo 162.2e of Real Decreto 557/2011) provides for temporary residents to lose their residence status after six months in a year while those with permanencia can be outside of Spain for five years before losing theirs thanks to rights guaranteed in Article 15.3 of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. This has not been an issue previously because as nationals of an EU member state, British visitors have come and gone without passports being checked or stamped: that easy pass through border control points, or even using the EU channels in airports, has now stopped.

Swallows, indeed, have not been able to visit for more than six months a year anyway because beyond that they automatically become fiscally resident in Spain, the very thing many wish to avoid: please see HERE and HERE for fuller explanations from tax specialists on tax residence. Many swallows, however, typically visit Tenerife for four or five months at a time, and so although the six month rule is not an issue for them, they will only be able to continue to visit as they like if they apply for and are granted a visa. In 2020, the FCDO confirmed that the British and Spanish authorities were aware of “the swallow issue”, and there were hopes that some sort of arrangement would be put in place for them. Nonetheless, the Transition Period has passed and British temporary visitors remain without any special rules. Instead, the UK has referred enquiries to the Spanish authorities – please see HERE for information about visas that can allow temporary residence in Spain beyond 90 days.

In a nutshell, swallows now face three problems:

  1. since the Transition Period ended, non-residents are restricted by Schengen Area rules to 90 days visa-free travel in any 180 day period as are all other 3rd-country nationals. For those here before the start of 2021, this clock started counting on 1 January so calculations only need to include the part of the visit from then. For more details on the 90/180 limit, please see the Brexit post HERE, and there is also a Schengen Calculator HERE or visa calculator. com to work out permitted timings;
  2. anyone who is caught staying longer than 90 days without either registering with the police or having a valid visa no longer has the protection previously enjoyed of being an EU national in an EU country. This could mean, ultimately, that they are prohibited from returning to Spain or even, the FCDO has confirmed, be deported from Spain, because British nationals have lost the effective immunity to real sanctions that EU nationals have;
  3. the criteria for registering as a resident are more stringent and yet registration, or a visa that wasn’t previously required, is very much more important in order to be legal in the EU as a non-EU national.

It’s pretty undeniable that in the past many swallows registered with the police specifically to get a Registro to enable them to enjoy the rights of EU nationals and the benefits of residency, including discounts on regional travel and venue entries, while leaving the country for months on end without deregistering with the police and then returning to Spain as though they lived here. Their main motive was to retain British tax residence status which required them actually to be resident in the UK and physically there for at least six months of a year. They wanted the best of both worlds, in short. The word cakeism has been thrown about quite a bit through the Brexit negotiations, but there are no more cherries to pick from this one now that the UK has chosen to leave the EU which provided those benefits.  


  1. Sorry apologies, that of course should say leaving the EU

  2. Fine comments Eugene, I am pleased you understand there are two sides to everything. I love Tenerife wholeheartedly, have owned property on the island and visit for long periods every year but still thought leaving the Uk was the best for my country. I am rather upset at constant criticism about this from people who no longer live in the Uk themselves. Please, accept our choice and lets all move forward

  3. Apologise for me English but I have followed the debate. I think the English have made a bad idea but this discussion is one sided and typically of a small overseas community. You fail to see people can vote for what they think is the best for there country long term which may not be in there own best position – why could someone not vote to leave EU but enjoy living in Spain- my be they are the unselfish people. Please open your eyes and not just think about you – the answer of what is best will not know for long time. Please see both sides rather than narror view of ex pat editors who perhaps left England a long time ago and have lost connection with there l as lands (I live near Paris and have English grandchildren)

    1. Author

      There are so many issues here, it’s hard to know where to start.
      1) The discussion on this post is principally concerned with the consequences of Brexit and the undeniable fact that many people voted for Brexit and are then upset about the consequences to themselves. In particular, the 90-day rule which was an absolutely clear and predictable situation before the vote took place. Anybody who voted for Brexit and is outraged by the 90-day rule is simply an uninformed turkey who voted for Christmas. It is amazing how many people expect to get the best of everything without accepting the disadvantages of their decisions.
      2) Obviously people can vote for what they think is the best for their country, but I fail to see the logic of why somebody has that right when they don’t even live there. I still contend that voting for Brexit whilst enjoying living permanently in Spain is monumentally hypocritical. This has nothing to do with whether I personally think Brexit is a good idea or not.
      3) I don’t think it fair to suggest a narrow view when you are making assumptions about me which are incorrect. I am perfectly capable of seeing all views expressed, both for and against Brexit, because it is not a black and white situation. The future of the UK continues to be of much importance to me for various reasons. As for the suggestion of selfishness, perhaps you may like to consider the utter selfishness of people to whom I refer in 1) and 2).

      In summary, I would say that the editorial stance here is simply to represent the situation as it is, with all the consequences which have resulted from Brexit for all those with an interest in Tenerife. We deal with any number of complaints about it and all we can do is say, well, that’s tough, not my fault. I don’t think that represents a narrow view, even if it might come across as such because so far, all the consequences are negative. We shall of course report on positive ones when we find one.

      1. Author

        I can’t improve on Mencey’s reply, and so I’m closing the post to comments now. The fact is that 90 days in 180 is all you get unless you get a visa or are able to register as a PERMANENT resident in Tenerife … and if you do and it isn’t permanent it will lapse anyway once you’re out of Spain for more than six months a year. That is all a direct result of Brexit, and if you voted against it or were unable to vote against it and are shafted by it, you have my sympathy. If you’re shafted by your own vote, however, then you will just have to deal with it. If the sitution changes or we find the holy grail of any positive Brexit outcome as far as British nationals living In Tenerife are concerned (which is after all the point of this particular website regardless of any personal view), we will of course shout about it.

  4. Hello Janet,
    Could you please explain the purpose of the 90 day in any 180 day rule and who does it benifit.

    Many thanks

    1. Author

      I suggest you have a look at the EU’s own explanation HERE rather than ask me … or have a look HERE, the EU’s FAQ on the Schengen area. For future reference, if you google something like “Schengen 90 day rule eu” it’s the first result you come to and takes just as long as it takes to type the few words. I’m afraid I don’t see why I should be asked to provide a justification of European Union policy for people who don’t like the 90 day rule – which I assume is your stance from your previous question and the tone of this one.

  5. Shame that you fealt the need to sell up Gabby but I understand your comment on the previous 3 month rule. I also understand and agree with your comment re whinging but unfortunately some just cannot accept that they can no longer cheat the system by ignoring that same 3 month rule.

  6. Not sure why anybody in their right mind would want to chop their nose off to spite their face and sell a second home in Tenerife when you can still spend 180 days over here with a 90 day break. Please enlighten me Gabby as you are the one losing out in my opinion.

  7. For goodness sake. Why are people still querying and not getting the 90 day thing. It’s always been there for third countries. It was flagged up at least 18 months plus ago. And Janet is right – we are not classed as tourists, and yes we spend a lot over our six months. But legally we should never have been there in the first place for more than 3 months. We got lucky. I got lucky. Spent 15 wonderful winters in Tenerife – most definitely my second home. But have now sold up two months ago and back in a very cold U.K. I voted to remain – but it is as it is. Take out residencia, stick to the 90 day rule or sell up. But stop whinging.

  8. As you, obviously, seem to mainly receive emails from the ones disgruntled over either Brexit or the 90 day rule I would like to hope that surely most people from the Uk fully understood and accept the rules now in operation. I would also guess most are quite happy with the 90/180 day rule, thats quite adequate for most holidaymakers.
    One aspect of Brexit of course, from the other perspective, is that it will stop the large proportion of Uk residents who lived most of the year in the Canaries but popped “back home” for all & sundry operations, treatments etc on our Nhs. These people will surely now become EU residents and rightly so.
    Finally I think there may be a misunderstanding about how the 90/180 rule can be applied in that I believe visitors to the Uk can use their 180 days in one go should they so wish. The reverse does not apply the opposite way – and so be it.
    Thanks for all your useful info Janet, it is indeed a very helpful website and cuts through the bullshit so to speak

  9. Well if I didn’t know better I’d think the residents of the Canaries are ante-British. I recall not so long ago talking with several business owners across the island of Tenerife, who to a man all agreed that without tourists from the UK, the entire economy would falter. They all agreed that the British tourist was the lifeblood of Tenerife and who am I to disagree.

    1. Author

      They are important, and the main source of income for the tourism sector, a sector that is currently under complete revision and redesign because it was on the menu anyway and covid has forced it. As to lifeblood of Tenerife, though, no. Tourism is our main income but we have tourists from all over, and whilst the British market is the main one, it is far from the only one. No-one is “anti-British” but plenty are anti-populism, anti-Brexit, and anti-nationalist exceptionalism, which sadly comes across loud and clear from a certain sector of the market.

      It will be interesting to see how this develops in many ways, but as I’ve said many a time before, swallows are not viewed as part of the tourism market so it is entirely among the British community that this confusion exists. The future will be what it will be and debate is now pointlessly outdated. Swallows are currently entitled to 90 days in any 180 regardless of how many properties they bought or how much they spend while here … as I’ve explained so many times, what they call their investment was a private purchase of a property from a private vendor, and the fiscal benefit to Spain would apply whoever had bought it. Their expenditure, too, would be made by whoever bought it. British tourists are – officially – those who stay in regulated tourist accommodation. These are the people whose expenditure is counted among tourism resources. Others are resident or private investors who can use their own property as long as they like and become tax resident automatically over 183 days in a year … no direct tourism benefit any more than there is from my own residence here.

      This post is about the 90 days issue which, despite every attempt to talk it up, explicitly remains – officially from Spanish and UK Governments as of only yesterday – that British nationals wishing to spend more than 90 days in any 180 day period must apply for the non-lucrative visa at the Spanish Consulate before leaving the UK. Those already in Spain who feel the need to stay over 90 days will only be considered as an exception in exceptional circumstances such as severe illness. If there is any change in this position I’ll post about it but this was a known known before Brexit and is a confirmed known now Brexit is “done”.

      As to the wild rumours going the rounds saying that the problem is just that the UK just didn’t ask for it, this is simply untrue and wrong. The UK and Spain both said it was “on their radar”. The UK asked for it. It was not possible because the rule is not one of any EU country, let alone Spain, but of the Schengen area. This was known, warned about, and dismissed as project fear, but anyone let into one country is in Schengen and making an exception for one third-country would result in demands from others, and even just one would undermine Schengen area security. I doubt any EU country which is a constituent member of the Schengen area would make a unilateral decision that violates the whole zone, especially when the EU only today is calling for rules to be tightened, let alone loosened. Yet again, the bullshitters are rampant. Sadly Project Reality is a thing …

  10. It would be nice to try to see any winners out of all of this disruption but unfortunately everybody seems to have lost out one way or another including many of our friends and entertainers who have closed their businesses out here and returned to the uk as they have lost all their income and with a very uncertain future of ever returning. To see Tenerife bleeding out is heartbreaking. Very 😢. I hope this year people will stop point scoring and all try to help others as Brexit is done and whatever your views there is no going back at this time as the future of the eu is very uncertain as the decision makers in Brussels seem hell bent on upsetting many of their own eu members .Let’s all hope and pray for a better and more peaceful 2021.

  11. But he is British so, like me, voted for what he belived would be most beneficial for Britain in the longer term. The fact that he, and I, decided to live in Tenerife for a period of time as residents has no practical bearing on the way we decided to vote in the referendum and we are here as British citizens not Spanish citizens. Yes, EU rules apply to us here but that does not impact on our home nation, Britain.

    I truly belive that some simply cannot grasp that the issue was and still is Brussels and not Europe.

  12. Aren’t indistinguishable I should say …

  13. Not sure that a nation and its people are indistinguishable … if John now chooses to be resident in Spain then EU rules applying to Spain surely would also apply to him?

  14. Regarding property prices, could this be a future factor. An article in CW states that permission to purchase by Brits must now be granted by the military in most parts of the Canary Islands and relates to some very old laws. Is this actually true, or a typical CW “misunderstanding”.

    1. Author

      Hi Del, it’s true but there are exemptions for highly tourist areas and some residential areas where the Ministry has given blanket PGO exemptions, so the majority of foreign buyers won’t be affected. I’m currently aware, however, of one required of a British national buying a property well away from the coast in Tenerife and not near any military installation, and am seeking legally-confirmed opinion as to what areas specifically are affected and what the precise process is of getting such a permit. The one I’m aware of right now has at least clarified that third-country buyers who do need a military permit must submit a criminal record check from their own country as part of the application … again I’m bang in the middle of getting confirmed info together before posting about it, which I prefer to do rather than wind everyone up with something that might be inapplicable to 99% of buyers.

  15. It’s the climate Mency. That’s why there aren’t many expats in Siberia.

    If Spain and it’s citizens want to be part of the EU then that’s fine. It’s their democratic choice.

  16. Think you missed the key point Moira. Ruling from afar refers to the nation (United Kingdom) being ruled from afar. Not individuals.

  17. Well said John.

    My own personal view on this matter are that those now complaining were the same people who could, and did, openly flout registration requirements prior to brexit and don’t like the fact that they can no longer do that. They’ve been caught out. Tough.

  18. I am sorry but I am aghast at John’s comment. He chose to be part of a movement which imposed Brexit on the 62% of Scots who voted to remain as well as upon many Remainers from the other Home Nations. He thinks this will be best for the U.K. but because the new rules don’t suit his personal interests and preferences he up sticks and becomes resident in Tenerife where as part of EU member state, Spain, he is now ‘ruled from afar by massive government’. How selfless to sacrifice himself in this way so the rest of us stuck back in the U.K. can enjoy John’s vision of utopia. Many of us voted to remain for reasons that went far beyond our narrow self interest as second home owners in Tenerife. Many of us also don’t have the option of residence because of obligations in the U.K.

  19. My wife and I were swallows having owned property on Tenerife for over 30 years, we voted for Brexit because we do not believe in massive Government ruling from afar and so Brexit was the best thing for the UK going forward in our opinion. How did we “get around” the Schengen restrictions? We became Tenerife residents and moved here permanently. There was plenty of time to do it, it was a very easy process back in February 2020. Therefore I have little sympathy for anyone who just sat back to see what happens. Sorry but there you go.

    1. Author

      Actually, you have not got around anything. What you have done is perfectly legal but if you were to stay in the UK for more than 6 months of a year, your registration would lapse, as Janet has explained HERE.

      But why not have a reality check here? You voted for something which will have a massive effect (good or bad) on the UK for the next generation, then when that vote was carried, you emigrated to a country in the EU because it suited you personally. Perfectly legal, but monumentally hypocritical in my view. OK, ultimately we are all hypocrites of some form or another, but personally, I would not shout about it.

  20. Nigel and Paul, please can you explain how it is possible to spend Oct/Nov/Dec and return in April/May June and keep within the regulations ?

    1. Author

      Yes, that is quite possible. If you spend (say) 89 days in Tenerife (Oct/Nov/Dec) then 91 days in the UK (Jan/Feb/Mar), then in that 180-day period you have spent less than your allowed 90 days. Another 180-day period would be Apr/May/June (Tenerife) then July/Sept/Oct (in the UK) also OK. As long as an 89-day stint in Tenerife is followed by an even longer stay in the UK then you stay within the rules.

      I don’t know many swallows, but the ones I do know have all spent up to 6 months in one stint with perhaps a short break over Christmas, so that pattern will have to change under the current rules, with a 91-day Christmas.

  21. Health and well being are more important to myself and my wife than staying 6 months at a time in our property over here. The eu has recently shown it’s true colours so we are not expecting any favours from them and as a Nigel has said it’s really not a problem staying 90 days at a time twice a year as we are very lucky to have a home in both countries. Unfortunately there are no winners in whatever outcome the future might hold as coming here for winter is the least of our problems at the moment as the ever evolving pandemic make travel very uncertain for the foreseeable time.

  22. Can’t really understand the problem as most swallows we have spoken to will come for 90 days Oct/Nov/Dec and them come back April/May /June. You can will get your 6 months and spend time with the family over the Christmas/new year as 6 months at one time can get a bit boring and splitting this up will make a refreshing change for us.

  23. One of many leave/remain web sites Janet. See here: https://archive-it.org/collections/7397

    As for lies, I prefer ‘politicaly economical with the truth’ and both sides of the argumant were culpable. I recall the UK Government leaflet. But people should see through that whenever they are called to cast a vote. I guess people are gullible.

  24. Your correct Jim, many remainers couldn’t bother to vote. Likewise brexiteers.

    Can’t personally speak for all expats but my wife and I certainly had no issue in getting our choice of vote (postal or proxy). Just had to email our last UK Council. They checked our eligibility to vote (how long ago we left the UK and that we were registered with them at that time) and the rest was plain sailing.

    I cant recall promise’s that swallows would not be affected by Brexit but no doubt somone may be able to provide a link to an authoritative site.

    As an aside, the recent USA election resulted in a very similar outcome to Brexit; Biden won 81,283,098 votes, or 51.3 percent of the votes cast and Trump won 74,222,958 votes, or 46.8 percent of the votes cast. 2nd vote anyone? 😄

    1. Author

      Apart from lying through the entire campaign, the Leave EU website is currently suspended so it can’t be searched through, but the seamless transition and “they need us more than we need them” were frequent tropes and certainly it is what many swallows believe expressly because of the messaging throughout the referendum campaign – they say it is! The Leave EU website, whose name was chosen with the EU suffix for obvious reasons, is suspended because of that very EU suffix since the organization moved its website to Ireland to keep the suffix but it can’t be there since it’s based in the UK. A Leave organization buggered by its own Brexit! 😀

  25. Janet,
    Please, please do not tar us all with the same brush. Brexit was voted for by only 37.4% of the electorate and if the complacent remainers had got off their a*rses and voted like I did, we would still be in the EU, but hey ho….

    1. Author

      Quite agree, Jim, and agree too about not tarring anyone with the same brush … BUT there were plenty who didn’t believe the UK could be so idiotic and so voted Leave as a protest, never believing it would even be a close vote let alone a Leave win. Others, both here and elsewhere throughout the EU who were entitled to vote, asked for a postal ballot but didn’t receive one … many in fact, and quite a few of them believe that the fact they never received the postal vote requested was deliberate because as a category they were known to be predisposed towards Remain.

      Simple fact is though that my mailbag has a disproportionate number of enquiries for “the way around the 90 day rule” from people who openly acknowledge that they “didn’t think this would be a problem when they voted for Brexit” … the reason they give is always the same: they believed the Leave campaign’s promise that the EU countries, especially Spain, needed Brits more than Brits needed any part of the EU, and that there would be a seamless transition in every respect including residency, and that “special arrangements” would be made for Swallows. And yet, here we are …

      We are all victims, but my sympathy is entirely with those who did not vote because they could not, or who actually voted Remain. Anyone else, in my book, is complicit.

  26. We listened to the podcast after reading Andrew’s excellent post and we do need each other. Having voted remain we are victims of Brexit, however we understand the rules and will not break them. Regardless of how our property investment is seen by Spain, which you talked about in the podcast, the fact is that a considerable amount of swallow’s money goes into the local economy every winter, supermarkets, restaurants, bars, taxis, etc. Surely it’s in everyone’s interest that a solution is found. I understand that a very substantial investment in Spain allows a relaxation of visa rules. Maybe a starting point in reaching a mutually acceptable solution re swallows could be based on existing and future property ownership resulting in more flexibility of the 90 days in 180 rule, for instance back to back 90 days in a rolling year.

    1. Author

      A solution exists. You have 90 days in any 180. That was the system the UK voted for, a system already in place before Brexit, applicable to all third-country nationals, known about, warned about, dismissed as project fear … and chosen in the country’s own referendum on leaving a political union in whose membership the problem did not exist. Why on earth should anyone expect now to receive special treatment because they don’t like an aspect of what they themselves voted for?!

      Any owner of a Swallow’s property would make the same investment so it doesn’t matter to Spain who owns what. In fact if Brits do carry out their threat to sell en masse, Spain gains because it gets taxes from sales. There are issues, of course, with a mass sell off, because there might not be enough buyers, and even if there are, Brits themselves say this would cause prices to plummet. They are missing the point however because Spain will get taxes from sales that would otherwise not happen so it will not matter that the price being taxed is lower.

      The only one harmed, again, will be the British vendors who clearly don’t realise that they are the only ones who’ll bear the loss of falling prices from sales they’ve forced themselves! Not that it would be the first time the UK’s population en masse has shot itself in the foot, but hey ho.

      And to those calling for a bilateral settlement of some sort, please try to understand that Spain does not have power to undermine Schengen Area rules. Spain is a constituent member of the Schengen area, whose rule this is.

  27. Michael … me too! 🙂

  28. I’m sorry but I laughed reading yet another ”British Error’ about Tenerife needing us more than we need you.

  29. We have owned an apartment in Tenerife since 2004. We have always spent 6 months of each year there in 3 separate 2 month spells. This will now be restricted to 4 months per year in total based on the times of year we wish to be there. Whilst there, we spend a lot of money in bars, restaurants, supermarkets etc. During the current severe economic crisis, this loss of regular income from those of us in the same situation, is the last thing the local economy needs, there must be thousands of us in the same boat – this will be the final nail in the coffin for many small businesses. I’m really surprised, based on this scenario, that the Island is not doing everything possible to get some agreement, especially for people who own property there, to have some rights to use their property as and when, and more importantly, contribute financially to the local economy, especially in the current climate. Nobody wins under the current legislation, but the end result could easily be lots of Brits pulling out as they can’t justify paying for the upkeep of a property abroad when you can’t use it – this may result in many properties being put up for sale, bringing property prices down, and whilst on the market, bringing far less revenue into the economy as we wont be there spending our money. We need you Tenerife, but you also need us – now more than ever!

    1. Author

      You obviously posted your comment without listening to Clio’s and my latest podcast. Can I recommend you do so? It’s HERE, latest one dated 25 January. As you will hear, you are making a category error in respect of your investment and how it’s seen.

  30. Oh Moira, you are so right, so many deaths could have been prevented, I am convinced of it. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of all these poor grieving families. There should be a new worldwide slogan – Health Before Economies – People are NOT expendable.

  31. I agree – I don’t understand why people have chosen to travel to the island and I also agree that I don’t understand why, with the possibility of enforced quarantine in hotels looming in the U.K., British non residents aren’t taking the opportunity to get back to the U.K. now while they can. While not minimising at all the financial impact on individuals and businesses, economies and livelihoods can be rebuilt, the dead cannot be brought back to life. I listened in the U.K. to the CEO of Edinburgh airport and a spokesman for the airline industry arguing against the potential tightening of quarantine measures in the U.K. I wanted to ask them what their answer would be if they were lying in intensive care and it were to be put to them that they had a choice – they could keep their airport open or they could live. Genomic testing of the virus in Scotland has shown that, numbers having been brought right down over the summer, the surge of cases in Scotland thereafter has been attributed largely to returning tourists, especially from Greece. How many times during this pandemic are lessons learned being disregarded as we yo yo from lockdown to lockdown. As we pass more than 100,000 deaths in the U.K. one cannot help but think that many of these could have been prevented.

  32. There are still cheap half full flights with Ryanair back to Manchester and PCR tests are readily and easily available in most areas so not sure why people would think they would be stuck here after the end of March.

  33. Well said Janet. It is baffling that people who took the decision to come here, then the decision to stay until the end of March because they could do so, didn’t follow the news both here and in the UK about the ever increasing (and frankly inevitable) difficulties of actually being able to get back!
    I am totally with you about holidaying not being a priority during a world wide lethal pandemic. People thinking they are somehow doing the island a favour by coming over “to help the tourist industry” or even using this as a defence for their holiday, are mistaken. Tourism is indeed on its knees but that is down to the spreading of the virus, both here and in other countries. Efforts to stop or at least try to control this with restrictions, and therefore save lives should be the only priority, What is so hard to understand about Stay At Home?

  34. As a commercial resident here I have an empathy with the predicament of uk nationals who are now finding it not only impossible to return home as scheduled but also now the chance of breaching the pending 90 day deadline due to travel disruption. As previously mentioned, Yes member states should not only waive the rule but should let this be known to those it may effect to relieve rising anxiety to tourist genuinely caught up in this situation. After all they are the ones that came when we needed them and they are the only tourist we have at present, we also need them back again.

    1. Author

      Some will think, however, that they took the risk despite more than one Government saying they should not, that disruption was inevitable, that any problems suffered would be on their own shoulders, that they really should stay at home … and that we didn’t need tourists during a pandemic when we were just trying to keep alive while faced with people who just wanted a holiday despite the risk to themselves and, more importantly, to everyone else. Some find sympathy very hard to find.

  35. Dear Janet. I’m a swallow owning my own apt in Tenerife and have been here since Dec 2020 and realise that I must return before the end of March but I’m not a UK resident I live in Jersey therefore do I have the same restrictions i.e. Quarantineing , options of reg with the police or paying for Visa to stay longer and when I return I will only be in transit in Gatwick for a few hours on my way home Regards MR K HILL

    1. Author

      The restrictions to 90 days are a rule for the Schengen area for countries which are not members of the EU. Jersey is a UK dependency, so would be treated like anyone else not coming from the EU. I’m afraid you do not have the option of paying for a visa, because this would have to be done before travelling, not afterwards. Nor would registering with the police make sense, because that is a declaration that you wish to be a permanent resident here. As for returning home, I’m afraid we can’t really comment on what Jersey stipulates for people returning.

  36. Hi Melvyn
    This may help as it is issued on the eu official site. I’m sure for this year there will hopefully be a bit of give and take given the circumstances. I hope your wife continues to recover and that you are able to get home safely.

    Member States are encouraged to waive administrative sanctions or penalties on third-country nationals who during the period of travel restrictions were unable to leave their territory due to travel restrictions. Overstays due to the temporary travel restrictions should not be taken into account during the processing of future visa applications.

    1. Author

      The point is, though, that whether one asks the EU or the UK’s Foreign Office, it is down to the individual EU member states. The request must be put to Spain before the 90 days is up, and it is a matter of the country’s discretion, not a rubber-stamping exercise … we have to be realistic and factual here, and not rely on undue optimism or false hopes. And that is on record today from the Consul herself in Clio’s and my podcast.

  37. Thanks Janet, as ever that’s very helpful and, I think, clear. However, for the avoidance of any doubt folk may have and trying to be helpful to others, the 90 days out of 180 we now have allocated is to do us for travel throughout the entire Schengen Area. Some people think they have 90 days for Spain and another 90 days for France etc. However that is not so and you can spend the full 90 out of 180 days in Tenerife only if you don’t spend time elsewhere in the Area during the relevant period. So a long weekend in Paris or a Mediterranean cruise calling at Schengen ports all could eat into the 90 days. If one is travelling only to Tenerife and in a single visit it shouldn’t be a problem to figure out. However for those of us who traditionally made several shorter visits scattered throughout the year it takes more working out and use of the Schengen Calculator probably will be necessary to avoid breaking the rules. This will be especially so if you also plan to throw in the odd trip to other Schengen countries. Sadly I think it will be December at the very earliest before I am likely to be back in Tenerife (or anywhere) assuming a material improvement by then as far as controlling the pandemic is concerned. I would also stress that there are many of us second home owners who have never abused the system in terms of time spent on the island or seeking travel discounts we are not due. We find such behaviour as irritating as it is to many permanent legal residents.

  38. Why can E.U. Residents visit the U.K. for 6 months per year?
    Equality would be a perfect solution to swallows.

    1. Author

      Because the UK is not in Schengen, and it is a Schengen area rule. The UK’s never been in Schengen but as an EU member could access the zone freely. It chose to give up freedom of movement by leaving the EU. Quite simple. No need to call for equality. The UK had that but chose to throw it away. No-one’s imposed inequality on the UK other than the UK itself.

  39. My wife & I are currently in Tenerife, due to my wife receiving emergency ongoing hospital treatment we were unable to return to the UK unti “sometime” in February. We have a surgeons report stating that my wife was unable to fly & I was needed with her to look after her. We then received a report that all was progressing well, the treatment would be complete 21 February & my wife could return to the UK. A flight was booked for 25 February 2021 but was cancelled due to Covid restictions. We have since rebooked with fingers crossed departing 2 April 2021….2 days over our 90 allowance. What is our position…..as we had a flight booked within the 90 day limit which was cancelled, will the 2 days be accepted / overlooked?????

    1. Author

      I’m sorry for your wife’s emergency but it is entirely up to Spain now as to what happens. You will need to ask the Spanish immigration authorities if they will give you permission – this is essential to avoid future problems through the whole Schengen area, not just Spain. You might ask the Consulate if they will intercede for you with Spain but they may not be able to in your particular circumstances.

      What I cannot say is that it’s just two days, don’t worry. We are no longer in the position where “don’t worry, it’ll be fine” is an option. This is something, in fact, that the British Consul for Andalusia and the Canary Islands Charmaine Arbouin covers specifically in the podcast Clio and I did today, and which I’ve just posted HERE. Do have a listen to her.

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