After more than four years since the UK voted to leave the EU, the reality of Brexit is slowly starting to hit home to British nationals in both Spain and the UK.
With Christmas almost upon us, the British Embassy in Spain has issued a warning to any Brits in Spain who may be travelling back to the UK over the Christmas and New Year period.
There have been a number of stories circulating the web and mainstream media warning British nationals who wanted to enter Spain after January 1 that they may be denied entry.
Unfortunately, this would have been misinterpreted by many as being a direct result of Brexit and the transition period ending on December 31.
In fact, the reason that those wishing to travel to Spain from the UK may be denied access will be due to COVID travel restrictions which may or may not be imposed by the EU or an individual member state. This will of course depend on future infection rate numbers and may also depend on any ‘safe travel corridors’ that may be in operation at the time.
Once the UK has fully left the EU on January 1, British nationals will no longer be permitted to enter the EU if the number of cases in the UK continues to rise.
This will NOT, however, affect those who are officially and legally resident in Spain and who may be travelling back home to Spain after visiting friends and family in the UK for the festivities.
In light of this eventuality, the British Embassy has issued a warning to anybody living in Spain who has previously applied for residency to make sure they carry sufficient documentation to demonstrate that they are resident in Spain.
If you have been resident for a while and have a green A4 certificate or new TIE, then you should make sure you have this when travelling.
If you are currently in the process of applying for residency, you are advised to carry as much documentation as you can to verify that this is the case. These may include proof of your residency application, work contract, rental agreement or padron certificate.
The British Embassy said via their Facebook page, “As some of you will be travelling to the UK for Christmas, we wanted to advise anyone who is travelling to prepare for your return to Spain by carrying your residency documents (the green certificate or the new TIE card) with you, which accredit your residency in Spain.
“If you live in Spain, but do not yet have these documents, we advise you to travel with any documentation demonstrating that you are a resident, for example: the positive outcome of your residency application, the demonstration that you have applied for residency or any other documentation with you that shows that you are a resident in Spain such as a work contract, tenancy agreement or padron certificate.”
Travellers have also been reminded about the EHIC which for the vast majority of people will no longer be valid for those travelling to Spain from the UK after December 31, 2020.
Only holders of an S1 form, students studying in Spain and frontier workers will be eligible to use the new EHIC. Further details about the new EHIC including application here.
The UK’s Foreign Office has assured all travellers with an existing EHIC that they will still be covered when travelling abroad as long as the journey starts prior to December 31.
However, the Spanish government has warned that anyone in Spain and not a resident from December 31, must take out travel insurance to cover their journey back to the UK and that if they do not, they will have to pay for any treatment that is required.
If you are travelling over the Christmas and New Year period you are advised to make sure you have at least a valid EHIC if eligible and better still, private travel insurance to cover you for every eventuality including repatriation.
January 14, 2021