There's light at the end of the tunnel for UK tourists wishing to visit Spain this summer after the UK Foreign Office issued a major travel update for Spain.
The announcement was issued ahead of the lifting of Spain’s current state of emergency (Estado de Alarma) which came into force on March 14.
The lifting of the state of emergency will mean that foreign tourists will once again be able to visit Spain from June 21.
Until June 21, only Spanish citizens, those who are legally resident in Spain, border workers and those who can prove that they need to enter the country for essential reasons, will be permitted entry.
Ahead of this date, the FCO changed its advice on the entry requirements following 24 hours of confusion as to whether UK visitors would be permitted to enter the country and under what conditions.
The official statement said, "The State of Emergency ("Estado de Alarma") declared on 14 March, will end on June 21. From this date, Spain will re-open its borders to European Union and Schengen-area countries (with the exception of Portugal where the restrictions will continue to apply up until 1 July), and travellers from the UK."
It continues, "This means that British nationals will no longer need to present a residency certificate to enter Spain.
However, the situation on quarantine for UK visitors is still unknown.
"The Spanish Government has said that it is possible that UK travellers will still need to quarantine on arrival in Spain, but that decision has not yet been taken.
"Restrictions on travellers from outside the European Union and the Schengen free-travel area will be lifted from July 1 providing the countries they depart from have agreements with Spain."
It was initially thought that only countries from within the Schengen-zone would be allowed entry.
The Spanish Foreign Ministry then clarified that all EU member states would be included which would apply to the UK as it was still a member state until the end of the transition period.
However, the UK’s stance on the quarantine of those who arrive in the UK has caused some controversy with Spanish officials stating that they may have to reciprocate the measures on British tourists travelling to Spain.
Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya told the BBC, "We will be checking what the UK will be doing and we will be in a dialogue with the UK to see whether or not we should be introducing reciprocity as they have different measures than the rest of the European Union."
Gonzalez said that the Spanish government would be engaging further with UK authorities to come to an agreement and make sure that any arrangements correspond to the health situation, which at this time appears to be a little better in Spain than it is in the UK.
She said, "Hopefully by the time we open our borders, the UK would have moved forward also".
January 14, 2021