Coronavirus, Brexit Catch British Travelers in Spanish Red Tape

  • After January 1, in the UK, certain airlines were refusing to accept the European Union's blue card as proof of residency.
  • In spite of this point of view, UK citizens are not prohibited from flying to Spain under the current proposal.
  • The application or renewal card for international passport, may be regarded as appropriate proof of origin when traveling.

Citizens from the United Kingdom, with a residence in Spain, have been stopped from flying to Spain this weekend. Spain has strict COVID-19 regulations that prevented some Britons from flying to and from Spain. Several travelers have had trouble returning to their home countries after airlines refused to accept their proof of national travel cards.

Britons at the airport in Spain.

After a new, more contagious strain of the virus has been identified in the UK, many countries are opting to cancel all international flights. This had been extended until January 5, but has since been extended until January 19.

After January 1, in the UK, certain airlines were refusing to accept the European Union’s blue card as proof of residency. Airlines will only give boarding passes to foreigners that have the biometric identity card that has the initials TIE.

As is testified by various Facebook groups, a number of travelers had encountered a similar type of occurrence at different airports. Yet another person, named James Elliot, testified by tweeting:

“I was booked on BA0482 flying to Barcelona, Spain today. I had all the correct documentation including UK passport, green residents card, negative Covid test and was turned away by the check-in manager.”

The official Twitter account of the British Embassy in Madrid said that:

“This should not be happening, the Spanish authorities have reconfirmed again this evening that the green residency document will be valid for travel to return to Spain as stated in our travel advice.”

On Sunday, the Spanish Embassy in the UK released a statement confirming that there were still plenty of UK nationals without Spanish ID cards, even though the current Spanish law stipulates that Spanish citizens must have one.

In spite of this point of view, UK citizens are not prohibited from flying to Spain under the current proposal. The government of Spain declared that it would bring a grace period of seven days into force on 4 January 2021.

The news sources, according to official statements, said that the application or renewal card for international passport, may be regarded as appropriate proof of origin when traveling.

Britons at the airport in Spain.

On Sunday, the communications office from the British Embassy in Madrid informed news reporters that the Spanish embassy had restated the regulations for airports and ferries, indicating that the current transport service issues could not be reproduced again.

“We had tickets with Iberia but someone said BA were accepting the green card so we bought tickets with them, so we spent a total of £1,500. BA boarded one of our suitcases then said we couldn’t board after all,” said Patricia Moody, a traveller.

Unfortunately, on Sunday, Max Duncan reported to the press that other travelers who had been refused passage on Saturday had been permitted to fly by air today, but that he would have to wait to travel the next day, provided that his arrival laboratory test had expired to more than 72 hours.

On Sunday, another writer, Ruth Edwards, wrote via Twitter that her British Airways flight arrived without incident, despite being worried about the effect of protection and travel cards following problems on Wednesday.

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Benedict Kasigara

I have been working as a freelance editor/writer since 2006. My specialist subject is film and television having worked for over 10 years from 2005 during which time I was the editor of the BFI Film and Television.

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