Covid limitations and Brexit confusion see Uk nationals turned away from flights to Spain | Brexit

A amount of United Kingdom nationals (UKNs) with Spanish residency took to social media at the weekend to report that they experienced been prevented from boarding flights certain for Spain immediately after airlines this sort of as British Airways and Iberia would not accept their eco-friendly paper identification playing cards as evidence that they resided in the country.

Soon after a new, far more contagious pressure of the coronavirus was identified in the British isles, Spain opted on December 21 to prohibit arrivals from the country to only Spanish citizens and all those with official residency. This evaluate was at first to continue to be in drive right up until January 5, but has because been extended until eventually January 19.

Even so, just after January 1, when the Brexit changeover period came to an end and the Uk definitively still left the European Union, it appears the airlines in issue – who are section of the IAG group – started to refuse to acknowledge the environmentally friendly paper playing cards as proof as residency, in spite of the two the Spanish and British isles authorities obviously stating that these continue to be valid. The airlines would only accept the new Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero biometric identity card for UKNs, known by its initials TIE, despite the acquisition of these cards not at the moment remaining compulsory.

Madrid-primarily based journalist Max Duncan was 1 of the initially influenced travelers to report the trouble, following he and a team of United kingdom travellers were being not permitted to check out in by employees at previous Spanish flag provider Iberia. “9 people today refused for 10.55 Madrid flight,” he wrote by means of Twitter on Saturday. “Iberia claimed to get hold of Spanish consulate, emergency weekend staff members have no answer, mentioned overcome by calls.”

A similar situation was noted by a number of users of a variety of Facebook teams, like one would-be traveler who, regardless of arriving at the airport with a valid passport, environmentally friendly residency card, the QR code wanted for travelers arriving in Spain and the necessary detrimental PCR coronavirus examination, was apparently refused look at-in and advised he “needed a letter from the Spanish federal government.”

A further traveler, named James Elliot, wrote via Twitter: “I was booked on BA0482 flying to Barcelona, Spain right now. I experienced all the correct documentation including Uk passport, environmentally friendly residents card, detrimental Covid test and was turned away by the test-in manager.”

The formal Twitter account of the British Embassy in Madrid, British isles in Spain, replied to Max Duncan, stating: “This should really not be going on, the Spanish authorities have reconfirmed once more this evening that the eco-friendly residency document will be legitimate for vacation to return to Spain as said in our travel information.”

On Sunday, the Spanish Embassy in the Uk also unveiled a statement in which it stated that it was mindful of the problems that UKNs experienced been obtaining in returning to Spain, and verified that the “‘Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Unión Europea,’” i.e. the green certificate, “and the new ‘Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero’ are valid proof of residency for Uk nationals who want to return to their houses in Spain.”

The statement additional that Uk nationals who can prove that they have started off their residency course of action, but who do not however have their new TIE card, “should also be permitted to board flights to return to Spain.” The statement reported that the “Government of Spain will set in area this measure for a grace time period of 7 days from 4 January 2021.” It additional that the document “resguardo de solicitud o renovación de tarjeta de extranjero,” i.e. the receipt offered to TIE applicants, can be regarded as satisfactory proof when flying.

On Sunday, the communications department from the British Embassy in Madrid verified to EL PAÍS that the Spanish embassy experienced restated the procedures with airlines and ferry companies, this means that the challenges some tourists encountered at the weekend should not be recurring.

In accordance to a number of United kingdom dailies, BA explained in a assertion: “In these tough and unprecedented times with dynamic vacation limitations, we are executing all the things we can to enable and assist our customers.”

News company AP described Spain’s Foreign Ministry as saying that there had been “an isolated conversation dilemma with some airways that impacted a extremely little range of travelers” and that air traffic in between the two international locations experienced returned to “normality” by Sunday afternoon.

Also on Sunday, Max Duncan confirmed to EL PAÍS that other travelers who experienced been denied passage on Saturday had now been allowed to fly, but that he would have to wait to capture a later flight specified that his PCR check was by that position additional than 72 several hours old and as this kind of no lengthier valid.

On Sunday evening, yet another journalist, Ruth Edwards, wrote by way of Twitter that her British Airways flight from Heathrow to Málaga had arrived without the need of incident, “despite anxieties that our environmentally friendly residency cards could possibly not be approved thanks to challenges people experienced yesterday.” She additional: “Feels really unusual to be returning not as an EU citizen…”

English model by Simon Hunter.