In addition to the minor complications placed on travel between the UK and Spain as a result of Brexit, the restrictions in place as a result of the current Coronavirus pandemic also make travelling from the UK to Spain (and the back again) a very complicated process that is only permissible in very limited circumstances. Here’s everything you need to know about the current travel restrictions between the UK and Spain:
Travel is Being Strongly Discouraged
If you’re currently based in the UK, then it is currently illegal to travel outside of the country expect in very limited circumstances. These are for unavoidable work reasons, or to access medical care. All of the existing travel corridors (including the one between the UK and Spain) were suspended on the 18th January, and there is no information at this stage about when or if these will be reinstated. What’s more the European Union have announced that non-essential travel to and from the UK is being strongly discouraged for their citizens.
In simple terms, this means that both UK nationals, residents of the UK, and Spanish nationals technically can fly into the UK but only in very limited circumstances. And when you arrive in the UK, the country is currently in a national lockdown, meaning that these very strict lockdown rules would apply to you on your arrival. Regional covid restrictions also vary from area to area in Spain.
Arriving in the UK from Spain
If your journey to the UK from Spain is permitted and essential, then here are the rules that you will be subjected to on your arrival in the UK from Spain:
- When you arrive in the UK you will be required to self-isolate for 10 days. This means that you will not be able to leave your home or accommodation for any reason, including reasons such as exercise, to collect food or to smoke.
- If you have travelled to or via one of the 33 countries on the UK’s ‘red list’ then you will be required to remain under quarantine for 10 days in a designated hotel. This ‘quarantine stay’ will cost £1,750 (€1,992) per person, with the price including the cost of your hotel stay, testing, and transport to the hotel from the airport.
- You must take three separate COVID tests in order to enter the UK from Spain. PCR, LAMP and antigen lateral flow tests can all be used. The first of these should be taken 3 days before you depart, and you will need to show proof of this negative test on your arrival in the UK. The second test will be taken 2 days into your quarantine in the UK, and the third test will be taken 8 days into your quarantine in the UK. Children under 11 do not need a test, as well as those who have a job on the ‘exempt jobs’ list or those who are travelling to the UK for medical reasons.
- You will need to provide your journey and contact details, as well as the address of the place where you will be spending your ten-day quarantine period.
Getting to and From Spain and the UK
The most common way to travel between Spain and the UK is by air, and this remains the case throughout the current coronavirus crisis. British Airways, Easyjet and Ryanair have all maintained flights to and from the UK to Spain throughout the crisis, but they are all operating at a reduced schedule, so it would not be surprising to find that your flight is delayed, cancelled or moved to another day. You should check this regular with your airline, who will help you to get on the best route to ensure you return home on the day that you expect to travel.
The Impact of Brexit
As a result of Brexit, Uk citizens that are not registered at Spanish residents and who entered Spain on or before the 1st January will need to leave the country once their 90 day visa-free period is expired: this is on the 31st March 2021. Due to the reduction in the number of flights available, and the uncertainty that many of these flights will travel at all, this is a particularly uncertain times for those UK residents in Spain right now. The best advice is to arrange flights a day or two before your visa-free period expires, to give yourself the leeway you need to get out of Spain in time and remain on the right side of the law.
If you’re a Spanish citizen currently in Spain then the UK government have not yet announced the time limit for Spanish and EU citizens to remain in Britain post-Brexit: if you’re in the UK now, therefore, you should check with the foreign office to get a better idea of when you will be expected to leave the country.
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