Spain extends border closure to countries outside of EU until April 30th
The Boletin Oficial de España (BOE) has published the official extension today of the temporary restriction of non-essential travel from third countries outside the European Union and Schengen to Spain due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The same ministerial order also annuls the one promulgated on December 22nd, which established criteria for the temporary restriction of access by land to the Schengen area through the checkpoint for people from Gibraltar due to the health crisis, which will cease to take effect as of 6:00pm (mainland time) tomorrow, March 30th.
The recommendations of the EU Council on June 30th last year, on the temporary restriction of non-essential travel to the European Union and the possible lifting of said limitations, established a list of third countries whose residents were exempted from travel restrictions to the EU, as well as a set of specific categories of people also exempt from these restrictions, regardless of their place of origin, ie, essential travel.
In Spain, these recommendations have been applied through different ministerial orders, the last of which was dated February 24th, which was due to run out on Wednesday, March 31st.
With this publication today in the BOE of the new Interior regulations, the temporary restriction of non-essential travel from third countries to the Union and Schengen associated countries is extended until April 30th, and applies to 26 countries, of which 22 are member states of the EU.
There has been some confusion over this, particularly from British residents in Spain, and UK residents who were hoping to come over as they have a second home in Spain. This extension doesn’t affect that. There are three changes in the next two days that affect international travel from the UK and entry into Spain, including the Canary Islands.
Firstly from today, Monday, a new law in the UK makes holidays abroad illegal with a £5,000 pound fine if you’re not travelling for essential reasons, such as work commitments, or buying, renting, or selling a property.
From tomorrow, Tuesday, Spain is lifting their travel ban with the UK, so that UK citizens are allowed to enter the country for essential reasons, which were prohibited up to now because of the British variant of the coronavirus. At the same time, Spain has also extended its restrictions on non-essential journeys from countries outside the EU and Schengen Area until April the 30th.
This means that UK residents can enter Spain for essential reasons, with a PCR test and no quarantine on arrival, which they couldn’t do before as there was a total ban on UK travellers unless they were full time Spanish residents. But, do take into account that if your reason is questioned at your departure from a UK airport and deemed non-essential, or you can’t prove why you are departing from the UK, you could be fined.