The new checks come following a U-turn on the decision Brits could use the e-gates at Spanish airports to cut down on wait times. British citizens must now get their passports stamped, even if they have used the gates. UK travel firms have cried foul and pointed out the UK was Spain’s largest tourism market.
The Foreign Office confirmed the new rules which include the proof of €100 per day, plus an additional €900 (£758) or the equivalent in foreign currency.
Tourists may also have to provide proof of address or a letter from someone they intend to stay with in Spain as well as proof that they have an onward or return ticket out of the country.
Many took to social media to vent their frustration towards the changes.
One wrote: “Well this is stupid Spain is now requiring everyone to be able to prove that have £85 for each day to spend what a stupid, stupid idea what’s the need what about students and people are trying to have a cheap holiday it’s completely and utter idiotic [sic].”
Another added the move was “elitist” and a “kick in the teeth” for those who had been holidaying in the country for years. They also claimed the move would likely affect families and pensioners the most.
One man said in a Tweet: “Great Do NOT go to Spain. Tired of these anti-Brexit EU countries pushing us around.”
One user wrote on Facebook that the move would hurt Spanish tourism.
She said: “Let’s see where they are going to get their tourism from now if people chose other countries.. good luck Spain!”
Still others claimed the change wouldn’t affect anyone beyond minor delays as most people going on holiday to Spain would have the money and have their accommodation already booked.
One user posted on Facebook: “Accommodation is no problem as we all had to fill in forms stating where we were staying. Return tickets, to check you’re not going rogue when you get there. It sounds like a misunderstanding to me, delivered as a way to scare people.”
The Foreign Office said in a statement: “At Spanish border control, you may need to show a return or onward ticket; show you have enough money for your stay; show proof of accommodation for your stay, for example, a hotel booking confirmation, proof of address if visiting your own property (eg second home), or an invitation from your host or proof of their address if staying with a third party, friends or family.”
It added: “The Spanish government has clarified that the ‘carta de invitation’ is one of the options available to prove that you have accommodation if staying with friends or family.”
Spain’s Government has argued all so-called “third countries” must provide the additional documentation and proof of funds if requested to do so by Spanish authorities. Since Brexit, the EU considers Britain such a country.
The Spanish Ministry of the Interior said: “Foreigners from third countries must prove if required to do so by the officials in charge of controlling the entry of people into Spanish territory, that they have economic resources for entering the country, through cash, traveller’s cheques, payment letters, or credit cards, which must also be proven to have sufficient funds available on them.”
Additionally, Brits must now have their passports stamped at border control regardless of the ability to use the e-gates.
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The Foreign Office guidelines state that any Brit leaving the country without an entry stamp could be seen by Spanish authorities as having overstayed their 90-day limit in the Schengen area, which covers much of the continent.
The news comes as Germany has joined France in blaming the recent chaos over the weekend at Dover on Brexit, which saw travellers stuck in queues of up to 11 hours trying to cross the channel over the weekend.
Foreign Minister Liz Truss blamed a shortage of French passport control staff for the delays while Remainers pointed the finger at Brexit.
A Number 10 spokesperson said: “A shortage of French border control staff, along with a serious accident on the M20 and exceptionally high numbers of people travelling, led to roads in Kent becoming extremely busy.”
France, however, has blamed “Brexit reality” for the delays with Germany agreeing.
Germany’s Ambassador Miguel Berger said: “The blame should not be given to France… because of Brexit, you have border controls. The passport needs to be stamped.”