Spain has announced new restrictions on UK tourists entering the country. They now need to possess proof of a return or onward ticket, enough money for their stay, and evidence they have somewhere to stay in Spain.
Travel firms are unhappy with the toughening of policies, arguing Brits contribute hugely to the large tourism market.
The changes also follow a U-turn on moves to ease airport congestion for holidaymakers arriving in Spain by allowing UK passport-holders to use automatic e-gates to enter the country. UK arrivals must still get their passport stamped manually even if they use the e-gates to enter Spain.
The UK Foreign Office stated: “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.”
Visitors from the UK may be asked to prove they have at least €100 (£85.22) to spend in Spain per day, and a further minimum of €900 (£766.94), or its legal equivalent in foreign currency.
The Spanish Ministry del Interior stated: “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.”
British tourists must also check their passport is stamped if they enter or exit the EU Schengen area through Spain as a visitor. UK Foreign Office guidelines stated: “Border guards will use passport stamps to check you’re complying with the 90-day visa-free limit for short stays in the Schengen area.
“If relevant entry or exit stamps are not in your passport, border guards will presume that you have overstayed your visa-free limit.”