Brits heading to Spain to stay with family or friends could now face the “nightmare” of being forced to have a police letter to stay in the country for a holiday.
The Spanish government who lifted the travel ban today could enforce an expensive “carta de invitation” to prove that you are staying with friends or family.
If the Spanish government proceeds with the carta de invitation then holidaymakers could be required to show their return flight tickets and prove that they have enough money to stay in Spain and will have to prove where they will be staying.
A message posted on the Brits in Spain Facebook page said, “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.”
Expat Pam Amos responded to the post and said, “I don’t understand. UK did not have to do this before they joined the EU, so why now?
“Do they ask holidaymakers on pre-booked, self-catering accommodation if they can afford to feed themselves when they are there?
“This is a totally ludicrous situation.
“I can’t believe I am going to have to provide my son and his family with a document to prove he has been invited to my home? And pay for the privilege.”
Another expat warned, “The queues at Spanish airports are going to be ridiculous on arrival.
“They can be bad at times without all these extra checks.
“There is a real danger that Brits will just go elsewhere.”
Karen Bruce added on the Facebook post, “I know why they want to know if you have enough money for your stay, but it’s a bit of an impertinent question!
“Plus how are you to show that? Open your banking app? Take a statement with you? Open up your wallet?”
Pam Williamson added, “It gets more complicated day by day! Will be a very stressful situation for many especially the older generation who may not have access to technology!
“Holidays are supposed to be a relaxing get away !??? Not a nightmare.”
Only Spanish residents or arjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (TIE) document holders can apply for the Carta de Invitación.
British expats who want their family or friends to visit them in Spain would have visit their local police station via an appointment and fill out two documents plus pay a fee of €74.31 and provide their title deeds for their property.
The expats would have to prove where they live and show their passport the passports of those who intend to travel from the UK and their TIE card or residency paperwork.
Once this has been done some 20 days later a second form must be filled out presented to the police at a cost of €6.43 per person, then the original Carta De Invitación is to be posted to the individuals in the UK to present when they arrive.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said, “New information on changes to entry requirements for Spain if you are travelling from the UK from May 24 onwards.
“No changes have been made to the level of our travel advice for any regions of Spain.
“We continue to advise against all but essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic Islands, but excluding the Canary Islands.”
The travel advice continued, “From 00:00 on 24 May, current entry restrictions and testing requirements for arrivals from the UK to Spain will no longer apply.
“However, travellers from the UK should be prepared to present evidence of a negative test if they have travelled to a country on Spain’s list of ‘risk countries’ in the 14 days prior to travel.”
The FCDO added, “Quarantine and testing on return to the UK continues to apply.”
Holidaymakers who want to take a risk on their health by heading to Spain have been warned that if you get sick in the country “you’ll get stuck there, you won’t be able to get back home.”