The Spanish Government has now updated their rules governing who can and cannot now enter spain from the UK. Whilst the UK now permits second homeowners to visit Spain, Spain will not allow visitors from the UK arriving on residential property related business entry to the country for the forseeable future.
As a result, in general terms, British citizens cannot currently travel to Spain. There are some exceptions…including
- If married or related to EU citizens
- Long term Spanish visa holders
- Health care professionals
- Transport workers
- Diplomats, military and members of international organistions
- Students – in possesion of Spanish visa and medical insurance
New changes to the laws and regulations that govern travel between the UK to Spain have been announced this week. Making it possible for British owners of second homes in Spain to visit their properties as early as this April BUT only under specific circumstances.
Spain Lifts Ban On UK Arrivals
Yesterday (Tuesday March 22nd), the Spanish Government announced the end to their three- month travel ban on arrivals from the UK, effective from March 30th. This ban was first implemented on December 22nd 2020 and was extended no less than six times during this period.
UK Gov Announces New Legislation
Whilst almost simultaneously the British Government announced new legislation, entitled The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021, which is expected to be voted into law on Thursday. And which will include some exceptions that are highly pertinent to overseas homeowners as ‘reasonable excuses for travel’.
Reasonable Excuses For Travel
These are outlined on the UK Gov website, where Article 7 states that international travel will be permissible “to undertake any of the following activities in connection with the purchase, sale, letting or rental of a residential property – (a) visiting estate or letting agents, developer sales offices or show homes; (b) viewing residential properties to look for a property to buy or to rent; (c) preparing a residential property to move in; (d) moving house; (e) to visit a residential property to undertake any activities required for the rental or sale of that property.”
The Stanley Johnson Exemption
So, in other words a second homeowner could realistically argue that they need to visit their property in Spain in order to prepare it for sale or for rent. An exemption that has already been dubbed ‘The Stanley Johnson Excuse’ by a Labour Party spokesperson, in reference to the visit to Greece made last July by the Prime Minister’s father, in order to ensure his holiday home there was ‘covid proofed’ for future rental guests.
Second homeowners would still be obliged to fill out an official Declaration Form for International Travel and provide relevant supporting evidence, such as proof of ownership. As well as ensuring that they can also present proof of vaccination or a negative covid test on arrival in Spain.
The new Health Protection Regulations which are being introduced by the British Government are also quite draconian. International holidays are now banned until July earliest (although this could yet be rescinded sooner) and anyone who travels to an airport with the intent to travel but without a cast-iron excuse could now face a fine of up to £5,000. So anyone considering travelling should ensure that they have a legitimate reason to do so in order to satisfy the authorities.