A BRITISH expat stranded in the UK has been told she can only return to her chronically ill husband ‘if he is on his deathbed.’
Carole Clarke, 68, is pleading for help after she got stuck in Belfast after flying out on December 19 to deliver Christmas presents to her daughter and grandchildren.
Her husband Frederick, 81, is chronically ill back at home near Almunecar, suffering from lung disease COPD and diabetes.
The former nurse and aerobics instructor, who has lived in Andalucia for 20 years, was then refused boarding on her easyJet flight back to Spain after new coronavirus measures demanded she must prove her residency.
“I have been trying to get an appointment since December to start the process but it was impossible, ” Carole told the Olive Press. “There were none available anywhere.”
She added: “If I had known I would not be allowed back I would not have flown in the first place.”
It has turned out to be a total nightmare for the pensioner, who has long lived with her husband, Frederick, 81, both from Portsmouth, in a villa in La Herradura, in Granada.
Despite having a negative PCR test, which set her back €120, Carole was told that having a dependent husband did not qualify as an exemption.
“The Spanish Embassy told me that unless he is on his deathbed, I won’t be allowed back,” she told the Olive Press.
“It’s horrific, my husband should not be going out but he is alone and has no choice.”
The 81-year-old should be sheltering at home being in the severe at-risk category with his illnesses and age.
“He has been on his own now for a month, he has to get his own shopping which means putting himself constantly at risk,” added Carole, “What am I supposed to do?”
Fortunately, Frederick was able to get his residency sorted out in December, but Carole has been unable to get an appointment.
It comes after Spain brought in tougher restrictions on UK arrivals following the discovery of a more contagious coronavirus strain, dubbed the UK variant.
Anyone returning from the UK must be either a resident or a Spanish citizen.
A British Embassy spokesperson told the Olive Press: “We have raised the issue of compassionate cases with the Spanish authorities, who have confirmed they will consider, on a case-by-case basis, the circumstances of nationals who wish to enter the country on compassionate grounds to support a vulnerable family member.”